Old Photo students in class with Sister

History

1851

The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur came to the San Francisco Bay Area from their mission schools in Oregon and established College of Notre Dame in San Jose, CA.

1868

College of Notre Dame was chartered as the first college in the state of California authorized to grant the baccalaureate degree to women.

Ralston Hall

Ralston Hall Mansion

1922

The Sisters purchased Ralston Hall, the country estate of William Chapman Ralston, San Francisco financier and founder of the Bank of California.

1923

The campus moved from San Jose to Belmont, CA, to the site of Ralston’s estate.

1955

College of Notre Dame offers its first evening classes.

1969

The institution becomes coeducational; three men graduated as part of the class of 1970.

1972

The college expands to include master’s degrees.

ndnu-students-history

1987

College of Notre Dame introduces evening undergraduate programs.

2001

The college established four schools: School of Arts and Humanities, School of Sciences, School of Business and Management, and School of Education and Leadership.

College of Notre Dame changed its name to Notre Dame de Namur University.

2009

The university began offering partnerships in specific degree programs with local community colleges, allowing students to complete an NDNU degree on the community college campus.

Notre Dame de Namur University achieved its status as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, meaning its undergraduate population is at least 25% Hispanic.

2010

The university launched the Gen 1 program for first-generation students.

NDNU graduate

2012

Online degrees are added.

2013

Notre Dame de Namur University establishes the first Ph.D. program in art therapy in the nation. This was NDNU’s first doctoral program.

2015

The university begins offering evening undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business administration at its new location in Tracy, CA.

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