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Holy Names University is a private Roman Catholic university located in Oakland , California. It was founded and remains affiliated with the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.


Originally established as the Convent of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in 1868 by six members of the Sisters of the Holy Names, a teaching order from Quebec , Canada. They were invited to Oakland by Father Michael King, pastor of St Mary ‘s Church, to set up a school for girls and to provide the means to train future teachers.

The original site of the convent was on the shores of Merritt Lake. By 1908, the convent began offering classes at the post-secondary level and was renamed the College of the Holy Names. In 1949, the university became one of the charter members of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The Co-education Graduate Division was formally established in 1955. Shortly thereafter, in 1957, Henry J. Kaiser bought the original site, where he built the Kaiser Building, and the school moved to its present location in the Oakland Hills. In 1971, Holy Names became an undergraduate coeducational college and was renamed Holy Names College.The Julia Morgan School for Girls held classes for its first two years, from 1999 through 2001, at Holy Names.[4] The school took its present name on May 10, 2004 and became known as the “newest Catholic university in California.”

Mission Statement

Holy Names University, founded by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM), is rooted in Catholic intellectual and spiritual traditions. A rigorous and inclusive intellectual community, HNU is committed to continuous improvement and provides professional and liberal arts undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The University empowers a diverse student body to think critically and imaginatively, to understand and employ the various modes of knowledge, to communicate clearly and persuasively, to pursue leadership opportunities, and to promote the common good.

At HNU, their close-knit community encourages critical thinking. It produces students and professors who look inward for answers and inspiration and see, beyond their classes and textbooks, that they actively engage with each other and the world — always to improve it. HNU education will encourage you to pursue your interests and prepare you for meaningful work.

The School of Arts and Sciences draws its inspiration from the commitment of the Sisters of the Holy Names to social justice and lifelong learning. Teaching from an intercultural and interdisciplinary perspective, they are preparing global citizens to think critically, evaluate data and apply their knowledge to challenges in today’s job market.

The School of Business and Applied Social Sciences is committed to providing quality-driven education, cutting-edge scholarships and services that train compassionate, ethical and analytical thinkers for work and engagement in their local communities and around the world.

The mission of the School of Nursing at Holy Names University is to prepare nursing graduates to be caring professionals, to have strong clinical reasoning skills, to advocate for health and social justice, to communicate effectively with clients of diverse cultures and to coordinate and design quality, safe nursing care in complex health settings.

By Geraoma - Own work, Public Domain,

This amazing university near Concord, California is located near some other must-see places of higher-education:

  • California State University, East Bay Hayward, CA
  • Diablo Valley College 
  • Contra Costa College San Pablo, CA
  • Saint Mary’s College of California 
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Laney College Oakland
  • Los Medanos College
  • California College of the Arts Oakland, CA 
  • Lincoln University

All of these wonderful landmarks are located just a short distance from our location at 1091 Shary Circle in Concord, California! Stop by for a visit anytime!