The history of the College is rooted in the life of the Religious Sisters of Mercy who founded and sponsor Mount Aloysius. Catherine McAuley founded the Religious Sisters of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland, in 1831 as a congregation devoted to service. It was one of the first active congregations of women religious in Ireland.
Today, Sisters of Mercy serve in North and South America, Africa, Asia and Australia continuing their original charism of service to the needy through advocacy and direct service in health care, educational and social service agencies and institutions. The spirit of the congregation, dedicated to honoring the mercy of God, is one of enterprising response to need, coupled with compassion and hospitality, a spirit, which is a goal of the Mount Aloysius family.
Mount Aloysius College traces its Mercy heritage to the small community of sisters who were sent to Pittsburgh in 1843. From Pittsburgh, they established a community in Chicago in 1845 and by 1848 they settled in nearby Loretto. On St. Mary's Street in Loretto, the Sisters built a school in a tinner's shop, which was to be the forerunner of St. Aloysius Academy. The Academy, built in 1853, was moved to its present site in 1897. In 1939 Mount Aloysius Junior College was founded through the initiative of Sister M. de Sales Farley, R.S.M. In 1991, Mount Aloysius amended its charter and scope of programs to include bachelor degrees. In the Spring of 2000, the College's charter was again amended to include master's degrees. In 2006, Mount Aloysius College is a vibrant leader in higher education.