In the early 1950s, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (MSCs) decided to open a college in the United States.
Leading the process was Sister Ursula Infante, principal of Mother Cabrini High School in New York and one of the last initiates welcomed personally to the order by St. Frances Xavier Cabrini.
Sister Ursula first visited Woodcrest Estate in 1954, when The Mansion (the estate’s signature structure) was an orphanage run by the MSCs.
She instantly realized it was the perfect setting for a college, and worked tirelessly to make the transition happen.
She became founding president of Cabrini College in 1957, and served until 1967. During her time as president, she took many Cabrini students under her wing, and they lovingly referred to her as “Mother Ursula.”
Sister Ursula dedicated the College's first buildings, including Sacred Heart Hall (now Founder's Hall), the Bruckmann Memorial Chapel of St. Joseph, and the Holy Spirit Library. Under her leadership, the student body grew from 43 to 420.
Sister Ursula remained active within the College community until her death in 2001 at age 104.