- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 16, 2015

SWAMPSCOTT, Mass. (AP) - Marian Court College, a small Roman Catholic school that just awarded its first four-year degrees this spring, will close at the end of the month due to what it calls insurmountable financial challenges, school officials said.

The Swampscott school’s trustees reached the decision on Monday.

“As a tuition-dependent educational institution, Marian Court can no longer maintain our operations given declining enrollment numbers,” President Denise Hammon said in a statement.

The Sisters of Mercy founded Marian Court as a two-year secretarial school in 1964. The college awarded its first four-year degrees in criminal justice and business this spring, when Gov. Charlie Baker delivered the commencement address to 67 degree-earning students. The governor’s wife, Lauren Baker, is on Marian Court’s Board of Trustees.

“We are grateful for the college’s commitment and passion for providing quality Catholic education to students. These are difficult times for small, private institutions like Marian Court,” said Moya Dittmeier, executive director of Conference for Mercy Higher Education.

The picturesque oceanfront campus includes the summer White House of President Calvin College, which has been used as a classroom building.

Sue Carroll, a spokeswoman for the Maryland-based Sisters of Mercy, said it was unclear what would happen to the campus.

The school had 88 day students this academic year and about 150 more in its night sessions.

Nearby Salem State University has offered to help Marian Court students transfer there if they wish, Carroll said.

“We know that as they transition to other educational opportunities, they will bring the spirit of Marian Court with them,” Hammon said.

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