Notre Dame de Namur University

Notre Dame de Namur University is a fully accredited, independent, Catholic, co-educational, university offering undergraduate, graduate, credential and certificate programs providing excellent professional and liberal arts programs in which community engagement and the values of social justice and global peace are integral to the learning experience.

College of Notre Dame was founded in San Jose in 1851 and was chartered as the first college in the state of California authorized to grant the baccalaureate degree to women.

The college moved to Ralston Mansion in Belmont in 1923. At the time the mansion was in a decrepit state with few usable rooms and the Sisters were warned not to buy it. Proving the naysayers wrong, fall classes started on time and eventually the building was fully restored.

Today's Notre Dame de Namur students have education, business and communications majors to prepare for their future jobs through internships in nearby Silicon Valley businesses and schools. A distictive Art Therapy Masters and Phd program is now in place, and the university continues to adapt its programs to current needs. An extension campus has been opened in Tracy, CA. But most importantly, woven throughout each program, class and activity are Notre Dame's values of social justice and global peace.

In keeping with these values, on March 19, 2008 the University dedicated the Dorothy Stang Center for Social Justice and Community Engagement. Sister Dorothy Stang, a 1964 College of Notre Dame graduate, is the inspiration behind the center, which is dedicated to increasing awareness, dialog and activism around issues of social and environmental justice. The center trains NDNU students to develop and carry out community involvement projects now and in their future professional lives.

In 2010, NDNU was one of 114 colleges of the 5800 nationwide to be granted President Obama's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction.

Historical Tidbits 

  • For the first 126 years (1868-1994), Sisters filled the role of college president. Notable in recent history are Sr. Catharine Julie Cunningham (1956-1980) and Sr. Veronica Skillin (1980-1994).
  • From 1923 till the present, 97 Sisters have held full-time teaching and administrative positions at the college with nearly 50 holding part-time positions. Sr. Roseanne Murphy has the distinction of over 50 years of service at the college and only recently retired.. An endowed scholarship was launched in her honor.

Beth Martin, Ph.D., President
Notre Dame de Namur University
1500 Ralston Avenue
Belmont, CA 94002
Telephone: (650) 508-3500

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