Notre Dame of Maryland University (formerly College of Notre Dame of Maryland), which opened in 1895, is a Catholic liberal arts institution located in Baltimore. In 1899, Notre Dame became the first U.S. Catholic women's college to award a four-year bachelor's degree. It is also the first women's college to start a pharmacy school. Notre Dame operates a Weekend College and an Accelerated College, both co-ed programs for part-time students.
The school also opened the English Language Institute in 1983, which offers English as a second language and American culture classes. In addition to the other programs, Notre Dame has the Renaissance Institute, a noncredit program for people 50 years old or older. Annual events include 100 Nights, a day of reflection for seniors, and Lantern Chain, where sophomores carry lanterns and sing to graduating seniors. Students can earn a bachelor's degree in 27 majors; the school also started offering master's degree programs in 1984.
The Division III Notre Dame Gators are in the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference, and the Gators compete in basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis and volleyball. Notre Dame's 40-plus clubs include the Columns newspaper, honor societies, cultural organizations and performing arts groups. Notable Notre Dame alumnae include Elizabeth Hoisington , the first female brigadier general in the Army, and Sherry Davis, the first full-time female public address announcer for major league baseball.