Marymount California University in Rancho Palos Verdes is set to permanently close just months after it merged with a Catholic college in Florida. 

MCU’s board of trustees approved the closure in April following years of struggling finances and low enrollment. 

“This is an extremely sad day for Marymount and for the legacy and traditions lost, both for our campus community and the local Palos Verdes area we have called home for more than 50 years,” said university president Brian Marcotte in a statement. 

Last fall, the liberal arts school had confirmed a merger with St. Leo University in Tampa, Florida, that school officials said would offer MCU students a wider range of courses and degree programs. At the time, the university offered an associate degree, nine bachelor’s degrees, and a master of business administration degree. 

The merger, slated for 2023, ultimately fell through after failing to secure the necessary approvals. 

The last classes at MCU will be held over the summer. The school announced that it is helping its nearly 500 students arrange transfers to other colleges for the next school year. 

“This decision was not made lightly,” Marcotte said. “We felt the most compassionate thing to do was to give everyone time to make plans.”

MCU was founded in 1968, serving a diverse population over the course of its history. Nearly three-fourths of the school’s students are people of color, and the school had been named one of the most “ethnically diverse” liberal arts colleges in the U.S. in 2022.