History & Mission

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  • In 1843, the Sisters of Mercy arrived in Pittsburgh from Carlow, Ireland, with a mission to serve the poor, the sick, and the uneducated. On September 24, 1929, after establishing numerous schools, an orphanage, and the Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh, the sisters founded Carlow University under the name of Mount Mercy College. In 1969, Mount Mercy College was renamed Carlow College.

    In 2004, in recognition of the outstanding faculty and commitment to innovative, diverse, and competitive programs on both the undergraduate and graduate level, Carlow was granted university status.

    Today, Carlow University continues to fulfill the sisters’ mission through a learner-centric teaching environment nurturing the individual for a lifetime of learning.

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    Mission and Core Values 

    Carlow University, a Catholic, women-centered, liberal arts institution embodying the heritage and values of the Sisters of Mercy, engages its diverse community in a process of life-long learning, scholarship, and research. 
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  • Catherine McCauley Sister of Mercy
    The Sisters of Mercy 

    The Sisters of Mercy were founded in 1831 in Dublin, Ireland, by Catherine McAuley, a woman who sought, through her service to the poor, the sick and the uneducated, to reveal the mercy of God in our world.
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  • Carlow College Ireland Photo by Nathan Warren
    Carlow's Irish Connection

    Carlow University is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, and it is named after Carlow, Ireland. Carlow University has a unique, rich, and interesting connection to Ireland through through the founding Sisters of Mercy.
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