The Sisters of St. Joseph and the Diocese of Springfield co-founded the College of Our Lady of the Elms as an academy that evolved into a normal school between 1908 and 1910.

The College of Our Lady of the Elms became a baccalaureate-granting institution in 1928, with a specialization in education. Through the efforts of the Sisters of St. Joseph and the Springfield diocesan clergy, the curriculum was expanded through the 1940s and 1950s, and in 1953, an evening program was established.

To meet the needs of the surrounding community, Elms developed undergraduate programs in nursing, business management, and communication disorders during the 1960s and 1970s. In the late 1980s, Weekend College and a master of arts degree program in teaching were instituted.

Since then, Elms College has developed additional undergraduate and graduate programs of study, added new residence halls, opened the Maguire Center for Health, Fitness, and Athletics in 1994, and admitted the first group of men as full-time students in 1998.

Today, Elms is still growing and has over 800 full-time undergraduate students enrolled for the 2012-2013 school year, with over 500 more students enrolled in part-time and graduate programs. Over the past decade we have excelled academically, athletically, culturally and socially. Elms College is thriving in today's world without compromising our values or mission, and we will continue to do so with the help of bright, passionate students, committed faculty and staff, and a network of alumni and friends whose own histories are unquestionably tied with ours.