Mount Saint Charles College

History

History

Carroll College was founded in 1909 by John Patrick Carroll, second Bishop of the Diocese of Helena, Montana.  

Originally named Mount St. Charles College in honor of St. Charles Borromeo, it served as an all-men's liberal arts college with an emphasis on preparing its students for careers in the priesthood, law, medicine, teaching and engineering.  The Diocese of Helena, under Bishop John Patrick Carroll, opened Mount Saint Charles College to male students in September 1910; an all-male Diocesan high school opened concurrently.  

In 1925 the Sisters of St. Dominic established a group of nuns in the college, who would remain there for the next 36 years.

In 1931 the college football team, then called the “hilltoppers”, won the state championship by defeating its six opponents by a combined score of 193 to 0.

In 1932 the college was renamed Carroll College in honor of its founder.

The 1935 Helena earthquake damaged several buildings on campus, including St. Charles Hall and South Hall.  By 1937, rocks that had fallen from the two buildings during the temblors were used to construct Carroll College's Neuman Observatory--the oldest astronomical observatory in the state of Montana.

During World War II, Carroll College was one of 131 colleges and universities nationwide that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program, which offered students a path to a Navy commission. 

In 1946, with the introduction of its nursing program, Carroll College became a coeducational institution.

In 1977, ground was broken for Carroll College’s Library.  Work on the library was completed in 1979.  Seven years later, in 1986, the facility was officially named the Jack and Sallie Corrette Library in honor of major contributors to the college and to the library project itself.

The 1989 Helena Train Wreck caused significant damage to Carroll, notably to Guadelupe Hall, the women's dormitory.

Now in its eleventh decade, Carroll College continues to earn its regional and national reputation as a leading institution of higher learning, built on principles of academic excellence and volunteer service.

See Carroll history professor Dr. Robert R. Swartout Jr.'s book, Bold Minds & Blessed Hands The First Century of Montana's Carroll College.