History of Donnelly College


  • Donnelly College was founded by Bishop George Donnelly (Bishop of Kansas City, Kansas) and Sister Jerome Keeler (Benedictine Sisters of Atchison, Kansas)
  • The College made available a Catholic education in the urban core, where many immigrants settled — initially offering only associate degrees
  • Bishop Donnelly provided a building at 12th Street and Sandusky Avenue for classrooms
  • The Benedictine Sisters provided the faculty
  • 250 students enrolled the first academic year


  • English as a Second Language (ESL) program established


  • Donnelly College moved into the old Providence Hospital on 18th Street and Tauromee Avenue


  • Enrollment increased to almost 1,000 with the accelerated health science program (which ended in 1998)


  • Donnelly is federally designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution and Minority Serving Institution


  • Donnelly opens second academic building (Marian Hall) and its first residence hall


  • Donnelly opens its second residence hall


  • Faculty consists mainly of laymen and laywomen
  • Donnelly now offers two bachelor's degrees: Organizational Leadership and Information Systems 
  • The College serves more than 1,377 students with a student population of 37% Hispanic, 30% Black, 12% White, 9% Asian, 6% Other, 5% Two or more races, 1% Native American
  • View more current information about the College in Quick Facts