Iona College takes its name from the island of lona located in the Inner Hebrides just off the west coast of Scotland. It was on this tiny island that the Irish monk, Columba, established an abbey from which missionaries went forth to teach and evangelize. The island of lona became a center of faith and learning that contributed significantly to the civilization and cultural development of Western Europe. It was in the spirit of this heritage that the religious order of educators, the Congregation of Christian Brothers, founded lona College in New Rochelle, New York, in 1940.
The original campus is situated in the gracious Beechmont section of New Rochelle. A city of 72,500 people located on the Long Island Sound in Westchester County, New Rochelle offers the sophistication of an established suburb, as well as easy access to New York City by automobile or public transportation. Rich in history and tradition, the "Queen City of the Sound' has been the home of the French Huguenots, American poet-essayist Thomas Paine, and artist Norman Rockwell, as well as numerous leaders in commerce, industry and entertainment. The College also has a branch campus in Rockland County - Iona College Rockland Graduate Center in Pearl River, NY.
lona's purpose is the education of students through intellectual discipline and a developing awareness of self, structured upon a more complete understanding of their cultural, religious and social heritage. lona College endeavors to develop informed, critical and responsible individuals equipped to participate actively in culture and society. Experience has shown that the Christian Brothers' origins and traditions are valuable aspects of lona's distinct character and strength. The academic study of religion is an important element in each student's course of study; religious ideas, perspectives and values hold an important place in the College's curriculum.
In the spirit of the liberal arts, lona engages students to search those disciplines that provide them with skills and knowledge that help them to understand and live in the modern world.
lona College, in its curricula and varying modes of interaction with faculty, students and the community, conceives of itself as an institution drawing inspiration from the theological and philosophical bases characterizing the Catholic higher education tradition. Thus, lona College, with its emphasis on the liberal arts, seeks to present students with the opportunity to develop their potential to the fullest. The College strives to accomplish this by serving as a center where each area of learning is pursued according to its own principles, with liberty of inquiry.