PRESIDENT of Cabrini College (1957-1967)
Mother Ursula Infante
The MSC Order purchased Woodcrest estate property in December of 1953 to house their orphanage. Villa Cabrini was its given name at the time of purchase. In 1957, Mother Ursula founded Cabrini College on the same site. For one year, both Cabrinian institutions lived on the same campus and both participated in the blessing of Grace Hall.
The class of1962 lauded the founder and first president in their yearbook: "With Reverend Mother Ursula we associate the love and concern of youth, without which Cabrini College may never have flourished. Mother has unselfishly and perseveringly guided our four years in Cabrini College with her attributes as administrator and personal counselor. The class of 1962 humbly and respectfully expresses their gratitude."
In 1965, the Middle States Association gave Cabrini College full accreditation with the statement, "The administrators are dedicated, warm, sincere and competent persons with whom the Evaluation Committee was very favorably impressed. The president obviously has the esteem and confidence of the faculty and other administrative officers. Loyalty and devotion are everywhere present."
Mother liked "her girls" to wear their college blazers, as did Charlotte La Spina (R in photograph) and the Madrigal singing group who had performed at the student teacher social (1964).
The mansion provided all the facilities of the college for the first year. It housed all dorm rooms, classrooms, the dining room, library, and chapel. The second year, 1958, the stable of the estate was converted into a residence for sophomores on the second floor, and classrooms and a laboratory on the first floor.
Sacred Heart Hall was built the next year and was dedicated in 1960. It furnished the college with a new library, gymnasium-auditorium, cafeteria, classrooms, laboratories, and lounges.
1961saw the building of Bruckmann Memorial Chapel. Members of the faculty and a number of parents donated the funds for the stained glass windows and pews.
In1962, an extension was built onto the general chemistry laboratory, while greatly improving the existing structure. The new Bruckmann Laboratory was furnished with equipment provided by a parent.
Holy Spirit Library was built and opened to students in 1965.
To accommodate the ever-growing number of resident students, during the summer of 1967, the mansion was converted into a full residence hall and Counsel Hall was built in sixty days.
Mother Ursula left briefly for Milan, Italy, after her 10 years as president. She wrote in prospect, "I see the promise and hope of new buildings, varied curricula, a faculty and a student body second to none - eager minds in search of truth, young hearts looking for beauty, staunch souls seeking goodness, and all of this to be found on the campus of Cabrini College."
Bogia, L. (1992, Spring). From riches to orphans. Comment, p. 12.
Infante, U. (1964). President's report; the first seven years, 1957-1964.
Infante, U. (1967). History of Cabrini College: First ten years, 1957 - 1967.
Infante, U. (1992, Spring). In the beginning. Comment , p. 3.
Mother Ursula, M.S.C., president. (1962). Woodcrest Yearbook, p. 8.
Student teacher social. (1964). Woodcrest Yearbook, p. 49.
Last revision: April 27, 2007