Saint Louis University: Wikis


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Saint Louis University
Saint louis university MO logo.png
Motto Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
"For the greater glory of God"
Established 1818
Type Private
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic (Jesuit)
Endowment $646 million (USD)[1]
President Fr. Lawrence Biondi, S.J.
Faculty 1,002
Students 12,733 (Fall 2008)[2]
Undergraduates 7,814 (Fall 2008)[2]
Postgraduates 4,919 (Fall 2008)[2]
Location St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Campus Urban, 235 acres (0.367 sq mi)[3]
Colors Blue and White         
Mascot Billikens
SLU wordmark.png

Saint Louis University (also known as SLU) is a private, co-educational Jesuit university located in St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1818 by the Most Reverend Louis Guillaume Valentin Dubourg [4] SLU is the oldest university west of the Mississippi River. It is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. The university is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. SLU's athletic teams compete in NCAA's Division I and the Atlantic 10 Conference. It has a current enrollment of 12,733 students representing all 50 states and more than 80 foreign countries, making it the 4th-largest Jesuit University in the United States.[5][6] The university provides undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. Its undergraduate program is currently ranked 80th in the 2009 U.S. News and World Report rankings of "America's Best Colleges."

Its average class size is 23 and the student-faculty ratio is 12:1.[2]

Its Madrid, Spain campus has from 600-650 students, a faculty of 110, an average class size of 18 and a student-faculty ratio of 8:1.[7]

Saint Louis University (SLU) is located on Lindell Boulevard, originally then outside the City of St. Louis in what has been called Camp Jackson, and is the second-oldest Jesuit college in the nation. (Only Georgetown University has been in existence longer). It is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. The first M.D. degree awarded west of the Mississippi was conferred by Saint Louis University in 1836.




Statue of Saint Ignatius at SLU.

Saint Louis University traces its origins to the Saint Louis Academy, founded on 16 November 1818 by the Most Reverend Louis Guillaume Valentin Dubourg, Bishop of Louisiana and the Floridas, and placed under the charge of the Reverend François Niel and others of the secular clergy attached to the Saint Louis Cathedral. Its first location was in a private residence located near the Mississippi River in an area now occupied by the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.

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 which it received its charter as a university by act of the Missouri Legislature.[4]. In 1829 it moved to Washington Avenue and Ninth at the site of today's America's Center by the Edward Jones Dome.

In 1867 after the American Civil War it purchased "Lindell's Grove" to be the site of its current campus. Lindell's Grove was the site of the Camp Jackson Affair in 1861 at the beginning of the war. The Affair turned into a riot in which 28 were killed and was to lead to the Union government marching through the state to evict at point of arms the state's elected governor Claiborne Fox Jackson.

The first (and most iconic) building on campus, DuBourg Hall, began construction in 1888 and the college moved to its new location in 1889.

NE quarter of the Frost Campus of Saint Louis University, including 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.[8] After the Pittsburgh Courier, an African-American newspaper, ran a 1944 expose on St. Louis Archbishop John J. Glennon's interference with the admittance of a black student at the local Webster College,[9] Father Claude Heithaus, professor of Classical Archaeology at Saint Louis University, delivered an angry sermon 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.[10]


During the past twenty 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 Biondi's tenure at SLU include the investment of more than $840 million in enhancements and expansions including the major expansion of the John Cook 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.[11]

In addition, for over thirty years the university has maintained a campus in Madrid, Spain with a student body of around 700.[12] 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. In the early 1970s, the campus was the site of an emerging new stream of Bible-based liturgical music that has enjoyed a worldwide impact. The composers were known as the St. Louis Jesuits. After a twenty-year hiatus, they released a new album in the fall of 2005.

Shift to majority lay board of trustees

In 1967, Saint Louis University became one of the first Catholic universities to increase layperson decision making power. At the time, then board chairman Fr. Paul Reinert, SJ, stepped aside to be replaced by layman Daniel Schlafly. The board also shifted to an 18 to 10 majority of laypeople.[13] This was largely instituted due to the landmark Maryland Court of Appeals case, Horace Mann vs. the Board of Public Works of Maryland, in which grants to "largely sectarian" colleges were declared unconstitutional. 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.[14]

From 1985 to 1992 the Chairman of the Board of Trustees was William H.T. Bush (younger brother of former President George H. W. Bush). The younger Bush also taught classes at the school.[15]

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. [16]


  • 1903—Theodore Roosevelt attends a Latin disputation at Saint Louis University. It is a "Grand Act" (a defense covering Philosophy and Theology) given by Spanish Jesuit Fr. Joachim Villalonga in celebration of the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase.
  • 1904—Both the World's Fair and the third Olympic Games of the modern era are held in St. Louis.[17] Blue and White games are played before Exposition crowds. St. Louis (under Coach Martin Delaney) outscores its opponents 336 to 0 for the season, including a win over Kentucky by the unlikely score of 5–0, a 17–0 victory over the University of Missouri and a 51–0 trouncing of Arkansas. The Spaulding Athletic Almanac of 1905 offers this commentary: “The (Olympic) Department knew perfectly well that it would be unable to have an Olympic Foot Ball Championship, though it felt incumbent to advertise it. Owing to the conditions in American colleges it would be utterly impossible to have an Olympic foot ball championship decided. The only college that seemed absolutely willing to give up its financial interests to play for the World’s Fair Championship was the St. Louis University and there is more apparently in this honor than appears in this report. There were many exhibition contests held in the Stadium under the auspices of the Department wherein teams from the St. Louis University and Washington University took part and competed against other teams from universities east and west of the Mississippi River. The Missouri-Purdue game was played in the Stadium on October 28….. The Olympic College Foot Ball Championship was won by St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo., by default.”
  • 1906—Bradbury Robinson throws the first legal forward pass in the history of American football to Jack Schneider, under the direction of SLU coach Eddie Cochems (September 5, against Carroll College of Waukesha).
  • 1943—Professor of Biochemistry Edward Adelbert Doisy shares (with Henrik Dam) the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on Vitamin K, which he had isolated in a pure form in 1939.
  • 1949—Jesuit Priests from SLU assist a teenage boy believed to suffer from demonic possession. The boy's experience serves as the basis of the documentary In The Grip Of Evil and is dramatized in the 1971 novel The Exorcist followed by the 1973 film The Exorcist.
  • 1967—First lay incorporation of a Jesuit university in the United States. The membership of the Board of Trustees went from 13 Jesuit priests to 18 lay members and 10 Jesuits. Fr. Paul Reinert, S.J., yielded the chairmanship to Daniel L. Schlafly. (Reported in Time magazine, February 3, 1967: "A Louder Voice for Laymen.")
  • 2006—Cardinal Sfeir, Patriarch of the 12–15 million-member Maronite Catholic Church and one of the most important figures in the Middle East, was bestowed with Saint Louis University's highest honor, the Sword of Ignatius Loyola, on June 30, 2006.[18]
  • 2007—On April 27, 2007 Rick Majerus accepted the head coaching position for the Men's Basketball team.
DuBourg Hall serves as the administration building for Saint Louis University.
John Cook School of Business, seen from the central mall.


Colleges and schools

Undergraduate and Graduate Programs Graduate and Professional
Frost Campus Frost Campus

Medical Center

Additional programs


Libraries and museums

Pius XII Library seen from the mall.

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. The Knights of Columbus Vatican 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.

Every year the Saint Louis University Library Associates present the St. Louis Literary Award to a distinguished figure in literature. Sir Salman Rushdie will receive the 2009 Literary Award. E.L. Doctorow received the 2008 Saint Louis Literary Award.

The University also has several museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art.


Saint Louis has both dormitory and apartment space on-campus. As part of the Freshman Year Experience (FYE) program, resident freshman students live in one of four freshman-only buildings for their first year, after which point they are able to live anywhere else on campus.

Freshman Year Experience options

Griesedieck Hall

The Griesedieck Complex (also known as "Gries", pronounced "greez") contains 16 stories of living space in its main building, with additional dorm space in its two wings, Walsh and Clemens. Gries is located in the heart of the campus, in front of the quad, and has an average freshman living space, 10' 7.5" by 18' 2", with community showers and bathrooms. Reinert Hall, named after Jesuit Father Paul C. Reinert, is located two blocks south of the main campus in a converted hotel; sometimes referred to as "the Island." Where the building lacks in location it makes up for in living space, containing some of the largest dormitories across the country, 12' 1" by 27', complete with private full baths in each room. Reinert also has access to 24-hour in-building study/meeting rooms and its own dining hall.

Upperclass options

Clock tower on John E. Connelly Mall

Several housing choices exist for sophomores, juniors and seniors. SLU does not have Greek houses on campus; however, the Sigma Chi chapter owns a house located less than a block from campus, and DeMattias Hall acts as a Greek dormitory and de facto community House. Next to DeMattias Hall is Marguerite Hall, which offers 8 floors of suite-style two-occupancy dorm rooms. Continuing up West Pine Mall, is Notre Dame Hall. While many honors students once chose to live here, in 2008 it was changed to "The Language Villa," where foreign students and language students can live together. The choice of moving the foreign and language students from the Language Houses on Laclede Street to Notre Dame Hall created some controversy in both the language and honors communities. The former Language Houses,once French,German, and Spanish, are now occupied by upperclassmen notably from the Micah Program. Another dorm option is Fusz Hall, catercorner to the University's Clocktower. It contains a food court.

Grand Forest, the Village, and the Marchetti Towers are the apartment options available. Because of its proximity to the Chaifetz Arena, many student-athletes live in Grand Forest. Similarly, the Village, just across from DeMattias, houses many Greeks. The Village is also very close to the local SLU bars – Humphrey's and Laclede's—making it an especially popular location for juniors and seniors. The Marchetti Towers are just west of Grand Forest and consists of two, 12-story towers. Marchetti is very popular with sophomores coming out of FYE housing, though it also has a strong junior and senior population. During the summer of 2008, Marchetti Towers underwent a $3.8 million renovation.

Major building and renovation projects

Edward A. Doisy Research Center

Doisy research center

SLU recently completed building a $67 million, 10-story tall research center connected to its Medical Campus Building. It is designed to be a green building and is named for Edward Adelbert Doisy, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine laureate of 1943 and a long-time faculty member at SLU's medical school.[19] With improvements to other research building facilities, the total cost of the project is forecast to be around $80 million. The building had its official dedication ceremony on December 7, 2007, with faculty and staff having begun to move in during the previous weeks.

Chaifetz Arena

Chaifetz Arena

The multi-purpose arena, construction of which was completed in early April 2008 at a cost of $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 an additional 1,000 spectators. It is located on the eastern-most end of campus, just north of I-64/U.S. Highway 40. The arena replaced Scottrade Center as the University's primary location for large events, notably Commencement celebrations and varsity sports. On February 28, 2007, the arena was named in honor of University alumnus (1975) Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz, founder and CEO of ComPsych Corp., who made a $12 million naming rights gift to the Arena.[20] The University's official dedication ceremony for the Arena was held on April 10, 2008.[1]

Saint Louis University School of Law

The school recently unveiled plans for a new building. The school is currently attempting to raise the estimated $30–35 million necessary, with groundbreaking being estimated to begin in 2010. SLU Law School Expansion/Renovation Article


Saint Louis Billikens logo

The St. Louis Billikens are the collegiate athletic teams from 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 Ten Conference (where they are the westernmost member, and both the first member located west of the Mississippi and in the Central Time Zone). The school has nationally recognized soccer programs for men and women. 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.

Student life

Student organizations

Saint Louis University has a large number of 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.

Walking through the SLU portals at Grand Avenue.

Non-Greek student groups

  • Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization (CEO)- An organization that increases entrepreneurship awareness through hands-on experiences and bringing a variety of speakers to campus. More information on CEO can be found at
  • Philosophy Club – open to all "majors, minors, and seekers of wisdom."
  • Service Leadership – certificate program through the Business School where participants are encouraged to become leaders through service
  • College Republicans – SLU's chapter is one of the largest, most active chapters in the state. In 2006, the SLU College Republicans contributed over 1,400 hours to Senator Jim Talent's Re-election campaign. The College Republicans also hosted Governor Sarah Palin during the 2008 Presidential Campaign.
  • Bare Naked Statues – BNS is the award-winning all-male a cappella group on campus. They have 2 professionally recorded CDs and have been featured on the Voices Only A Cappella compilation CD.
  • College Democrats - Support and campaign for Democratic candidates and causes at the local, state, and national level.[21] Spearheaded a campaign in 2008 to obtain an on-campus polling place, resulting in a large increase in voter turnout among SLU students.[22]
  • Great Issues Committee – speaker's bureau; brings speakers to the University's campus, second most funded organization from SGA, recent speakers include Mary Robinson, Ralph Nader, Ehud Barak, and General Wesley Clark.
  • Parks Guard – Military drill team that competes in military drill competitions and conducts honor guard ceremonies for local events
  • RHA – Residence Hall Association – plans events on campus and oversees the Residence Hall Councils
  • Presidential Scholars Society – an undergraduate social organization and scholastic honor society whose members have received SLU's highest academic award, the Presidential Scholarship.
  • Rainbow Alliance - support and advocacy group for LGBT students and their straight allies.
  • Student Activities Board
  • 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.
  • S.U.F.A. – Students United For Africa is a student organization that focusses on the issue of world poverty and social justice.The main function of the club is to raise money to support their school in Kasena, Ghana (Current efforts are on building a library and finding books to fill it)
  • Just Earth! – An environmental student organization who mission it is to educate and serve. Host the yearly Spring Cleaning Salvage Drive which collects the usable items (furniture, clothes, etc.) students throw away for charitable organizations.

Greek life

Saint Louis has twelve fraternities and six sororities on-campus.[23]

Student Village

Notable alumni


The Arts



Enrique Bolaños, President of the Republic of Nicaragua.



U.S. captain Brian McBride playing for Fulham F.C.


  • Thomas Anthony Dooley – (M.D. 1958) – humanitarian who worked in Southeastern Asia; author of Deliver Us from Evil, The Edge of Tomorrow, and The Night They Burned the Mountain.
  • John Kaiser – M.H.M. (B.A. 1960) – 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.
  • Bradbury Robinson (B.S. & M.D. 1908) – Threw the first legal forward pass in football history for SLU in 1906. Captained SLU's baseball and track teams. Practiced surgery at the Mayo Clinic (1908–1910) and served on the staff of Surgeon General Hugh S. Cumming (1920–1926). Twice elected mayor of St. Louis, Michigan (1931 and 1937).
  • 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, (M.A. 1954) - 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.[26]

Notable faculty



  • 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.
  • Donald T. Critchlow, twentieth-century American political historian and is the author of more than thirteen books.
  • Thomas Madden, historian of Venice and the crusades; author of The New Concise History of the Crusades and Enrico Dandolo and the Rise of Venice
  • Eleonore Stump- former president of the Society of Christian Philosophers, known for extensive writings in Medieval Philosophy and Analytic Philosophy of Religion, best known for her magisterial book on Thomas Aquinas: Aquinas, currently the Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy .

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d 2009 Profile (Volume 34, Issue 1; p. 15)
  3. ^ 2009 SLU facts, p. 2
  4. ^ a b "University of Saint Louis". Catholic Encyclopedia Online. 
  5. ^ "SLU Fact Sheet" (PDF). Saint Louis University. 
  6. ^ "SLU President's Report 2007" (PDF). Saint Louis University.'s_Report_2007.pdf. 
  7. ^ About SLU Madrid - Madrid Campus Profile
  8. ^ Donald J. Kemper, "Catholic Integration in St. Louis, 1935-1947", Missouri Historical Review, October 1978, pp. 1–13.
  9. ^ Ted LeBerthon, "Why Jim Crow Won at Webster College," Pittsburgh Courier, 5 Feb. 1944, p. 13.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ "Biography of Lawrence Biondi, S.J.". Saint Louis University. 
  12. ^ "Facts and Figures". 
  13. ^ "A Louder Voice for the Laymen". Time Magazine. 1967-02-03.,9171,901994,00.html?promoid=googlep. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  14. ^ Pamela Schaeffer (1997-10-31). "St. Louis U. showdown could draw in Vatican - high church officials vs. university officials in the selling of Catholic teaching hospital for $3 mil to for-profit Tenet Healthcare Corp". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  15. ^ William H.T. (Bucky) Bush - - Retrieved January 28, 2008
  16. ^ "Burke would deny Majerus holy Communion". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 2008-01-23. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  17. ^ When College Football Was an Olympic Sport
  18. ^ SLU Press Release: Maronite Patriarch Receives SLU's Sword of Ignatius Loyola
  19. ^ SLU Press Release: SLU Research Building Named in Honor of Nobel Laureate Following $30 Million Gift
  20. ^ "SLU Arena Named for Alumnus Richard A. Chaifetz". Retrieved 2007-10-23. 
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Fraternities and Sororities". Retrieved 2007-10-23. 
  24. ^ UNews Staff (2007-01-26). "Greek Drama Unfolds". The University News. Retrieved 2007-10-31. 
  25. ^ "Zeta Tau Alpha has arrived at Saint Louis University!". Retrieved 2007-10-23. 
  26. ^

External links

Coordinates: 38°38′11″N 90°14′02″W / 38.636497°N 90.233903°W / 38.636497; -90.233903


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