Carlow University

Carlow University
Former names
Mount Mercy College (1929–1969)
Carlow College (1969–2004)
MottoAd Superna, non Superba
Motto in English
To the Eternal, not the Perishable
TypePrivate university
EstablishedSeptember 24, 1929 by the Sisters of Mercy
Religious affiliation
Catholic (Sisters of Mercy)
Academic affiliations
Conference for Mercy Higher Education
PresidentKathy Humphrey
ProvostSibdas Ghosh
Location, ,
United States

40°26′23″N 79°57′51″W / 40.4397°N 79.9641°W / 40.4397; -79.9641
CampusUrban, 14 acres (5.7 ha)
ChaplainMark Thomas
ColorsPurple & Gold
Sporting affiliations
NAIARiver States
USCAA – Independent

Carlow University is a private Catholic university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1929 by the Sisters of Mercy. Carlow's thirteen athletic teams are the Celtics, a reflection of the university's Irish heritage and roots. In 2017–2018, the student body was 84% women and 16% men.


The Sisters of Mercy arrived in Pittsburgh on December 21, 1843. They traveled from County Carlow, Ireland to the Oakland area of Pittsburgh, where they purchased 13 acres (5.3 ha) within the Diocese of Pittsburgh. This land became the location of a new motherhouse and Our Lady of Mercy Academy. Some reports state that the site of the current campus was the location of a Civil War fortification named Fort Zug.

In 1929, the Sisters of Mercy opened Mount Mercy College. The first Commencement ceremony for Mount Mercy College was conducted in 1933. The college's seal and motto was also established that year. Aquinas Hall was built to house the library and administrative offices in 1936. Five years later, Trinity Hall opened as the science center for the college. In 1945, men were admitted to the school under the G.I. Bill. One of these men was the late Peter F. Flaherty, who went on to become a two-term Mayor of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County Commissioner.

In 1948, Antonian Hall opened with office, classroom, and theater space. Thirteen years later, in 1961, Frances Warde Hall dormitory was opened. Prior to this, students lived in houses or halls in the surrounding area. Mount Mercy College's name was changed to Carlow College in 1969. A year later, Curran Hall was renovated to house the nursing school. In 1975, Carlow's mission statement was drafted. In 1978, Carlow College went where few institutions of higher education had gone - accelerated classes especially designed for working adults.[citation needed]

In 2004, Carlow College officially became Carlow University and a year later appointed its first lay president, Dr. Mary Hines. In 2011, Carlow University was selected for the U.S. President's Community Service Honor Roll.

In the fall of 1983, Carlow began offering coed housing for men on-campus by housing a single male student. In Fall 2012, Carlow began competition in men's and women's cross country, the first male sport offered at Carlow. Carlow announced on March 17, 2014 (St. Patrick's Day), that it would field a men's basketball team for the 2014–2015 season.

In September 2015, Carlow announced it would add men's soccer and men's and women's golf teams beginning in Fall 2016. In December 2016, Carlow announced that it would add men's and women's track and field teams beginning spring 2018.


Academic rankings
U.S. News & World Report113
Master's university
Washington Monthly234


Carlow University is organized into two colleges:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Health and Wellness


Carlow University consists of three campuses, Oakland, Cranberry, and Greensburg. The main campus, the Oakland campus, is a 13-acre lot and consists of 14 buildings. Among them are Frances Warde Hall, Carlow's first dormitory. Frances Warde was one of the founding Sisters of Mercy in Carlow, Ireland. Palumbo Hall of Science and Technology is the newest Carlow academic building.

Carlow University Aquinas Hall main entrance

Aquinas Hall is home to English, Spanish, Theology, History, Philosophy, and Women's Studies. Antonian Hall has a theater. St. Joseph's Hall has a gymnasium, dance studio, and weight room.

Carlow University Center for Leadership and Management main entrance

The Sisters of Mercy Convent is a Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation Historic Landmark and motherhouse for nearly 150 Sisters of Mercy.

Carlow University St Agnes 2015

St. Agnes Church, dedicated in 1917, was designed by "nationally influential church-architect," John T. Comes. Masses are celebrated in the center on special occasions, such as the opening of a new academic year.

Carlow University Campus aerial view


The Carlow athletic teams are called the Celtics. The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the River States Conference (RSC; formerly known as the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) until after the 2015–16 school year) since the 2012–13 academic year. They are also a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA). The Celtics previously competed as a member of the American Mideast Conference from 2001–02 to 2011–12 (when the conference dissolved).

Carlow competes in 17 intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, track & field (indoor and outdoor) and volleyball; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field (indoor and outdoor) and volleyball; and co-ed sports include cheerleading.

Move to NCAA Division III

In July 2022, Carlow was invited to join the Division III ranks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and as a provisional member of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC), starting in the 2023–24 academic year.


After a brief hiatus in intercollegiate competition, the Carlow women's basketball program sprung back into action in 1990. The team competes in at least 26 competitions per season as a member of the American Mideast Conference.

The Carlow Celtics play their home games in Oakland Catholic High School. In addition, the Celtics have been recognized for academic success and have been ranked the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) for academic success, placing in the NAIA's top 20 on numerous occasions while also earning individual honors as NAIA Scholar-Athletes. Men's basketball began in Fall 2014.


Carlow University women's soccer team started competition in 1999–2000 and made a playoff appearance in 2000–2001. The team competes at Founders Field and at least 18 contests per season as a member of the American Mideast Conference. The 2016 season was the first for men's soccer.


Carlow University women's softball began as an intercollegiate sport at Carlow in 1997. The team entered its first year of American Mideast Conference competition in 2001. Although the team conditions year round, Carlow's official spring training begins in March when the team typically travels south to locations in Florida or South Carolina. Home games are played at Fairhaven Park or nearby Mazeroski Field. The team competes in at least 17 competitions per season as a member of the American Mideast Conference.


Intercollegiate women's tennis competition has a long-standing history at Carlow. The program started in the 1980s which makes it Carlow's second oldest athletic program. The team competes in at least 10 competitions per season as a member of the American Mideast Conference. The tennis team play their home matches on the courts at Washington Landing.

Track & Field

Carlow fielded its first men's and women's track and field teams in the Spring of 2018.


Carlow University women's volleyball is the longest standing of Carlow's athletic programs. The team competes in at least 24 contest dates per season as a member of the American Mideast Conference. The Carlow Celtics volleyball team play their home games in St. Joseph Hall.

Notable alumni

Notable faculty

See also

This page was last updated at 2024-01-06 12:18 UTC. Update now. View original page.

All our content comes from Wikipedia and under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.


If mathematical, chemical, physical and other formulas are not displayed correctly on this page, please useFirefox or Safari