#NC-01170-ED - Notecards
#PR-01170-ED - Open Edition Print
House, the focal-point of Marymount University, was once the home
of Admiral Presley Marion Rixey, surgeon general of the U.S. Navy
and personal physician to presidents William McKinley and Theodore
Roosevelt. Designed by architects Frank Upman and Percy C. Adams,
the building was constructed during 1919 and 1920 to replace an
old farmhouse that had been destroyed by fire about 1907. The
Rixeys lived in a cottage on the property during planning and
the death of Dr. Rixey on June 17, 1928, and his wife Earlena
a short time later, the property was sold to Mrs. Ida K. Polen
who used Rixey as a tea house. In 1948, the Rixey
estate was purchased by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary
at the request of Bishop Peter L. Ireton of Richmond for the purpose
of building a womans school. Originating in Béziers,
France, educational institutions bearing the name Marymount
are located in California, New York, Virginia, England, France,
Italy and Mexico. The first American Marymount was
founded in 1907 at Tarrytown, New York.
University in Arlington, Virginia was founded as a two-year womans
college in 1950. Thirteen freshmen entered the first year, with
nine of them making up the first graduating class of 1952. The
whole campus community of nuns and college freshmen lived in the
mansion. In 1960 the institution was incorporated as Marymount
College of Virginia. The first male students were admitted into
the schools nursing program in 1972. By 1986 the institution
became coeducational at all levels and was renamed Marymount University.
The University is an independent institution related to the Roman
Catholic Church and governed by its own Board of Trustees.
© 1996 Dianne Harrah, Drawing © 1996 Bill Harrah.