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Mary William Brady Papers

Identifier: UA-03-A05


This collection contains correspondence, reports, publications, lectures, awards, biographical materials, audiovisual materials, and other materials relating to the life and work of Sister Mary William Brady, the fifth President of the College of St. Catherine.

The bulk of the collection is correspondence from her time as president, including letters to and from other school administrators, businesses, priests, sisters, and lay people, with additional correspondence from her time as a faculty member and later as college archivist. The collection also includes subject files relating to her roles as president, faculty, and archivist, as well as biographical and audiovisual materials.


  • 1932 - 2005


Conditions Governing Access

Access to some items may be restricted due to privacy or copyright; consult Archives and Special Collections for details. Written permission from the Archivist is required prior to publication.

No technical restrictions.

Some materials, particularly news articles, are in fragile condition. Photographs may be faded, glued, bent, or flaking. Access may be restricted due to physical conditions or the Archivist may provide copies for use.

About Mary William Brady, CSJ

Sister Mary William Brady served as the fifth president of the College of St. Catherine from 1955 to 1961.

Brady was born Leonora Brady in Fall River, Massachusetts on March 4th, 1906. She attended Bridgewater State Normal School for two years and taught for another two years before moving to Minnesota to study at the College of St. Catherine (CSC). There she earned her bachelor’s degree in English in 1931 before joining the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1933. She taught French at St. Joseph’s Academy from 1935 to 1937, and then joined the CSC faculty in 1937 as a professor of English until 1955. During her tenure she earned a master’s degree in English and American literature from the University of Minnesota in 1941 and a doctorate in American literature from the University of Chicago in 1947.

During her presidency from 1955 to 1961, enrollment at CSC grew to 2,254 students in day, evening, Saturday, and summer classes. As president, Brady oversaw a $10 million dollar building program, which included the renovation of Our Lady of Victory chapel and the construction of a new library in 1960. Brady also secured a $1 million National Defense Loan to build St. Mary Hall, a residence hall.

Under Brady’s direction, CSC saw the creation of an honors program and updates to programs in the humanities. Brady was also a leader in the establishment of the Far East Area Studies curriculum from the late 1950’s to 1960’s, which was funded by the Hill Family Foundation. The courses, which were taught by professors from CSC and other local colleges, were initially offered at the Hill Reference Library and then moved to Twin Cities Public Television.

Other changes at CSC included an agreement with the University of St. Thomas to allow their students to take one class at the other institution, which led to the creation of a joint academic calendar and transportation between campuses. CSC was also awarded two grants from the Ford Foundation in 1955, the second of which was a surprise “accomplishment grant” awarded for CSC’s work in raising faculty salaries.

When her tenure as president ended in 1961, Brady studied for a year at the Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Regina Mundi, in Rome, taught at Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles during the 1962/1963 school year, and rejoined the English faculty at CSC in 1963. She retired from teaching in 1976 and went on to serve as the first college archivist from 1976-1993.

Sister Mary William Brady retired in 1993 and died on January 10th, 2005.


1.4 Cubic Feet (4 boxes plus 4 cassette tapes)

Language of Materials



This collection contains the papers and artifacts of Sister Mary William Brady, fifth president of the College of St. Catherine. Materials include correspondence, reports, publications, biographical materials, awards, artifacts, and audiovisual materials.


This collection is arranged in 5 series. Folders in each series are predominantly arranged alphabetically, with a few arranged chronologically.

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Subject Files

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Subject Files

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  1. Series 3: Personal Materials

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Biographical Materials

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  1. Series 4: Artifacts
  2. Series 5: Audiovisual


Office of the President.

Processing Information

The collection was processed and the finding aid written by Teresa Tjepkes, May 2013.

Guide to Mary William Brady Papers
Teresa Tjepkes, MLIS graduate student
April 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the St. Catherine University Archives Repository

St. Catherine University
Archives and Special Collections
2004 Randolph Avenue
St. Paul MN 55105 U.S.A.