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Founded in 1868

Over 150 years in Oakland

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1868

September 18, 1868

1868

Foundation of Convent of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart at Lake Merritt Campus, Oakland, California

1868

September 18, 1868

1868

An album containing portraits of the first boarders of the Convent of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, including Miss Maria Byrne, left, the first student named on a list of enrollees

1876

September 19, 1876

1876

The Convent school census: 21 Sisters, 2 novices, 2 postulants, 80 boarders (becoming 100 boarders by 1878)

1880

September 18, 1880

Empowered by the State of California to grant higher degrees

1886

September 19, 1886

While rowing in August with the Sisters, student Edith Clark dives into Lake Chabot to rescue a drowning classmate who had fallen overboard. Clark’s heroism earns her the U.S. Treasury Department Silver Life-saving Medal

1890

September 19, 1890

1890

The Convent school “fleet” consists of three rowboats: Marie Rose, Dove, and Aloysius

1901

September 19, 1901

1901

Sister Mary Seraphine, known for her beautiful voice, trains students to sing “America” and “Three Cheers for the Red, White, and Blue” for the expected passage of President William McKinley down Webster Street just outside the school grounds

1906

September 19, 1906

The “great” San Francisco earthquake throws statues and windows to the floor, opens a hole in the roof, and damages rooms. The chapel “suffered severely”

1908

September 18, 1908

1908

Name of the institution changes to Convent and College of the Holy Names

1910

March 16, 1910

Secular students admitted to college-level classes for the first time, and the Alumnae Office opens with its new constitution decreeing that the annual meeting should coincide with Founders’ Day (May 10)

1913

September 19, 1913

A visiting Jesuit lectures on the “new” discipline of psychology

1917

March 16, 1917

Holy Names Junior College formally inaugurated; first secular students admitted

1918

September 18, 1918

1918

Students cheer the end of World War I

1921

September 20, 1921

The College adds a third year to the curriculum (for nursing students)

1925

March 16, 1925

1925

The senior college opens

1926

September 20, 1926

First four-year bachelor of arts degree awarded to Mildred Agnes Smith of Portland, Oregon; HNU’s education program is founded

1929

March 16, 1929

First baccalaureate degrees awarded

1929

September 21, 1929

Associated Students publish the first yearbook; classes in the late 1940s will dub it Excalibur

1930

March 16, 1930

The first College of the Holy Names’ teacher candidates are credentialed by the state of California

1932

September 20, 1932

1932

First issue of College of the Holy Names Bulletin, predecessor to HNU Today, is published by students to keep Alumnae Association members “alumnae-minded.” The editors wrote: “It is to be hoped that interesting items will be contributed occasionally by those of the long ago, as well as by students of

1935

September 21, 1935

1935

The seal of the college — with its motto virtus, honor, nobilitas — is in use

1941

September 21, 1941

A class off 66 individuals graduates, including 34 lay and 32 religious

1941-1945

September 21, 1941

1941-1945

During World War II, Homecoming raffle prize winners often receive a war bond

1943

September 21, 1943

Graduate study begins at the College of the Holy Names when courses are offered for the credential in secondary education

1949

March 16, 1949

College of the Holy Names becomes one of the charter members of the the Western Association of Schools and Colleges

1955

March 16, 1956

The co-educational graduate division formally established

1956

March 16, 1956

1956

Groundbreaking is held Feb. 7 for a new campus in the Oakland hills. Sister Imelda Marie, president for the College, turned the first shovel of soil

1957

September 5, 1957

1957

By April, artist Louisa Jenkins of Big Sur, solicited by Sister Mary Luke and assisted by art students, completes the Sophia mural on the southeast wall of Brennan Hall

1957

September 21, 1957

1957

Bidding farewell to the original Lake Merritt site, campus moves to a new permanent home on Mountain Boulevard

1958

September 21, 1958

Fall semester begins on the new campus

1958

September 21, 1958

1958

Under the headline “Campus Living in Modern Style,” a local newspaper trumpets the opening of Durocher Hall in September, noting that it will accommodate 159 students

1958

September 21, 1958

“Energy, zest, and brilliance” is how SF Chronicle’s art critic referred to California mission paintings by Sr. Mary Luke that now line the Founders’ Hall corridor

1959

September 21, 1959

The Associated Collegiate Press award “First Honors” to the 1959 Excalibur yearbook. The cover design by Editor Carol Hubert ’59 earns honors as a Cover of the Month

1960

September 21, 1960

1960

Raskob Learning Institute opens

1961

September 21, 1961

1961

Peter Grothe, special consultant to the Peace Corps credited with drafting the original name and legislation for its creation, presents “a first-hand report on this new aspect of American foreign policy” to the campus

1961

September 21, 1961

1961

Actor Raymond Burr serves as host for an annual scholarship fundraising barbecue held on campus

1963

September 5, 1963

21Margaret Mealey ’33, executive director of the National Council of Catholic Women, receives one of 18 pens President John F. Kennedy uses to sign The Equal Pay Act that made it illegal to pay men and women working in the same place different salaries for similar work

1965

September 21, 1965

Organizers of the annual CoHoNa — short for College of the Holy Names — Ball choose the theme “Royalty and Red Velvet” and extend an invitation to Princess Margaret of England and her husband, Lord Snowden, who “regretfully declined”

1968

September 21, 1968

1968

Campus activists establish THRUST to bring college resources, including literacy expertise, to the community

1968

September 21, 1968

Singer Jack Jones and Count Basie and His Orchestra headline a March 24 Benefit Performance organized by the college and held at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum

1969

September 21, 1969

The Kodály music education program opens

1971

March 6, 1971

1971

16The College name changes to Holy Names College and becomes fully co-educational

1972

September 21, 1972

1972

Painted scenes from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales—then valued at over $25,000—that once graced the lobby of San Francisco’s Canterbury Hotel are donated to the University and displayed in Brennan Hall (today they hang in the Valley Center for the Performing Arts)

1975

March 16, 1975

1975

As part of a popular HNU speakers series, pioneering hospice psychiatrist Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, author of On Death and Dying, speaks on campus (Photo: Ken Ross)

1977

March 6, 1977

16An interdisciplinary, team-taught program in Humanistic Studies becomes the cornerstone of the undergraduate curriculum

1981

September 16, 1981

The Weekend College (WECO) opens, offering working adults classes on Friday nights and Saturdays – the first such program west of the Rockies for working adults

1982

September 22, 1982

Carol Corrigan ’70 appointed to President Ronald Reagan’s Commission on Organized Crime (she was then deputy DA for Alameda County)

1987

September 22, 1987

1987

September 22, 1987

1987

Then-San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein speaks on campus for HNU’s Eighth Annual Symposium for Business Leaders

1987

September 21, 1989

The writing across the curriculum program is adopted to ensure that development in writing is a component of all undergraduate programs

1989

September 21, 1989

College faculty ranked No. 1 in the West by U.S. News and World Report

1994

March 16, 1994

1994

Valley Center for the Performing Arts opens, providing the campus and community with a state-of-the-art facility

1994

March 16, 1994

HNU joins the National College Athletic Association and is a founding member of what is now the California Pacific Conference (CAL PAC)

1994

September 21, 1994

1994

HNU students make first annual visits to: Tutwiler, Mississippi, to build homes with Habitat for Humanity; and to Fort Benning, Georgia, joining protesters who demand the closing of the School of Americas, where Latin American government soldiers train

1996

September 21, 1996

1996

A 12-by-12 portion of the AIDS Memorial Quilt goes on display in the VCPA for World AIDS Day

1997

March 16, 1997

1997

The Sophia Center graduate program in Culture and Creation Spirituality begins

1997

March 16, 1997

Master of Science in Nursing program begins

2000

September 21, 2000

Accelerated business degree program, Excel, is introduced

2004

March 16, 2004

The name of the institution is changed to Holy Names University

2005

September 21, 2005

Following Hurricane Katrina in August, HNU welcomes 25 students displaced from their home institutions in New Orleans; eight choose to remain at HNU

2007

March 16, 2007

2007

HNU celebrates its 50th anniversary in the Oakland Hills

2008

March 16, 2008

HNU celebrates its 140th anniversary in Oakland

2009

September 21, 2009

2009

Brennan Hall transformed into a 15,800 square f00t, full-service Student Center

2012

March 16, 2012

HNU’s application to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Division II is accepted

2012

May 13, 2012

2012

Newscaster Gwen Ifill, of Washington Week and PBS News Hour and the first African-American woman to host a prominent political talk show, delivers the Commencement address

2012

November 6, 2012

HNU introduces the Early Admit Program guaranteeing admission to 9th graders from Oakland and West Contra Costa school districts

2012

December 6, 2012

By the University’s final year as a California Pacific Conference member, 54 HNU Athletics teams had claimed championships and seven had earned Conference All-Sports Awards

2013

November 6, 2013

2013

U.S. News and World Report recognizes HNU as the most diverse university in the nation for 2012-13

2014

November 6, 2014

2014

Author and Olympic sprinter John Carlos, renowned for raising a fist on the medal stand in 1968 in Mexico City, spoke on campus about his book The Sports Moment that Changed the World

2016

November 6, 2016

Holy Names University Athletics is accepted for full membership in the NCAA Division II

2018

November 6, 2018

Holy Names University celebrates its 150th anniversary in Oakland

2018

November 6, 2018

Prompted by a growing teacher shortage, HNU offers 50 percent tuition reductions to new students planning to teach in public schools, thanks to generous funding from the estate of R. H. “Rock” and Jane Gilmore Logan

2018

December 6, 2018

2018

For a third consecutive year, an HNU Athletics team makes an NCAA Division II postseason appearance—men’s golf in 2018 and 2017 and men’s cross country in 2016

2018

December 12, 2018

2018

Pitcher Aiden McIntyre ‘18 makes Hawks history as the first HNU student-athlete drafted by Major League Baseball