CONGRATULATIONS to the College of Notre Dame of Maryland on its 100th anniversary. It enters its second century a peppy and confident representative of a dwindling species, the 84 remaining women's colleges in the country. It does so expansive in its role, sure of its self.
The small residential Catholic college for women was a vanishing breed when Notre Dame and its constituents looked its future in the face a quarter-century ago. But thanks to the resolve of its leaders, the loyalty of donors and clear purpose of students, Notre Dame has retained and expanded its mission.
Cooperation with Loyola College in their joint library, innovation of the popular Weekend College at undergraduate and graduate levels for women and men, and steely commitment to the educational benefits of a Catholic women's institution for undergraduates have brought Notre Dame out of any cloistered seclusion very much into the world. The benefit is the world's (and certainly Maryland's) as much as it is Notre Dame's.
Under the presidency of Sister Rosemarie Nassif the past three years, Notre Dame has been building on the resurgence guided for 21 years by Sister Kathleen Feeley, who is now working for the Baltimore City schools to rescue special education.
Other institutions prove their worth in their own eyes by building empires. The College of Notre Dame of Maryland is not likely to grow that much. It proves its value in the educational fulfillment of women and, in the Weekend College, of men as well. Its spiritually nurturing and intellectually challenging environment is part of the overall strength of Baltimore.