Pictured: Mount Saint Mary’s Desmond Campus in Balmville, N.Y., December 2017. Courtesy of Google.

By: Jen Hasbun

Mount Saint Mary College confirmed that it will sell the Desmond estate, which served for over two decades as the institution’s satellite campus for adult enrichment courses.

“KransKop,” as the mansion was originally named, was bequeathed to the college in 1990 upon the passing of Alice Curtis Desmond, a wealthy writer, painter and illustrator. In addition to the property, the college inherited a $2 million endowment intended to cover the mansion’s maintenance fees. 

Located two miles north of the main campus in Balmville, N.Y., the 26-acre property provided area locals with “non-credit courses and educational programs for adults of all ages” starting in 1991. Students were encouraged to pursue avenues of study centering on a wide variety of subjects, including computer literacy, art history and yoga. The program enrolled 2,000 students in 2018 alone.

The campus was also the site of the LIFE (“Learning Is Forever Enriching”) initiative, an educational and social program for adults aged 55 and over. Desmond staff also organized the college’s involvement in the Road Scholars program beginning in 1997, which enabled adult students to participate in additional courses and annual field trips.

College President Jason Adsit assured the community that the Mount will continue to offer enrichment courses on its main campus “once the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us.”

“Relocating to the main campus will allow the college to provide more Newburgh residents with access to enrichment programming,” Adsit said in a statement, adding that the move would also enable more people to continue their education.

In light of the ongoing pandemic, college officials have not yet announced a date for the reopening of the program at its new location.