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Saint Martin’s is a Roman Catholic, Benedictine, coeducational university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees at its main campus near Olympia as well as its extensions at Fort Lewis Army Post, McChord Air Force Base and Olympic College.

Saint Martin’s was established in 1895 as a school for boys by monks of the 1,500-year-old Roman Catholic Order of Saint Benedict. They followed the order’s age-old tradition in providing an education of “mind, heart and character.”

While Saint Martin’s at first offered what would now be considered high school to junior college curriculum, it evolved over the years into a full-fledged university in the modern sense of the word. It has been a continuously accredited university since 1937.

The school's name was officially changed to Saint Martin’s University in August 2005, to more accurately reflect an institution that offers both undergraduate and graduate programs.

For 110 years, monks of Saint Martin’s Abbey, which shares the school's campus, and their lay colleagues have provided an exceptional education grounded in the liberal arts. The University offers 21 baccalaureate and six graduate degree programs, among them highly regarded programs in education, engineering and business administration.

The Saint Martin's community is shaped by its Benedictine heritage, characterized by a commitment to intellectual and spiritual growth, hospitality, service and creativity.

Physically, the Saint Martin’s campus occupies some 300 acres between the City of Lacey’s Pacific Avenue and Martin Way. The University recently renovated the Baran Residence Hall and completed construction on a recreation center named for Brian Charneski, vice-chair of the board of trustees.

Among the university’s buildings are:

  • Old Main, the University’s primary classroom and administrative building.
  • Hal and Inge Marcus Pavilion, which is used for sports events, as well as large conferences, graduations and community events and festivals.
  • Norman Worthington Conference Center, adjoining the Hal and Inge Marcus Pavilion, which is the site for numerous campus and community activities and meetings.
  • O’Grady Library, an outstanding new facility designed by renowned architect Michael Graves.
  • Saint Martin’s Abbey and Church, the campus’ spiritual center.

Saint Martin’s University online campus tour

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1895 Saint Martin’s College founded
1913 First wing of Old Main completed
1922 KGY Radio begins broadcasting on campus
1923 Old Main construction finished
1937 Saint Martin’s accredited
1940 First baccalaureate degrees offered
1965 Coed enrollment begins
1972 Military extension programs started
1980 Graduate programs begin
1984 David R. Spangler, Ph.D., appointed as College president
1988 Institute of Pacific Rim Studies started
1992 South Campus renovation completed
1993 Father Neal Roth, O.S.B elected abbot
1995 100th anniversary celebrated
1996 College joins NCAA, Division II
1997 Old Main and other campus upgrades finished
1998 Kreielsheimer Hall performing arts education building opened
2001 O'Grady Library opens
2002 Most recent reaccreditation of college and education programs
2005 Douglas M. Astolfi, Ph.D., appointed as College president
2005 Saint Martin's College becomes Saint Martin's University
2009 Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D. appointed as University president

Facts and Figures

Tuition $27,300
Room and Board starting from $9,201
Financial aid
Students receiving financial aid 95%
Average first year financial aid package $25,235
University dollars devoted to financial aid $7.5 million
Total financial aid dollars $14.6 million

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