Marist College

Marist College is a private liberal arts college in Poughkeepsie, New York. Founded in 1905, Marist was formed by the Marist Brothers, a Catholic religious institute of Brothers, to prepare brothers for their vocations as educators.[4] In 1929, Marist became accredited by the state to offer a wider range of degrees in the arts and sciences. Today, Marist offers a comprehensive liberal arts education, offering 56 undergraduate and graduate degree programs and 21 certificate programs.

Marist College
MottoOrare et Laborare (Latin)
Motto in English
To Pray and To Work
TypePrivate college, formerly Roman Catholic (Marist Brothers)
Endowment$253 million (2015)[1]
PresidentDr. Dennis J. Murray (Interim)
Academic staff
228 full-time[2]
350 adjuncts[2]
Location, ,
United States
CampusSuburban, total 440 acres (1.8 km2)

180 acres (0.73 km2), Poughkeepsie Campus
60 acres (0.24 km2), Payne Estate
200 acres (0.81 km2), Sprout Creek Farm
Urban 18,000 square foot (1,700 m2), Manhattan Executive Center

Urban 4,800 square meters (52,000 sq ft), Florence, Italy Campus, Lorenzo de' Medici School
ColorsRed and White[3]
AthleticsNCAA Division I, MAAC, FCS Football, Pioneer
NicknameRed Foxes
AffiliationsNAICU, AAC&U
MascotRed Fox

Marist's 180-acre main campus overlooks the Hudson River and is situated along its east banks. Marist has a branch campus in Florence, Italy[5] and offers 50 semester or academic year abroad options.[6]

A member of the NCAA's Division I, Marist sponsors 23 collegiate sports.


Foundation as a training institution for Marist Brothers

The Marist Brothers, a Catholic society founded in France by Saint Marcellin Champagnat in 1816, focused on educational work throughout the world.[7] In 1905, members of the order arrived in the Mid-Hudson Valley to establish the first Marist house of studies in the United States. On the east bank of the Hudson River, just north of Poughkeepsie, they purchased property and a house from Thomas McPherson. They named the building and property "Saint Ann's Hermitage", in memory of Champagnat's Hermitage in France,[8] and began training young men for a life of "study, work, prayer and service" (from which the school motto is derived).

In 1908, the Brothers purchased the Edward Bech estate to enable the Hermitage to expand, increasing the size of their property to 150 acres (0.61 km2).[8]

By 1929, the training center at the Hermitage had evolved into the Marist Normal Training School, offering college-level courses under the auspices of Fordham University.[8] The charter for the Marist Normal Training School was obtained by Brother Leo Brouilette.[9] In 1946, the State of New York granted the institution an official four-year college charter under the name "Marian College", led by Brother Paul Ambrose Fontaine, FMS. Marian College continued the mission of training Marist Brothers as teachers of the congregation's schools.[10]

From 1947 to 1957, the Brothers began working on the weekends, during summers, and in their spare time to build a gymnasium (the original Marian Hall), Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel, Adrian Hall (which was demolished in 2001), and a residence for the student Brothers (the original Fontaine Hall).[8]

The Marist College Library was originally housed on the top floor of Greystone in 1928. In 1945, reference, periodical and work areas took over the second floor as well, and then in 1949, the library also claimed Greystone's lowest level. The library remained in Greystone for 35 years.[8]

In 1958, Marist Brother Linus Richard Foy took charge of the college. At 28, he was the youngest college president in the United States.[11] Two years later, Marian College became Marist College[10] and the mission of the college broadened to include the wider community; lay male students were admitted to pursue degree study. An evening division was also introduced to serve the educational needs of the surrounding communities.

Sheahan Hall, the first residence hall, opened in 1962.[12] It was named for Monsignor J. F. Sheahan (pastor of St. Peter's Church, Poughkeepsie)[12] without whom the Marist Brothers might not have been able to purchase the Bech Estate that now comprises the entire south campus area. It was quickly followed by Leo Hall in 1963 and Champagnat Hall in 1965.[12] They were named for Brother Leo Brouiletter (Provincial of the Marist Brothers, 1921–1930) and Saint Marcellin Champagnat respectively. Donnelly Hall (named for Brother Nilus Donnelly, who supervised construction of the 12 major campus facilities built by the Brothers), a dormitory at the time, was built in 1962 by the brothers themselves.[13]

Women were admitted to the evening division classes in 1966, then to the day classes in 1968.[13] Marist's president, Brother Linus Foy, resigned from the Marist Brothers around this time but continued serving as president. Benoit House and Gregory House were erected in 1968 as a residence for the Marist Brothers living on campus. Benoit House honored the memory of Brother Francis Xavier Benoit who taught at Marist for nineteen years, while serving also as Director of Construction for the Marist Brothers.[14] Gregory House was named in memory of Brother Joseph Gregory Marchessault who was chairman of the Physics Department at Marist at the time of his death in 1969.[14] Benoit and Gregory Houses became African American and Free University centers, respectively, during the sixties and seventies. They functioned as residences before being removed to make way for the Hancock Technology Center in 2009.

In 1969, due to the institution's rapid expansion and laws regulating federal aid to religiously affiliated educational institutions in New York State,[15][16] ownership of the College was transferred from the Marist Brothers to the Marist College Educational Corporation with an independent, predominantly lay board of trustees.[10]

In the 1970s, programs for the educationally disadvantaged were expanded, a computer center was added, graduate programs in business administration and community psychology were instituted, and the James J. McCann Recreation Center was completed.[14]

In 1973, President Foy began a cooperative program with area secondary schools, in which selected high school seniors would take freshman courses and "bridge" into college. In fall 1974, the college expanded its commitment to continuing education by increasing course offerings in the evening division and summer session and in 1984, opened an off-campus extension center in Fishkill; A second extension center was opened in the Orange County town of Goshen in fall 1993.

The burgeoning library, then known as The Spellman Library, was moved from Greystone to Donnelly Hall, in the area now occupied by the Computer Center and DN256, in 1963. Space constraints required moving the library again to Fontaine Hall in 1975.

On February 18, 1975, freshman Shelley Sperling was shot and killed in the dining hall by her ex-boyfriend, Louis Acevedo.[17]

Modern day

In 1979, Dennis J. Murray was selected to be Marist's president.[18] Under his leadership, enrollment more than doubled and the Poughkeepsie campus expanded to its current size of 180 acres (0.73 km2). Every building on campus was renovated or newly constructed and numerous strategic partnerships were formed.

One of the first strategic partnerships was formed with IBM a major employer in the Mid-Hudson Valley. In 1984, Marist received $2.5 million in equipment and almost $2 million in software from IBM to expand academic and administrative uses of computers on campus.[19]

One of the first construction projects was the Foy Townhouses, named after Linus Richard Foy, completed in 1982.[12] Marian Hall was built in 1983 within and around the college's first gymnasium.[14] It incorporates the first building to be constructed through the manual labor of the Brothers (1947). Because it is located adjacent to the spot where the Marian building (the college's principal classroom building) once stood, it carries on the name of that building as well as the original of the four-year college.

To expand student housing, Gartland Commons was built on the north end of the campus in 1985.[20] It was an apartment community, housing approximately 300 students. It was torn down in 2015.

In 1987, the Lowell Thomas Communications Center opened,[21] providing space for communications, math, and computer science studies. The building was built over the site of an outdoor swimming pool from the early days of Marist that was fed by a natural spring.

In 1990, the Margaret M and Charles H Dyson Center opened, providing a home for the School of Management, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and School of Graduate and Continuing Education.[14]

Construction continued in 1994 with a $27 million Student Center, bookstore, dining facilities, art gallery, and a new adjoining dormitory (Midrise Hall)[14] In 1996, Talmadge Court was purchased by the college as an official student residence.

In 1997 the College purchased a private residence, St. Ann's, which part of the area now known as Fern Tor, located on the college's northern boundary. It is named after the original St. Ann's Hermitage which burned to the ground in 1958.[22]

In 1998, across neighboring Route 9, the Lower West Cedar townhouses were built[12] and the former Poughkeepsie Steel Plant was purchased to temporarily house the library while the original Fontaine Hall was razed and a new library constructed in its place. The Poughkeepsie Steel Plant is now the home of the fine arts program and includes a 3,200-square-foot (300 m2) art gallery. The Art Gallery retains the industrial look of the former steel plant with concrete floors and exposed 15-foot ceilings.[23]

Completed in 1999 and built out of fieldstone with a concentrated focus on technology, the 83,000-square-foot (7,700 m2) James A. Cannavino Library is considered to be the jewel and the heart of the main campus. Architecturally, the library unifies the College's historic district of Greystone, St. Peter's, and the Kieran Gatehouse, three 1860s-era buildings that are listed on the New York State and National Register of Historic Places,[14] which are also made of fieldstone. The library is named for James A. Cannavino, a long-time member of the Marist Board of Trustees.[24]

A new Fontaine Hall was completed on the north end of campus in 2000 to replace the original building that was razed in 1998.[25] The building holds four classrooms, a multimedia "black box" theatre and two conference rooms, including the striking Henry Hudson Room – a large conference space with skylights and a beautiful view of the Hudson. It also holds The School of Liberal Arts offices and faculty, the Office of College Advancement, which includes the offices of Public Affairs and Alumni Affairs.

With student enrollment increasing and a lack of housing for upperclassmen, the school purchased additional land across Route 9 for expansion. Upper West Cedar, built in 2000, was constructed in a similar style to the Lower West Cedar Townhouses. The Upper Fulton Townhouses followed in 2004 and then the Lower Fulton Townhouses in 2008.[12] These housing areas are connected by a central walkway that leads to the main campus. Also, the Upper Fulton Townhouses were featured on Good Morning America in 2007 for a report on how some colleges and universities were building nicer dormitories to attract more students.[26] The housing expansion was a sore point with the Poughkeepsie residents, who blamed the college for excessive traffic on the Route 9 corridor. The New York State Department of Transportation and Marist College both blame massively increasing population in the Mid-Hudson Valley, a result of the migration of the residents of nearby New York City starting in late 2001. In May 2007, Marist was granted a variance allowing them to build despite a moratorium on new construction in the area.[27]

Marist's independence was emphasized in 2003, when Marist invited New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to deliver the commencement address for the graduating class, incurring protests aimed at the college for Spitzer's public support of abortion rights. In response to complaints, then president of Marist College, Dr. Dennis Murray, assured the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York that "Marist College is truly independent, and does not identify itself as a Catholic college in any way." Although Marist had become independent in 1969, under Pope John Paul II's decree Ex Corde Ecclesiae, all colleges that claimed to be Catholic prior to 1991 were considered by the church to be Catholic until declared otherwise by a bishop.[28] Subsequently, Cardinal Archbishop of New York Edward Egan stated that Marist "is no longer a Catholic institution" and therefore not under the Church's jurisdiction.[29]

The college's Longview Park was completed in 2007 with a bike/walk path along the Hudson's shore, a fishing pier, the renovation of the historic Cornell boathouse, and better access to scenic vistas, particularly from the gazebo built on a promontory in the center of the park.[30]

In September 2009 Marist was bequeathed $75 million by the industrialist Raymond A. Rich.[31] The donation consisted of the 60-acre (240,000 m2) Col. Oliver Hazard Payne Estate located in the Ulster County town of Esopus plus $10 million. The 42,000 square feet (3,900 m2) mansion was designed by Carrère and Hastings, who also designed the New York Public Library. The donation was used to establish the Raymond A. Rich Leadership Institute which has since been focusing on teaching students the communication, interpersonal, and social skills necessary to lead complex organizations in a global setting.[31] The gift was the twelfth largest donation in America in 2009.[32]

In spring 2011, Marist completed construction of a new technology building, the Hancock Center,[33] which is on the main campus where the Benoit and Gregory (residence houses) used to stand. The 57,000-square-foot (5,300 m2) building is designed in a Gothic architecture style by the firm of Robert A. M. Stern.[34] It comprises three computer labs, Marist Institute for Public Opinion, nine classrooms, six seminar rooms and a trading room for the business school.[35]

During summer 2011, the New York State Department of Transportation completed a pedestrian underpass under US 9 to facilitate safer movement between the sections of campus, which the boulevard separates.[36] Its construction eliminated a pedestrian-only traffic signal. In addition, one entrance near the Lowell Thomas Communication Center was closed to vehicular traffic. All three entrances of the college were renovated and the main gate closed to vehicular traffic.[37]

In the fall of 2013 construction of a new academic building to house the Music Department[38] and renovations to the Lowell Thomas Communications Center, the student center and the dining hall were completed.[39][40]

During the winter of 2015 a new science building was completed on the east campus.[41]

In January 2018 construction of 4 new student housing buildings on the north side of the main campus was completed.[42][43][44][45]

In September 2018 Marist announced that it will partner with Nuvance Health (formerly Health Quest) to create a medical school. Plans call for the construction of a 100,000 square foot (9,300 m2) building on the Vassar Brothers Medical Center campus in the City of Poughkeepsie, which will house school administration and classroom space.[46]

In January 2019 construction of a Digital Arts, and Fashion building on the east side of campus was completed.[47]


The main campus, with an area of 180 acres (0.73 km2), is on the east bank of the Hudson River in the town of Poughkeepsie, New York, on US 9 in the historic Hudson Valley. The part of the main campus east of US 9 is called the east campus. In addition to the main campus Marist owns the Payne Estate which has 60 acres (0.24 km2) on the west bank of the Hudson River in the town of Esopus, in Ulster County, the 200 acres (0.81 km2) Poughkeepsie Sprout Creek Farm,[48] the 18,000 square foot (1,700 m2) Marist Executive Center encompassing the 14th floor of 420 Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan[49] and a branch campus in Florence Italy. Marist's total landholdings and facilities are worth an estimated $805 million.[2] In 2004, Marist announced its Campus Master Plan, which called for the development of a pedestrian-friendly campus heart, with plenty of open and inviting green spaces for interaction. The creation of this campus heart involved the connection of the east and west campuses, the continued improvement of academic and recreational spaces, the addition of green space, and the relocation of parking to the periphery.[50] The master plan is still being implemented, but the progress to date has created what many consider one of the most beautiful campuses in the Northeastern United States.

Residential life

Marist has standard dormitory buildings for all freshman students. There are townhouse and apartment facilities for upperclassmen. Freshman housing consists of four hall-style dormitories: Marian Hall, housing 100 students; Sheahan Hall, housing 140 students; Leo Hall, housing 300 students; and Champagnat Hall, housing over 400 students.[12] Housing is guaranteed for freshmen and sophomores, but not for juniors and seniors. There is enough housing to hold a large portion of the upperclassmen. Townhouses, most of which were built within the last fifteen years, make up all of the housing available for upperclassmen. Additionally, the Upper Fulton townhouses were featured on Good Morning America for a story on how some colleges and universities are constructing nicer student housing to attract more students.[51] In Fulton housing students all have their own room. There are eight students in one townhouse with two bathrooms and a large kitchen and living area.

All underclassmen live on the west side of Route 9, which is the main part of campus. Upperclassmen reside on the east side of Route 9, which is also considered the "wet side" of campus because the consumption of alcohol is allowed for students over the age of 21. While all incoming freshmen are assigned to a dorm, the housing for other classes is determined via a points system. Under the priority points system, students accumulate a certain number of points from clubs, sports, and grade point average. The students with the highest points are allowed to choose housing first, thus filling the nicer housing first. The students with the lower points choose last and are not always guaranteed housing. If students are entering as a group, the students' points are averaged together. According to Marist, this system promotes student activity in clubs and sports and offers an incentive to keep a high GPA.[52]

Branch campus in Florence, Italy

The Lorenzo de' Medici School campus consists of ten buildings totaling 4,800 square meters (52,000 sq ft), in the historic San Lorenzo district of the Florence city center. The main building, situated in Via Faenza, dates back to the 13th century and originated as a convent connected to a medieval church, San Jacopo in Campo Corbolini. This church, now deconsecrated, was founded in 1206 and for its first hundred years belonged to the Knights Templar. The facilities include studio space, lecture classrooms, and design workshops. Marist offers two housing options to its students: dedicated Marist residences and apartments that are located through the city.[53]

Payne Estate

Executive Center

Opened in spring 2019, the Marist Executive Center encompasses the entire 14th floor of 420 Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan.[54] The New York City location, 18,000 square foot (1,700 m2), functions as a central location for academic offerings for graduate, adult, undergraduate, and corporate programs. Additionally, it serves as a featured location for prominent events such as the Marist Fashion Program's ongoing involvement with New York Fashion Week, programs featuring the nationally recognized Marist Poll, seminars and lecture series, receptions, and alumni networking events.[55]

Sprout Creek Farm

In January 2018 Marist assumed control of Sprout Creek Farm, a nonprofit working farm and education center in Dutchess County. The 200-acre farm produces award-winning cheese, raises a variety of farm animals, and offers numerous educational programs focused on agriculture and the environment.[56]

Fishkill extension

The center featured four classrooms with multimedia capabilities, two computer labs, a conference room, student computer workstations, and a lounge area with ports for laptop use. This center was primarily used for adult education.[57] The college closed the extension at the end of 2016.[58]



Marist College offers over 44 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, 12 Masters degrees, and 21 Certificate programs. These programs are divided between the six undergraduate schools and the School of Global and Professional Programs. The undergraduate schools are The School of Communication and the Arts, The School of Computer Science and Mathematics, The School of Liberal Arts, The School of Management, The School of Science and The School of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

All Marist students must take what is known as "core" classes during their four years in order to graduate. There are a number of different 3-credit core classes students can take, usually consisting of writing, history, cultural diversity, and a philosophy class. The requirements are the same for all majors and emphasize Marist's tradition of a liberal arts education while ensuring that students are introduced to a broad range of disciplines.[59] The student-faculty ratio at Marist is 16:1, and the school has over 50 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The average freshman retention rate is 88.8 percent.[60]

Marist is very selective.[61] The incoming 2021 freshman class had 42% of the applicants accepted. The middle 50% of 2017 admitted students scored between 1200 and 1340 on the Math and Evidence Based Reading and Writing sections of the SAT. The middle 50% of accepted students scored between 26 and 30 on the ACT.[62]

Marist is partnered with the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, located in Hyde Park.[63]

IBM partnership

Marist also has had a longstanding partnership with IBM.[64] IBM tests concepts and applications in education, business and communication. The joint study began in 1988 with the installation of a $10 million IBM 3090 mainframe computer on campus. In the fall 2002 semester, the College installed a new zSeries 900 mainframe that provides a level of computing power ordinarily associated with large research universities and Fortune 500 companies. In 2009, Marist and IBM began three research projects involving grid computing, e-learning applications and computing on demand.[19] In December 2011 it was announced that Marist and IBM are also working towards developing a "cloud computing" center to be housed at Marist's Hancock Center.[65] In early 2012 the School of Computer Science and Mathematics installed two IBM z114 mainframes with a zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension (zBX) making Marist the first college or university in the world to have this combination.[66] The project has since been named The IBM SmartCloud solution at Marist College.[67]


University rankings
Forbes[68] 235
Times/WSJ[69] 398
U.S. News & World Report[70] 8
Master's University class
Washington Monthly[71] 295

In the 2017 issue of U.S. News & World Report's "America's best colleges", Marist was listed 9th in the category "Regional Universities (North)".[72] Marist's acceptance rate of 45 percent made it one of the most selective schools in this category.[72] For the fourteenth year in a row, The Princeton Review named Marist as one of the nation's best schools in its publication "The Best 381 Colleges".[73] Kiplinger's Personal Finance has named Marist to its list of best values in private colleges for ten straight years.[74] Marist was listed as one of the top 50 colleges that create futures by The Princeton Review in 2015.[75] The U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs identified Marist as a 'U.S. Student Top Producer', making it one of the U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2015–2016 Fulbright U.S. Students.[76] In 2012, Marist's online MBA was one of only 14 graduate business programs in the nation named to U.S. News & World Report's honor roll.[77] Marist also ranked No. 7 on the 2011–2012 list of top colleges in, a survey based on student reviews of current or former professors.[78] In 2006, Forbes and The Princeton Review named Marist among the 25 "most connected campuses" in the United States.[79][80] The August 2006 edition of Campus Technology magazine named Marist a "Campus Technology Innovator" for the college's "iDentity Quest" podcasting program, which provides iPods to students to record reflections on life in other countries and to share this information with classmates and professors.[81]

Marist College offers students semester and academic year programs in: Africa (Egypt, Morocco, Uganda, Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania), Asia and the Pacific (Australia, China, India, Japan, Thailand and New Zealand), Europe (Czech Republic, England, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Poland, Scotland, and Spain), Latin America (Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba and Ecuador), and the Middle East (Jordan).[82]

In 2006, Marist partnered with Lorenzo de' Medici School to form a branch campus in Florence, Italy. There, students can study for a semester or academic year and choose from over 400 different classes.[83] Additionally, there are Bachelor's Degree programs for those who wish to pursue a four-year degree. Degrees are offered in Art History, Conservation Studies/Restoration, Digital Media, Interior Design, Fashion Design, Studio Art (B.A.) and Studio Art (B.S.).[53]

There are also several short-term programs that consist of a 2–3 week trip to a country that is based around a 3–4-credit class. Examples of previous classes have been Hong Kong, China and Taiwan for the class Technology Management; Ireland for the class Dubliners and the Literature of Ireland; Ghana: Politics, Community Development, and Entrepreneurship.[84]

Among the many interesting programs that Marist students have access is the Hansard Scholars Programme in London, England. Student scholars live in London and study at the London School of Economics while interning at the British Parliament or another politically based organization.[85]

Marist was recognized s among the nation's leading colleges and universities for international education, according to the 2015 Open Doors Report from the Institute of International Education.[86]

The study abroad programs are very popular with students; The 2011 Princeton Review noted Marist as having the #5 Most Popular Study abroad program in the US.[87]


Marist is home to the Marist Institute of Public Opinion (MIPO), a polling organization active in the political arena; the Hudson River Valley Institute (HRVI), the educational arm of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area;[88] and the Center for Applied Research in Collaborative and On-Demand Computing (CCODC). HRVI oversees the publication of the Hudson River Valley Review, a journal of regional studies.[89]

Local involvement

Marist College maintains a partnership with the Roosevelt Institute in New York, New York. Furthermore, the library, under the control of the National Archives and Records Administration, serves as the primary resource for student history majors completing capping papers. Marist also administers the FDR Library web site and has co-sponsored several major conferences in conjunction with the presidential library and the Roosevelt Institute. The FDR Library website, which is based on the latest digital asset management technology, has been recognized by as one of the best Presidential Library sites in the country.[19]

Other major projects include the Hudson River Valley Institute (the educational arm of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area).

Marist College has collaborated with the Rockefeller Archive Center for the development of Project Electron, an open source system for managing and archiving digital records.[90] Marist also participates in the Institute of Ecosystem Studies, and many other projects.

Associate Professor Tom Zurhellen, known as VetZero, is a US Navy Veteran and Commander of VFW Post 170. Zurhellen is marching to raise awareness for Veteran homelessness and Veteran suicide from Portland, Oregon to Poughkeepsie, NY.[91]


Student organizations and events

Marist College has 93 registered clubs and organizations that cover a variety of interests: performing arts, sports, religion, politics, and student government.[97] All of the organizations are managed by the Office of College Activities. A sampling of these are described below.

Campus Ministry

With over 1000 members The Campus Ministry is the largest of the Marist student organizations and is operated by the Marist Brothers who reside on campus. The Ministry sponsors retreats, community service and spirit building programs while maintaining Marist's Judeo-Christian roots and the heritage of the Marist Brothers. The Ministry strives to foster a culture of faith for the college and the surrounding Poughkeepsie community by building and nourishing hospitality, prayer, service and education.[98]

Student government (MCSGA)

The Marist College Student Government Association is made up of three branches: the Executive Board, the Student Senate, and the Student Judicial Board.[99]

The President's Cabinet comprises two parts. The first, Operations, is made up of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Public Affairs Officer, Parliamentarian, and Executive Vice President. These members deal with the operations of the Marist College SGA. The second portion of the President's Cabinet acts as a mirror of the various departments of the college. A Vice President is assigned to liaise with various administrators in their respective departments. There are Vice Presidents of Student Programming, Residential Life, Academic Affairs, Clubs & Organizations, and Athletics. All members of the Cabinet are appointed by the Student Body President at the beginning of his or her term, which is typically the second week of April. The President is elected in a general election every February, and his or her term begins in April and then runs until the following April. This is to allow for senior members to be present during the beginning of an incoming administration to help with the transition.[99]

The Student Senate is elected by the student body and serves as the main legislative body for the MCSGA. They oversee the allocation of the Student Activities budget, which supplies funding to all student organizations and clubs, including the Student Programming Council and the rest of the Student Government. The Student Senate also legislates all policy pertaining to clubs and organizations on campus, including charting new clubs and disbanding defunct ones. They also act as chief representatives of the students with the college administration and faculty in all matters pertaining to students' interests. To this end they create various ad hoc committees to research and facilitate new campus policy and areas of general interest to the students. The senate comprises the four Class Presidents, five Resident Senators, and two Commuter Senators. The Body is led by the Senate Speaker, who is elected by a popular vote of the Senate.[99]

The Judicial Board ensures that all endeavors of the Marist College SGA are compliant with the SGA Constitution and bylaws, as well as Marist College Policy. The Judicial Board is composed of a Chief Justice, appointed by the Student Body President (Chief Justice serves until graduation or resignation) and a group of appointed Resident and Commuter Justices.[99]

Community work

Several Marist student groups are actively involved with several local and national charities. Habitat for Humanity has a very active Marist College Chapter in which students volunteer for local and national fundraising, building and education projects.[100] Other charitable causes sponsored by MCSGA are St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Relay for Life and Fox P.A.W. (People for Animal Welfare), which is dedicated to raising awareness about the mistreatment of animals in the surrounding community in conjunction with the Dutchess ASPCA.[101]

A Marist tradition conducted by Campus Ministry is the Giving Tree Program. At the beginning of each holiday season Christmas trees in campus buildings are decorated with color-coded ornaments designating different gift categories needed by local families. Each ornament is tagged with an item corresponding to its category. Marist community members remove a tag from an ornament then purchase and wrap the present while attaching the corresponding ornament tag. The presents will be brought to Marist's Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel for the students' annual Christmas liturgy. Run by the colleges Campus Ministry, the Giving Tree has sponsored 515 families and donated 16,000 gifts since its inception in 1991, providing presents ranging from winter clothing and household necessities to toys, games and more.[102]

Marist College has also donated computing time on its computers to assist World Community Grid. To date they have donated over 30,000 years of computing time.[103]

Literary organizations

There are three student-run literary organizations: The Circle, Generator Magazine and the Literary Arts Society. The Circle, the school newspaper, has been in publication since 1965, and is published weekly.[104] Generator Magazine features student written poetry and short-stories.[105] The Literary Arts Society produces two students publications; The MOSAIC, a literary magazine printed once a semester, publishes creative works by students as well as the winners of the annual Fiction and Poetry contest. The FoxForum, the newest publication, prints academic papers and opinion pieces written by students; it is published every month.


Theatre at Marist includes the academic Marist Theatre Program, MCCTA and a relationship with River Valley Rep Theatre.[106] The primary performing venue of the theatre program is the Nelly Goletti Theatre which is located in the Murray Student Center.[107]

Marist Theatre Program includes the English Department's Concentration in Theatre, Theatre Minor, mainstage productions, professional workshops, Theatre Alumni Hall of Fame, theatre scholarships, theatre work-study, theatre internships, Pre-College Summer Theatre Institute, Alpha Psi Omega and the Annual Anderson Memorial Playwriting Contest. A host of theatre courses are offered each year, including Acting, Directing and Playwriting.[106]

MCCTA (Marist College Club of Theatre Arts) is the college's student-run theatre organization. MCCTA produces seven productions a year.[106]

River Valley Rep is a professional theatre company in summer residence at Marist.[106] They organize a season of contemporary musicals and comedies. River Valley Rep works in agreement with Actors' Equity Association and has an intern program available to Marist students.[108]


Marist has a student-run TV channel and radio station, MCTV and WMAR. MCTV broadcasts its own shows, including original programming, sporting events and news.[109] WMAR Broadcasts on 88.1 FM 24/7 365 days a year. Each day, 16 of those hours are filled with content provided by Marist students live, in two-hour show formats. There is also a program dedicated to Marist sports teams that broadcasts news and live home and away sporting events.[110] WMAR is currently trying to change to podcasts on YouTube.


The Marist College Red Foxes Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America was established on December 7, 2006, becoming one of only 17 colleges and universities in New York State to earn this recognition.[111] During the spring 2007 semester, the chapter recruited more than 70 members from Marist's 4,000-member student body – making them one of the fastest-growing chapters in the country. Student members of this chapter can become associate members of PRSA, attend PRSA conferences at a reduced rate, affiliate with a vast network of public relations professionals, compete for scholarships and awards, and receive information about the public relations profession. Membership in PRSSA often leads students to become members of PRSA upon graduation and enjoy the full benefits of this professional organization, including job placement and career services.

PRSSA at Marist also promotes national awareness of the high quality of education within the college's School of Communication and the Arts.[111] Opportunities like PRSSA's annual Bateman competition allow students to compete against other chapters at a national level by demonstrating the kinds of analytical skills and judgment required for public relations problem solving. Students are also able to submit and present research papers at annual PRSA conferences. Furthermore, PRSSA provides students with valuable opportunities to assume leadership positions at local, regional, and national levels – an important step in professional development within the public relations field.[111]

In March 2010 The Red Foxes PRSSA Chapter was recognized for establishing an annual leadership forum that is expected to contribute to the College's new Raymond A. Rich Institute for Leadership Development.[112]

Marist Student Booster Club

The Marist Student Booster Club is an organization that is dedicated to supporting all Marist Athletic teams. The Student Booster Club looks to host events throughout the year in conjunction with many different athletic competitions. Some of the club's goals are to host pre-game events, coordinate bus trips to high-profile away games and raise the student attendance for all Marist Athletics events.[113]

Marist Band

The Marist College Band involves approximately 150 students performing in a variety of ten ensembles. The namesake and largest of these ensembles is the Marist Band. The band performs full symphonic concert programs of standard band literature, tours nationally, prepares a half-time show each Fall for performance at home football games, performs at Marist home basketball games and at the MAAC Championship Basketball Tournament which occurs the first weekend in March. Membership in this large ensemble entitles the student to also participate as a member of the Brass Ensemble, Flute Choir, Jazz Foxes, Percussion Ensemble, Wind Symphony, and Woodwind Ensemble. Other ensembles that flourish under the 'umbrella' of the Marist Band include Chamber Strings, Guitar Ensemble, Handbell Choir, and Orchestra.[114]

Marist Singers

The Marist College Singers consists of approximately 180 students, performing in seven ensembles. The Marist Singers main choir performs a variety of classical, popular, Broadway and religious compositions. They have performed for the Pope in Rome and on several occasions with Kenny Rogers. Other performances have been held in places such as Disney World and Puerto Rico. Membership in Marist Singers entitles the students to also participate in Chamber Singers (by audition), Time Check (Marist's male a cappella group), Sirens (Marist's female a cappella group), Gospel Choir, Freshman Women's Choir, and Chapel Choir (which sings at masses).[115]

Silver Needle Fashion Show

The Silver Needle Fashion Show is an event held every spring to showcase the talents of student designers. The show is wholly produced by students and faculty of the Fashion Program. Members of the Fashion Show Production class organize committees dealing with every facet of the show from invitations to choreography and marketing. The shows routinely have attendance of over 2000 people. In 2011 the show was held at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center and marked its 25th anniversary. The evening show was preceded by a cocktail reception and followed by a presentation of awards and scholarships. Scholarships were provided by Liz Claiborne, Cutty Sark, Young Menswear Association, Dominque Pino-Santiago, Mary Abdoo Fund, Alecia Hicks Forster Fund, Dutchess County Home Bureau, Alyssa Martino Scholarship Fund and the Marist College Fashion Program Scholarship Fund.[116]

Fraternities and sororities

Seven fraternal organizations operate through Marist, and primarily focus on philanthropic and community programs. Greek organizations currently operating at Marist College include: Kappa Sigma, Alpha Phi Delta, Theta Delta Chi, Sigma Sigma Sigma, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Alpha Sigma Tau, Kappa Lambda Psi, and Zeta Psi.[117]

Reserve Officers' Training Corps

Marist has an active Army ROTC program on campus. The program is based out of the original St. Ann's Hermitage building. It is a satellite program of Ram battalion in Fordham University. Cadets also come from nearby Vassar College, SUNY New Paltz, Mount Saint Mary College, Orange County Community College and Dutchess Community College.[118]


The Marist department of athletics sponsors 23 NCAA Division I sports. Most of the programs compete in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC); with the only exception being football, a member of the Pioneer Football League (PFL). Separate men's and women's teams are sponsored for basketball, tennis, crew, lacrosse, soccer, cross country, track, swimming and diving. Sponsored women's teams are softball, volleyball, and water polo. While sponsored men's teams are baseball and football. These varsity programs involve more than 550 Marist student-athletes. The crew programs are among the few in the nation that claim on-campus facilities. Marist has been recognized by Sports Illustrated as having one of the top 200 college athletic programs in the U.S.[119] Student athletes at Marist routinely excel in the classroom. In 2014 for the 13th straight year Marist led the MAAC with 235 selections to the conference's Academic Honor Roll.[120] Marist also had 48 student athletes selected to the PFL's Academic Honor Roll.[121]

Club and intramural sports

In addition to Division I programs, the Department of Athletics also offers many other sports on the club and intramural levels. Club sports are very popular and give Marist students the opportunity to compete against other colleges and universities without the strict requirements of the NCAA. Club sports offered at Marist include men's ice hockey, men's and women's rugby, cheerleading, men's volleyball, equestrian, fencing, bowling, skiing, dance and ultimate, among others.[122][123]

Notable alumni

Marist College has approximately 30,000 living alumni worldwide. Notable Marist graduates include Ian O'Connor '86, a New York Times best-selling author and national sports columnist;[124] Bill O'Reilly '71, political commentator and former host of The O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel;[125] Vijay Gupta '05, violinist and social justice advocate; and Rik Smits '88, NBA All-Star and 2nd pick, overall, in the 1988 NBA Draft.[126]


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