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Iona College: An Overview

Celtic cross outside of East dorm rooms. Students meet in the lobby of the North Ave. residence hall.

Iona College takes its name from the island of Iona located in the Inner Hebrides just off the west coast of Scotland. It was on this tiny island, some 1,400 years ago, that the Irish monk, Saint Columba, established an abbey from which missionaries went forth to teach and evangelize. The island of Iona became the center for faith and learning, which contributed significantly to the religious and cultural development of Western Europe.

It was in the spirit of this heritage that the Catholic order of educators, the Congregation of Christian Brothers, founded Iona College in 1940 with nine Christian Brothers and six lay faculty greeting the first class. Their goal was to create new paths to economic and social advancement for the sons of New York’s working class. As did the monks of St. Columba’s time, Iona’s founders believed in the power of education to move the world.

The Iona of today is inspired by the legacy of Blessed Edmund Rice and the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers, and embraces the tradition of American Catholic Higher Education. As a midsized Catholic college, Iona is known for its liberal arts core curriculum, commitment to service, and outstanding business and pre-professional programs. Iona has a Carnegie Classification of “Master’s L,” which represents colleges and universities offering larger master’s programs. Students enroll at Iona from 32 states and 43 countries of origin. Iona is represented around the globe by more than 45,000 alumni.

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