Ceremonial signing event celebrates MCU and Saint Leo partnership

Saint Leo President Jeffrey Senese (left) and MCU President Brian Marcotte sign the agreement between the two universities

Saint Leo President Jeffrey Senese (left) and MCU President Brian Marcotte sign the agreement between the two universities. (Hunter Lee, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

Marymount California University celebrated the merger of its 53-year-old private Catholic institution with Saint Leo University during a signing ceremony in Rancho Palos Verdes Monday, Oct 4.

The merger will result in a name change for the Palos Verdes Peninsula school, though “Marymount” will remain in the title.

Leaders from both universities signed the official agreement in late July, albeit remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic. So to create more excitement around the partnership, officials met in front of a crowd of staff, students and teachers on Marymount’s campus to sign the documents in person.

“I’m delighted to have everyone here to witness the signing,” said MCU President Brian Marcotte. “To celebrate and acknowledge what we’ve accomplished over the last eight or nine months.”

With each university offering different degrees, students at both campuses will benefit from access to more career paths, officials said.

“We approached this partnership from a mutual standpoint,” Saint Leo President Jeffrey Senese. “This is not Saint Leo and our 19,000 student population overtaking Marymount University.

“This is about partnership in every sense of the word,” he added.

The merger, though, is still not yet final.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges must OK the signed agreement before the merger can move forward, though a timeline for when that approval might come was not available.

MCU will officially become part of Saint Leo in January 2023, pending all required regulatory and accreditation approvals.

This excerpt was reprinted from Daily Breeze. You can read the full article here. It was written by Hunter Lee, a reporter with the Southern California News Group.