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Marylhurst Celebrates 120 Years

Excerpt from an article by Jillian Daley in The Lake Oswego Review, August 1, 2013.

Many notable moments comprise Marylhurst University's history, including moving near Lake Oswego, earning accreditation and becoming a co-educational institution.

This Monday, the school marked another such milestone: its 120th year. That's when the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary received a state charter to grant degrees at their school in downtown Portland. It wasn't until 1930 that they relocated what would be called Marylhurst University to the current site between Lake Oswego and West Linn.

There is a social media campaign marking Marylhurst's major tri-digit birthday, and alumni reunion events in the fall will delve into yesteryear, but Marylhurst staff have never stopped paying homage to the school's olden days — Sister Carole Strawn makes sure of that.

Strawn is the school's unofficial historian and a project manager in the marketing and communications department at Marylhurst, employed with the school since 1989. She also earned a bachelor's at Marylhurst in 1969.

"When I went here, classes were held during the day, and students were 18 to 22, the traditional student," Strawn said.

Now evening and online classes are available at the Catholic university, accredited in 1931. The average undergraduate student is 36 years old and the average graduate student is 38 — Strawn received her Master of Divinity at Marylhurst last year.

The school has grown in other ways, becoming co-ed in 1974. Formerly Marylhurst College, it became Clackamas County's first university in 1998.

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