Nazareth Association
Nazareth Association


1924 - 1992

Under the auspices of the Most Reverend Michael James Gallagher, Bishop of Detroit, Nazareth College was chartered in 1924 at Nazareth, Michigan by the Sisters of St. Joseph. At that time the college was granted its Articles of Incorporation by the State of Michigan as a four year liberal arts college. Although the college traces its founding to this date, it is necessary to go back to 1897 to find the college’s roots.
Nazareth Academy opened in 1897 and based on the charter that was issued, it provided for the future extension of the school to the collegiate level. On May 7, 1913, Monsignor O’Brien announced the formation of the O’Brien scholarship and the opening of Nazareth College. In 1914, Margaret Packard became the first recipient of the O’Brien scholarship and Nazareth’s first graduate in 1918 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Sister Mary Celestine Connors served as Acting Dean of the college from 1918 – 1932 when she became the college’s first President, a post she held until 1938.

A seven million dollar campus construction project was begun in the 1950’s. In 1959, groundbreaking began on Albers Hall, named after Bishop Joseph Albers of the Lansing Diocese. Also in 1959, construction began on Connors Hall. Originally named Immaculata Hall, it was renamed in honor of Sister Mary Celestine Connors. In 1962, the Administration building was begun closely followed by Dooley Hall in 1963. Dooley Hall was initially called Madonna Hall. The name change was to honor Dr. Thomas Dooley. He served in Laos during the Vietnam War and later returned to help the people there. He posthumously received a congressional goid medal for his humanitarian work in that country. Work on Dillon Hall and the library was completed in 1967.

In 1971 the decision was made to admit men to the college, thus changing the campus culture forever. By the late 1980's, twenty-three undergraduate majors and two graduate programs were being offered. Nazareth College was also noted for its night and weekend classes designed to meet the needs working adult students. Off-campus programs were located at Glen Oaks Community College in Centerville, Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, and Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek.

The next major addition to the physical campus was the completion of the Athletic Center in 1989, though it was never truly finished. This provided the students with a much needed outlet for physical fitness and activities as well as contributing to the college sponsored varsity sports for men in soccer, basketball and baseball; and for women in volleyball, basketball and softball. It surely also contributed to the victory of the women's volleyball team in 1991 at nationals.

The Nazareth College Board of Trustees announced their decision to close the college in April of 1991. The college closed slowly and gracefully over the course of the next 18 months, allowing many students to finish their degrees. Ownership of the physical college campus reverted back to the Sisters of Saint Joseph. The Sisters wanted to find a purpose for the buildings that fit with their mission of service. Connors, Dooley and Albers Halls have been leased to Kalamazoo County Human Services Department. Borgess Hospital purchased the athletic center and has converted it into Borgess Health and Fitness Center. Unfortunately a purpose for the administration building and the library could not be found and they were torn down in 1995 and 1996, respectfully.

The college seal, that was inlaid in the main floor of the administration building, was saved and is now on display on the grounds of former college campus. It is located on the west side of the main entrance road to Nazareth, close to where the administration building was located.

About the Seal: within the oval Seal, edged with gold, is the shield bearing the Nazareth coat-of-arms. The upper left-hand corner of the shield depicts the Sacred Heart, symbol of love and the insignia of the Sisters of St. Joseph. Immediately below, three fleurs-de-lis signify purity and the unity of both the Trinity and the Holy Family of Nazareth. The peacock emblazoned on the right symbolizes immortality and devotion. The drooping tail represents the virtues of humility and meekness. On the scroll above the shield is the motto of Nazareth: “Deus Scientiae Fons” “God, the Source of Knowledge.” Surmounting the entire Seal is the cross, emblem of strength and sacrifice.

College Song(s) -


Below are two versions of the college song for Nazareth College. The first is from a 1932 yearbook, the second is from a book of college songs. If anyone can provide any information about the adoption of the new song, please contact the Nazareth Association office at 269.342.1191 or by email at



Come let us join in harmony and to our mother sing
A song of exultation high, of faithfulness and fealty 
and love
With sweet pursuit in all our ways she’s ever 
to us true,
Ah, mother mine of soul benign, dear Nazareth 
‘tis you.


Oh Nazareth, oh Nazareth, thy daughters greet thee 
high today,
Oh, Nazareth, dear Nazareth, we hearken to they voice 
and pay thee homage,
Oh Nazareth, oh Nazareth, wherever we may be
Our hearts in humble love will bend, sweet Nazareth, 
to thee.

The paths we tread round Nazareth for us hold 
memories dear,--
The lakes and glades and orchards bright, the festooned dells, 
the crystal waters, crooning, --
With fondest love we garner them to cherish at recall,
And that hallowed plot, God’s Acre fair, the dearest 
spot to all.

How glorious, O Nazareth, the days we pass with thee, --
The morning’s sacred greeting and of eve the gentle blessings 
for repose,--
While toil and relaxation mild add graces manifold,
How sweet to rest in a home so blest,--
like Nazareth of old.

Copied from The T-Square of 1932,
published by the Senior Class of Nazareth College.

Second Version

For the White and the Blue

[Sheet music is below]

Words and Music by Irene Clark

When our hearts in future wanderings
Dwell on mem’ries of the past,
One dear name above all others,
Still its golden light will cast.
One sweet picture deeply printed
Keep its radiance to the last.

Alma Mater, when you lighted,
Wisdom’s lamp from Faith’s clear flame,
And in-to our hands entrusted,
Love and honor’s glorious aim,
Can we fail to keep it burning,
Shedding glory on your name.


For the White and the Blue dear Naz’reth for you
For the school that we all love the best
Other spots may be dear,
Other friends bring us cheer,
Still with you will our hearts ever rest.

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Keeping the Spirit Alive!

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Nazareth Association

 no longer has a

physical office

tions or concerns:

write to

Nazareth Association

P.O. Box 224

Nazareth  MI  49074