Our History

Where Seton Hill Has Been. And Where We're Headed.

In the summer of 1882, Mother Aloysia Lowe, Mother Superior of the Pennsylvania Sisters of Charity, purchased the land in Greensburg, Pa. where Seton Hill University's main hilltop campus now stands. She named the site, which consisted primarily of farmland, Seton Hill, in honor of Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton, the founder of the Sisters of Charity and the first American-born saint.

After creating the Saint Joseph Academy for Girls in 1883 (which operated until 1947), the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill founded what came to be known as the Seton Hill Schools (which included the Seton Hill Conservatory of Music and Seton Hill Conservatory of Art) in 1885. In 1914, the Sisters opened the doors to Seton Hill Junior College. Four years later, in 1918, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania approved Seton Hill's charter for a four-year institution of higher learning and Seton Hill College was born.

Over the next several decades, Seton Hill evolved and grew with the times, adding programs and expanding its reach. Seton Hill's physical campus includes the original 200 hilltop acres in addition to a downtown cultural district campus and a nearby Center for Orthodontics. The university's digital presence, easily accessed by the mobile technology Seton Hill provides all of its students and faculty, allows unique learning experiences in every discipline.

What started as a small college for local young women is now a coeducational university with more than 2,000 students from across the U.S. and around the world, offering 80 + undergraduate and twelve graduate degree programs, as well as an adult degree program and advanced certifications in a variety of disciplines.

Throughout its history, Seton Hill has educated students to think and act critically, creatively, and ethically as productive members of society, committed to transforming the world. A Catholic university, Seton Hill embraces students of all faiths, and pursues its mission in the tradition of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, who promised her own students: "I would wish to fit you for that world in which you are destined to live."

Want to learn more about Seton Hill's history? Click here!