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January
8

From its early days when it was known as Western Maryland College, McDaniel College has been at the heart of the Westminster education community. Although it is a private institution, the college has been open to all students regardless of race, religion, gender or ethnicity since it opened its doors in September of 1837. It was one of the first co-ed colleges in the nation, and the first to open south of the Mason-Dixon line.

History of McDaniel College in the Westminster Maryland Community

The first undergraduate class consisted of 37 students focusing on eight areas of study housed in a single building on top of scenic hillside in Westminster Maryland. Over the years, the campus has grown to include 72 buildings on a sprawling 160-acre campus and a campus in Budapest, Hungary.

In 2002 the college officially changed its name from Western Maryland University – a name chosen for the affiliation of one of its founders to the Western Maryland Railroad and not its location – to McDaniel College in honor of William Roberts McDaniel, Class of 1880, whose commitment to the university as a student, professor, administrator and trustee helped shape the college's mission over the course of 65 years.

The college is committed to extending opportunities to first-generation college students while increasing student diversity and maintaining selective standards. Today more than 1,600 undergraduate students and 1,300 graduate students from 34 states and 11 countries are pursuing their studies at McDaniel College with majors ranging from the Social Sciences to Business to Parks and Recreation.

McDaniel College and the Westminster Maryland Community

  • In 2012 the college was honored by the Maryland-D.C. Campus Compact with awards for civic engagement for the program "Writing for Non-Profit Organizations". Students connect with area nonprofits and assist with social media, special events, grant writing and more.
  • The Common Ground on the Hill has held its annual festival at McDaniel College for the past 20 years. The festival aims to bring together the community of artists, musicians, writers, dancers and scholars and offers classes and performances.
  • McDaniels College has partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster to provide more volunteer opportunities for students and access to college facilities and events for the kids. The campuses of the two organizations were officially joined with a fence and stairway and the college plans to develop more programs in the future to benefit the children.
  • The college has contributed many notable alumni to the Westminster Maryland community and the worldwide community. Some alumni include F. Mason Sones, Jr., inventor of coronary angiography, Stephen Spinelli, co-founder of Jiffy Lube, Greg Street, lead systems designer for the computer game "World of Warcraft", Caleb Wilson O'Connor, composer and lyricist and vice-president of NBC, Alonzo G. Decker, co-founder of Black & Decker, and Suzanne Stettinius, a pentathlete representing the U.S. in the 2012 Olympics.


McDaniel College has been the hub of the Westminster Maryland community for more than 175 years. The school has always believed in offering a liberal course of studies to its students so they could engage with and contribute to the local and global community in a positive and effective way. The Westminster community will continue to benefit from the engagement of McDaniels College's students for years to come.

For more information about McDaniel College and Westminister, Maryland schools, contact Prudential Homesale YWGC Realty.

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