The College of Mount Saint Vincent: Leading the Way in Liberal Arts Education

November 27, 2017

Located in the Riverdale area of the Bronx, the College of Mount Saint Vincent boasts a renowned Catholic liberal arts education and a beautiful, diverse campus. As one of the five oldest colleges in New York City, it has quite a legacy to uphold, and it continues to pave the way with strategic partnerships and new technologies that improve the student experience.  

Established in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent—known affectionately as “the Mount”—has a long history of providing excellent education for students from the region, around the country, and the world. The academic programs are designed to inspire critical thinking, build analytical skills, and help students become better verbal and written communicators. Each classroom is centered on the students, and educators attempt to teach material in ways that will inspire students to retain knowledge, discover new ways of thinking, and apply ideas to practical life. Every student from every background is welcome; the institution celebrates its inclusive environment.

The College of Mount Saint Vincent is led by a team, including President Charles L. Flynn, Jr., Ph.D.; five vice presidents; the provost; and other associates. This team meets often to find strategies and initiatives to move the college forward.

The Mount’s unusually beautiful, pastoral campus, just inside the city limits, contributes to its success. Students can enjoy rolling hills and a view of the Hudson River, while a short 12 miles away, midtown Manhattan glitters with endless opportunities. 

“We’re a liberal arts college in the greatest city in the world,” says Dr. Flynn. “Not only are we distinctive in the quality of what we do, but we are also distinctive in our location and campus.”

A Model to be Admired

Even journalist Frank Bruni of New York Times fame mentioned the College of Mount Saint Vincent in his keynote address to the largest meeting of college presidents in the country at the Council of Independent Colleges. While Bruni complimented the beautiful 70-acre campus, he also praised the close community where “all dreams are welcome.”

The College of Mount Saint Vincent continues down the path of inclusivity by extending outreach to refugees. Inspired by the actions of Pope Francis, the College recently created the Gaudium et Spes Refugee Scholarship program offering qualified students full tuition as well as room and board at the college and other Catholic colleges and universities.

“The College of Mount Saint Vincent is the treasure of the Hudson,” says Abed Elkeshk, Treasurer, Executive Vice President, and CFO at the Mount. “In education, tradition, diversity, and equality—it’s the model of what education should be.”

Success Through Strategic Partnerships

The biggest advantage of the College of Mount Saint Vincent’s location is the proximity to world-renowned institutions in every field. The institution has excelled in its nursing program, with practicum placement opportunities at all major hospital systems and health care providers in the region, including New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, Montefiore, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Students in business and finance can intern on Wall Street or with major banking and insurance companies, and students who hope to work in the media can find roles at ABC, Fox, CBS, or on Broadway. Students are also encouraged to experience other cultures and study abroad, possibly in India, Vietnam, the Galápagos Islands, Vienna, or Dublin. The College of Mount Saint Vincent also partners with the New York Law School to sponsor a charter school in the Morris Heights, where education students from the Mount can find student teaching placements.

During a time of economic recession, the College of Mount Saint Vincent experienced steady growth and increased quality of services. The campus is even home to the largest solar panel array in New York City, and the College and maximizes every dollar spent and every resource, purchasing supplies through state and regional consortia.

The College of Mount Saint Vincent has found a partner in Sterling National Bank, balancing their steadfastness and commitment to tradition with Sterling’s progressive financial solutions and cutting-edge banking technology. It all started when Mount Saint Vincent needed a financing solution that would be unique in the college sector. Dr. Flynn says, “Sterling was happy to work with us, understand our rationale, and serve our needs” instead of suggesting a more typical solution. By working with Sterling, Mount Saint Vincent was able to save over two million dollars, helping the college grow to the next level. According to Dr. Flynn, “Sterling’s creativity puts us in a positive position.”

As part of their continued growth plan, the College is expanding graduate and professional studies with high-quality programs, including an M.B.A. program focusing on health care management, international business, and not-for-profit management. The College plans also to further develop other programs in nursing, international development, and teacher education.

Meet Dr. Flynn

Charles L. Flynn, Jr., Ph.D., began his tenure as President of the College of Mount Saint Vincent in 2000. Dr. Flynn is a historian whose works, such as “White Land, Black Labor: Caste and Class in the Late Nineteenth Century Georgia” and “Race, Class, and Politics in Southern History” have received critical recognition and awards. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, he earned a B.A. from Hamilton College and both an M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University. Dr. Flynn is also involved in the community in numerous ways, including serving as a member of both the Executive Committee of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities of the State of New York (CICU) and the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU).