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Saint Francis University
Established 1847
Type Private, Catholic
Endowment $19.8 million[1]
President Gabriel Zeis
Faculty 241
Undergraduates 2,000
Postgraduates 600
Location Loretto, Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh
Campus Rural, 600 acres (2,428,095 m²)
Athletics 21 teams
Colors Red and White          
Nickname Red Flash

Saint Francis University is a four-year, coeducational Catholic liberal arts university in Loretto, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1847 and conducted under the tradition of the Franciscan Friars of the Third Order Regular. The university is situated on 600 acres (2.4 km2) in the forests and farmland of Loretto.



Located in Loretto, Pennsylvania, Saint Francis University enrolls approximately 1500 undergraduate and 500 graduate students, of which 37% are male and 63% female.[2] The university offers 25 undergraduate and 7 graduate majors to its students.[3] The university maintains an average graduation rate of 61%.[2]

Saint Francis University has 21 men and women's sports teams and competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 level.

The current president of the university is Fr. Gabriel Zeis, TOR.

Mount Assisi Friary, which is the former mansion of industrialist Charles M. Schwab, is on the grounds of Saint Francis University.

Also contained in the grounds is the main building for the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art which has a number of smaller facilities across the local region.


The John F. Kennedy Center

Saint Francis College was established in 1847 by six Franciscan Friars from Ireland who were given land in Loretto by Bishop Michael O'Connor to establish a school.[3] The University was one of the first Catholic Universities in the United States and the first Franciscan college in the nation. Although it originally only admitted males, it became one of the first Catholic Universities to become co-educational. Loretto is the site of the first English-language Roman Catholic Church established west of the Allegheny Front, in what is now the United States, by Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin in 1799.

In 2001, the Saint Francis College was accredited as university status and renamed to Saint Francis University.

DeGol Field
North Campus


Athletically, St. Francis competes in the NCAA's Northeast Conference. Their mascot is the Red Flash.

Notable alumni

  • Charles M. Schwab - Industrialist
  • Brian Sell - Distance runner and member of the USA 2008 Olympic men's marathon team.[4]
  • Scott Layden - Former president and general manager of the New York Knicks NBA basketball team and former general manager of the Utah Jazz.[5]
  • Maurice Stokes - Basketball player (Basketball Hall of Fame)
  • Norm Van Lier - NBA Basketball player
  • Kevin Porter - Former American professional basketball player, held the record for the most assists in one game with 29 assists.
  • Calvin Fowler - 1968 Olympic Gold Medal as co-captain Men's Basketball, ABA professional basketball player.
  • Tony Bova - Pittsburgh Steelers 1942-1947. 1943 1st in NFL in yards per catch
  • Robert Conway - Vice Admiral United States Navy
  • Brennan Manning (christened Richard Francis Xavier Manning) - Popular Christian author (e.g., The Ragamuffin Gospel), friar, priest, contemplative, and powerful speaker.
  • Teresa S. Polley - President and Chief Operating Officer of the Financial Accounting Foundation, the organization responsible for the oversight, administration and finances of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), and their Advisory Councils.


St. Francis Red Flash logo

External links

Coordinates: 40°30′21.87″N 78°38′23.66″W / 40.506075°N 78.6399056°W / 40.506075; -78.6399056



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