Marymount California University (MCU) in Rancho Palos Verdes made its merger with St. Leo University in Tampa, Florida official at a signing ceremony Oct. 4. 

Under the agreement, the cross country merger will be complete in 2023, when MCU officially becomes part of St. Leo’s in 2023.

University officials said the agreement will give California students the chance to expand their options in the classroom.

“Working with St. Leo will allow us to deliver on our mission in even greater ways here in California,” said MCU president Brian Marcotte, when the schools first announced plans for the merger this summer.

“Combining with another university [is] a way of infusing more opportunities for our students into our systems,” Marcotte told Angelus. The merger is “bringing us new opportunities, and doing it in a very time efficient way.” 

A drone view of Marymount California University. (Courtesy Marymount California University)

Founded in 1889 by Benedictine monks, Saint Leo today offers 59 undergraduate and graduate-level degree programs to more than 18,200 students each year. With the merger, MCU students will have access to all of these courses and degree options. 

This merger has been months in the making — the two schools signed an initial agreement July 28. As part of the process, the merger went through approvals from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges before this month’s signing. 

Marcotte said the merger will allow local Catholic high school students to “continue their education in a way that they’re familiar with.”