New and different ways to learn and live

Mount Mary University recognizes that the world needs imagination – an ability to see things in new and different ways. We recognize that every student has God-given creative talents that can be honed and nurtured to address the challenges facing our complex 21st century world.

At Mount Mary, creativity is understood to be a series of dispositions and attributes that can be taught, and with outcomes that can be measured.

These elements are the cornerstone of Mount Mary’s Creative Campus Initiative, which has infused creative approaches in all areas of the student experience -- throughout the entire curriculum and even outside the classroom as well.

The five measurable outcomes defined by the Creative Campus Initiative include:

  • Agility: The ability to change course or direction in thought and/or action in response to sometimes unpredictable circumstances.

  • Experimenting/Exploring: The willingness to attempt something new and different; embarking into unknown areas for purposes of understanding and enlightenment.

  • Imagination: The ability to create form for something new, connecting ideas to develop new creations, insights, patterns, and solutions.

  • Open-mindedness: The willingness to incorporate and apply outside frameworks into thought and practice, while maintaining personal beliefs and perspectives.

  • Navigating Complexity: The ability to identify the separate components of a situation and to understand the connections and potential relationships between those components.

Healthy Shelves

Healthy Shelves

Students develop the capacity to navigate the complexity unique to each of their disciplines. Dietetics interns have been surveying food pantry clients, teaching nutrition lessons, and providing recipe samples to understand and meet the complex nutritional needs of our communities.

Food Science

Food Science

Students learn to systematically explore and experiment to discover multiple solutions. In our new Food Science students explore the nature of foods and the principles underlying food processing. They also experiment to improve foods for the consuming public.



At Mount Mary there are many venues for showcasing students’ imagination. CREO, Latin for create, make, and produce, celebrates student work from fashion, fine art, graphic design, art therapy, and interior design. Students learn to imagine different realities from fresh perspectives.

Voices of Leadership

Voices of Leadership

Voices of Leadership speakers series showcases agile leaders who are responsive to changing community needs. Speakers have included Malala Fund Co-Founder Shiza Shahid, SoulPancake CEO Shabnam Mogharabi, former Hewitt Packard CEO and political candidate Carly Fiorina, Pampered Chef founder Doris Christopher, political advisor Betsy Myer, and fashion model, designer, activist, social innovator and entrepreneur Lauren Bush Lauren.

Study Abroad

Study Abroad

Encountering unfamiliar people and cultures challenges students to broaden their world view. Study abroad students learn the importance of having an open mind and valuing diverse perspectives. Nearly twenty percent of Mount Mary students participate in these experiences; many of these are faculty-led, short term programs.

Our students are carefully guided through learning experiences that teach them to apply these attributes in their personal and professional lives.

Our Leadership for Social Justice course, a requirement for all first-year students, increases awareness of how leadership, social justice and creativity are interconnected. Designed with the help of the Center for Creative Leadership, the course introduces students to the depth of thinking required in a college environment and in the places they will work after graduating.

The Creative Campus extends beyond the student experience into administrative offices all around the campus. More than 100 employees have been trained in design thinking, a methodology applied to solve complex problems using logic and imagination to achieve desired outcomes.

Through this unique campus climate, a Mount Mary student is continually assessed to ensure they are acquiring the ability to be creative – in ways that future employers, and the world itself, need them to be.

And the result? Our graduates are leaders who change their world through their chosen pursuits.

Mount Mary's Creative Campus takes form in academic seminar

TASK is an improvisational event with a simple structure and very few rules. And a task party doesn’t resemble your typical idea of a seminar. But here at Mount Mary, a place where creativity is infused throughout campus, students got into the playful spirit of the event.

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Using role play to study the American Revolution


Students will learn to steep themselves in complex arguments and learn how to express themselves in new ways. It will also challenge us, as instructors, to think and engage in new kinds of teaching and learning.

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Julie C. Tatlock, Ph.D.