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In the 2019-20 academic year, SLU had an enrollment of 12,546 students, with an additional 7,101 students enrolled in its 1818 Advanced College Credit Program. The student body included 8,072 undergraduate students and 4,474 graduate students that represents all 50 states and more than 82 foreign countries. The university is classified as a Research II university by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
For more than 50 years, the university has maintained a campus in Madrid, Spain. The Madrid campus was the first freestanding campus operated by an American university in Europe and the first American institution to be recognized by Spain's higher education authority as an official foreign university. The campus has 850 students, a faculty of 110, an average class size of 17 and a student-faculty ratio of 12:1.
Already having a two-story building for the 65 students using Bishop Dubourg's personal library of 8,000 volumes for its printed materials, the name Saint Louis Academy was changed in 1820 to Saint Louis College (while the secondary school division remained Saint Louis Academy, now known as St. Louis University High School). In 1827 Bishop Dubourg placed Saint Louis College in the care of the Society of Jesus. Not long after that, it received its charter as a university by act of the Missouri Legislature. In 1829 it moved to Washington Avenue and Ninth at the site of today's America's Center by The Dome at America's Center. In 1852 the university and its teaching priests were the subject of a viciously anti-Catholic novel, The Mysteries of St. Louis, written by newspaper editor Henry Boernstein whose popular paper, the Anzeiger des Westens was also a foe of the university.
In 1867 after the American Civil War the University purchased "Lindell's Grove" to be the site of its current campus. Lindell's Grove was the site of the Civil War "Camp Jackson Affair". On May 10, 1861 U.S. Regulars and Federally enrolled Missouri Volunteers arrested the Missouri Volunteer Militia after the militia received a secret shipment of siege artillery, infantry weapons and ammunition from the Confederate Government. While the Militia was arrested without violence, angry local citizens rushed to the site, and rioting broke out, in which 28 people were killed. The Camp Jackson Affair lead to open conflict within the state, culminating with a successful Federal offensive in mid-June 1861 which expelled the state's pro-secession governor Claiborne Fox Jackson from the state capitol (Jefferson City). Jackson later led a Missouri Confederate government-in-exile, dying of cancer in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1862.
The first (and most iconic) building on campus, DuBourg Hall, began construction in 1888, and the college moved to its new location in 1889. St. Francis Xavier College Church moved to its current location with the completion of the lower church in 1884. It was completed in 1898.
NE quarter of Frost Campus with Parks College of Engineering, Aviation, and Technology
During the early 1940s, many local priests, especially the Jesuits, began to challenge the segregationist policies at the city's Catholic colleges and parochial schools. After the Pittsburgh Courier, an African-American newspaper, ran a 1944 exposé on St. Louis Archbishop John J. Glennon's interference with the admittance of a black student at the local Webster College, Fr. Claude Heithaus, SJ, professor of Classical Archaeology at Saint Louis University, delivered an angry homily accusing his own institution of immoral behavior in its segregation policies. By summer of 1944, Saint Louis University had opened its doors to African Americans, after its president, Father Patrick Holloran, secured Glennon's reluctant approval .
Samuel Cupples House
Shift to majority lay board of trustees
In 1967, Saint Louis University became one of the first Catholic universities to increase give laypeople more power. Board chairman Fr. Paul Reinert, SJ, stepped aside to be replaced by layman Daniel Schlafly, and the board shifted to an 18 to 10 majority of laypeople. This was largely because of Horace Mann vs. the Board of Public Works of Maryland, a landmark case heard by the Maryland Court of Appeals, which declared unconstitutional grants to "largely sectarian" colleges. The Second Vatican Council has also been mentioned as a major influence on this decision for its increased focus on the laity, as well as the decreased recruitment of nuns and priests since the council.
Since the move to lay oversight, debate has erupted many times over how much influence the Roman Catholic Church should have on the affairs of the university. The decision by the University to sell its hospital to Tenet Healthcare Corp. in 1997 met much resistance by both local and national Church leaders, but went ahead as planned. In 2015, the Catholic SSM Health system assumed operation of Saint Louis University hospital. A $500 million rebuilding of the hospital and construction of a new ambulatory care center was completed in 2020.
Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business
1818 - First institution of higher learning west of the Mississippi River
1832 - First graduate programs west of the Mississippi River
1836 - First medical school west of the Mississippi River
1843 - First in the West to open a school of law
SLU's campus in Midtown St. Louis consists of over 282 acres (114.1 ha) of land, with129 buildings on campus. The School of Law is located in downtown St. Louis in Scott Hall.
For the 2018-19 school year, the university installed 2,300 Echo Dots, the hardware for Amazon's "smart assistant," Alexa, in students' dorm rooms. SLU is the first college or university in the United States to bring an Amazon Alexa-enabled device into every student apartment or student residence hall room on the campus.
Saint Louis University has four libraries. Pius XII Memorial Library is the general academic library. It holds over 1 million books, 6,000 journal subscriptions, and 140 electronic databases. Recent renovations, include more seating and study areas, designated noise zones and the creation of an Academic Technology Commons. The Knights of ColumbusVatican Film Library holds a unique collection of microfilm focusing on the manuscripts housed in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. The Omer Poos Law Library houses the law collection and is within the School of Law. The Medical Center Library serves the health and medical community at SLU.
Built in 1993, Saint Louis University's clock tower closed off the campus from the remainder of West Pine Avenue. Its turret clock electrical system uses a pendulum to turn the clocks' hands, with a quartz crystal device to keep the time accurate. Fountains at the base are controlled by a sensor that adjusts the water's height depending on the prevailing winds. The surrounding plaza has become a center of campus life, host to social gatherings, protests, philanthropic events sponsored by the school's fraternities and sororities, and so forth.
In 2011, the clock tower and the area around it were renamed for a prominent alumnus as the Joseph G. Lipic Clock Tower Plaza.
Saint Louis has residence halls and student apartment space on campus.
As part of the First Year Experience (FYE) program, students are required to live on campus for their first two years at SLU, unless they are a commuter from the St. Louis metropolitan area. The sophomore residency requirement caused controversy when first enacted during the 2009-2010 school year, as the University lacked enough housing for all sophomores and upperclassmen who requested it. In the 2010-11 school year, the school announced the transfer of the Student Housing Scholarship (of $1,000 to $2,000) to Tuition Scholarship, which made off-campus housing more affordable and pursued by upperclassmen. Spring Hall and Grand Hall, built in 2016 and 2017 respectively, added nearly 1,000 beds for freshmen and sophomores in addition to a dining hall, more classrooms, and further office space for administrators.
Freshman Year Experience options
Student village on-campus apartments
SLU has several Learning Communities (LCs), intended to allow freshmen and sophomores living on campus to surround themselves with like-minded or like-majored peers. As of 2020, over half of all SLU first-years choose to participate in a Learning Community.
The Griesedieck Complex (also known as "Gries", pronounced "greez") has 16 stories of living space in its main building, as well as 9 additional floors of space attached on its west and east sides as Clemens Hall and Walsh Hall, respectively. Both halls were renovated and repainted (Walsh in 2019 and Clemens in 2020) to accommodate future larger freshman classes, and to house sophomores as needed.
Flats, junior and senior apartments
Sophomores participating in Greek Life can live in DeMattias Hall, the de facto community House. Next door is Marguerite Hall, with eight floors of suite-style two-occupancy dorm rooms.
Grand Forest, the Village, and the Marchetti Towers are on-campus apartments for upperclassmen. The Marchetti Towers, just west of Grand Forest, are two 12-story towers that got a $3.8 million renovation in the summer of 2008.
Major building and renovation projects
During the past 20 years, the University has seen the modernization and construction of campus buildings as well as the revitalization of surrounding Midtown St. Louis. Some of the highlights of three decades at SLU include the investment of more than $840 million in improvements and expansions including the expansion of the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business; construction of McDonnell Douglas Hall, home to Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology; the Center for Advanced Dental Education; the Doisy College of Health Sciences Building and the expansion and renovation of the Busch Student Center. Part of this expansion was the closing of two blocks of West Pine Boulevard (the section between N. Vandeventer Ave. and N. Grand Blvd.) and two blocks of N. Spring Ave. (between Lindell Blvd. and Laclede Ave.), both public streets which the campus had previously expanded across, converting them into a pedestrian mall. Furthermore, the University completed construction of the $82 million Edward A. Doisy Research Center in 2007 and the on-campus Chaifetz Arena in 2008.
In July 2010, the Edward A. Doisy Research Center became home to the Center for World Health and Medicine, a non-profit drug discovery group dedicated to developing therapies for orphan and neglected diseases. In 2017, the organization closed due to lack of funding.
Saint Louis University School of Law
New Law School
Saint Louis University School of Law, founded in 1843, is the oldest law school west of the Mississippi River. The students attend classes in Scott Hall, which is in downtown St. Louis. The Hall was previously renovated and for the first time, the Saint Louis University Law Library and Legal Clinics are housed under the same roof as the School. As of 2018, the dean was William P. Johnson.
The 2008 multi-purpose arena, built for $80.5 million, contains 10,600 seats for basketball, a training facility, state-of-the-art locker rooms, and a practice facility that can house 1,000 spectators. It is on the eastern end of campus, just north of I-64/US 40. The arena replaced Scottrade Center as the University's primary location for large events, notably Commencement celebrations and varsity sports. The arena is named for alumnus Dr. Richard Chaifetz, founder and CEO of ComPsych Corp., who gave $12 million to name it. The Arena was named on February 28, 2007, and dedicated on April 10, 2008.
In May 2019, Washington University in St. Louis and Saint Louis University launched the COLLAB at Cortex. The universities intend to use the 7,700-square-foot suite for various joint and separate projects, including training students in cybersecurity, entrepreneurship and other high-demand fields. COLLAB is also intended to forge deals with industry to turn research discoveries into products; find or train technology workers; and pursue geospatial research, data science, and health informatics.
Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building
In the fall of 2020, the University opened a new, 90,000-square-foot, three-story structure featuring "innovative teaching environments and flexible lab spaces." The building is expected to supplement bioinformatics, biology, biomedical engineering, chemistry, neuroscience and computer science courses that support all science, engineering, nursing and health science majors at SLU.
SLU offers 91 undergraduate majors and 83 graduate disciplines, along with programs adapted to working adults at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including 25 completely online programs. Its average class size for undergraduates is 26 and the student-faculty ratio is 9:1.[better source needed]
The Saint Louis Billikens are the collegiate athletic varsity teams of Saint Louis University. This NCAA Division I program has teams in soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, swimming and diving, cross country, tennis, track and field, and field hockey. They compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference (where they are the westernmost member, and both the first member west of the Mississippi and in the Central Time Zone). The school has nationally recognized soccer programs for men and women. In 2016 the women's basketball team made their second trip to the Women's National Invitation Tournament. The school has heavily invested in its on-campus athletic facilities in the past twenty years with the creation of Hermann Stadium and Chaifetz Arena. Chris May is the current director of athletics. Travis Ford, who took Oklahoma State to five NCAA tournaments in eight years, was hired as men's basketball coach in March 2016.
The Saint Louis Billikens have a student-run fan club called the SLUnatics. This club supports all sporting Billiken athletic events focusing mostly on soccer and basketball. At Billiken basketball games, the SLUnatics have a large cheering section where they lead chants and cheers to engage the crowd. In order to encourage students to attend athletic events and be a part of SLUnatics, a program called Billiken Rewards was created. It is a free program where students collect credits at designated events to earn prizes. Through five different prize levels, students can earn a variety of Billiken merchandise.
St. Francis Xavier College Church
Campus Ministry presents a variety of activities and events noted on its website including widespread opportunities to attend Holy Mass and numerous retreat experiences. The department also collaborates with the Center for Service and Community Engagement.
Center for Service and Community Engagement
The Center, with six on its full-time staff, works with campus ministry and student organizations to foster community service. It also helps teachers in more than 80 courses to incorporate service-learning components and to devise community-based research projects. The Center cooperates with the thirteen student service-oriented organizations on campus.
Students at SLU ranked 4th among the universities in the country in hours of community service in 2015, according to the Washington Monthly report. In line with the Jesuit objective of training men and women for others, the Center offers dozens of service opportunities to students. Some areas for volunteers to choose from include: adult education, hunger, law/public policy, mental health, etc.
The Center offers numerous fairs and special events to assist students and staff to become more involved in service to the local community. These include a Community Service Fair involving over 70 nonprofits, a Social Justice Fair featuring dozens of activity and advocacy groups, and Make A Difference Day when the whole university community, past and present, disperses to "make a difference" at numerous work sites around the city. There are also three donation drives spread throughout the year: KidSmart, Blue Santa, and clothing and toiletries. And October and November find twenty-six different organizations around the city welcoming students to help in their one-day events. SLU was also "the first ever service site for the national nonprofit organization The Campus Kitchens Project". The university also offers the opportunity of the Federal Work Study program.
Immersion experiences involve planning from weeks before the experience, a week-long experience, and reflection sessions after. Locales currently visited include: St. Louis, MO, Mobile, AL (L'Arche). Wheeling, WV, Kermit, WV, Navajo Nation, AZ, Los Angeles, CA, El Paso, TX/Juarez, MX, and Nogales AZ / Nogales, MX (Kino Border Initiative). Student leadership training is also offered in conjunction with these experiences. Summer volunteer work at Camp Kesem is another initiative that trains student leaders.
Cooperating organizations at the university include Interfaith Alliance and SLUCORE which promote interfaith activities, social justice awareness, and service in the community. Another program on social justice formation is an Ignatian Family Teach-in in Washington, D.C. - a weekend of learning and advocacy. Training for advocacy through the business school as well as summer and year-long programs are also offered.
Saint Louis University has over 240 student organizations that cover a variety of interests: student government, club sports, organizations focused on media and publications, performing arts, religion and volunteerism and service.
Alpha Kappa Psi () - A co-educational professional business fraternity, it is the oldest and largest professional business fraternity to current date.
Alpha Phi Omega (APO) - A co-educational service fraternity that promotes the values of leadership, friendship, and service. Being one of the largest chapters in the nation, SLU's chapter (founded in 1944) performed over 15,000 hours to the St. Louis community in the 2009-2010 academic year.
Delta Sigma Pi (DSP) - A co-ed professional business fraternity in the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business that promotes the study of business, commerce, and economics. The fraternity hosts professional events, participates in community service, and attends national conferences on a regular basis.
Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) - Pre-health honor society hosting medically oriented speakers and providing information, guidance, and resources to pre-medical and other pre-health students.
Parks Guard - Military drill team that competes in military drill competitions and conducts honor guard ceremonies for local events
Campus Kitchen - Program where student volunteers cook safe, unused food from campus dining facilities and deliver meals to low-income individuals and local community organizations.
Global Brigades - International student led organization that focuses on holistic and sustainable development working with global communities in need. Saint Louis University sends groups to Nicaragua, Panama, and Honduras.
The University News (or UNews) - Student-run news publication covering topics pertaining to the Saint Louis University (SLU) community since 1921. Currently, the publication is provided in both online and in printed formats.
Robert Emmett Hannegan (1903-1949) (J.D. 1925) - Commissioner of U.S. Internal Revenue (1943-1945); Chairman, Democratic National Committee (1944-1947); U.S. Postmaster General (Truman administration, 1945-1947); President, St, Louis Cardinals (1947-1949)
Lester C. Hunt - Governor of Wyoming (1943-1949), U.S. Senator, Wyoming (1949-1954)
Brian McBride - First American to score in more than one FIFA World Cup tournament, doing so once in 1998 and twice in 2002. He is also SLU's all-time leading goal-scorer and held the freshman scoring record until 2003, when he was surpassed by Vedad Ibi?evi?.
John Kaiser - M.H.M. Mill Hill Missionary died under suspicious circumstances while serving in Kenya. Received an Award for Distinguished Service in the Promotion of Human Rights from the Law Society of Kenya prior to his death.
John Stowe, O.F.M. Conv. - Bishop of the Diocese of Lexington in Kentucky
Sister Rose Thering O.P. (Ph.D. 1961) - Dominican nun whose campaign against anti-Semitism in Catholic textbooks is the subject of the Oscar-nominated 39-minute documentary film directed by Oren Jacoby, Sister Rose's Passion.
Bobby Wilks - First African American Coast Guard aviator, the first African American to reach the rank of captain in the Coast Guard and the first African American to command a Coast Guard air station.
Edward Rice - Seventh Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield - Cape Girardeau.
Clarence H. Miller - Emeritus Professor of English known for his contributions to the study of Renaissance literature, including his translations of St. Thomas More's Utopia and Erasmus's Praise of Folly.
Thomas F. Madden - historian of Venice and the crusades; author of The New Concise History of the Crusades and Enrico Dandolo and the Rise of Venice
^Catholicism and American Freedom,, John McGreevy Norton and Co., New York 2003, p. 22-23.
^The University's main campus is named "Frost Campus" in honor of General Daniel M. Frost, commander of the Missouri Militia during the Camp Jackson Incident. After being exchanged for a captured Federal officer, General Frost "went south" and was commissioned as a General in the Confederate Army. The University named the campus after General Frost at the request of his daughter Mrs. Harriet Frost Fordyce, who contributed $1,000,000 to the University, allowing a major expansion in 1962. Frost CampusArchived 2011-12-19 at the Wayback Machine Ironically, part of the Frost Campus covers the former "Camp Jackson" militia encampment site.
^"Pressure Grows to Have Catholic College Doors Open to Negroes", Pittsburgh Courier, 19 Feb. 1944, p. 1; "St. Louis U. Lifts Color Bar: Accepts Five Negroes for Summer Session", Pittsburgh Courier, 6 May 1944, p. 1.
^Anderson Institute. (2012). History of the clock. Andersoninstitute.com. Meckles, J. (2014, October 19). Protestors end encampment at SLU. KSDK.
^Hasamear, J. (2011, June 9). Clock Tower Plaza Named for Prominent SLU Alumnus. Retrieved November 17, 2014, from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)