St. Bonaventure University: Wikis


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St. Bonaventure University
St. Bonaventure University Logo
Motto Becoming Extraordinary
Established 1858
Type Private
Endowment $37 million[1]
President Sr. Margaret Carney, OSF STD
Staff ~500
Undergraduates ~2,000
Postgraduates ~500
Location Allegany, New York, USA
Campus Small town/Rural, 500 acres (2 km²)
Athletics Bonnies
Colors Brown & White

St. Bonaventure University is a private, Franciscan Catholic university, located near Olean, New York. It has roughly 2,400 undergraduate and graduate students.

Located in Cattaraugus County in western New York, the university was established by the Franciscan Brothers in 1858. Its current president is Sister Margaret Carney OSF STD, the 20th president and the first religious sister to hold the position full time.

In athletics, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies play NCAA Division I sports in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Students and alumni often refer to the university as Bona's, derived from the school's original name, St. Bonaventure's College. The college became a university in 1950.



The college was founded by Utica financier Nicholas Devereux, one of the first to gain land grants in newly surveyed Cattaraugus County from the Holland Land Company. Devereux founded the town of Allegany on the grant, hoping to build a new city. He believed the city would need religious instruction, so Devereux approached John Timon, the bishop of Buffalo, for assistance. The two invited the Franciscan order to Western New York, and a small group under Father Pamfilo da Magliano OFM arrived in 1856. This was the first group of Franciscan brothers to settle in the United States. The school graduated its first class in 1858. St. Bonaventure's College was granted university status by New York State in 1950. The largest residence hall on campus, Devereux Hall, is named for the founder.

Once one of the nation's most prominent Catholic colleges, St. Bonaventure ran into financial difficulties in the early 1990s, and nearly declared bankruptcy in 1994. Since then, the school has been put on a more solid financial footing and has seen record growth and campus improvements in the past five years.

Thomas Merton, the religious writer, taught English at St. Bonaventure for a year just at the start of World War II. It was at this school that Merton finally gave into his vocation and decided to join the Trappists. He entered the monastery in Kentucky in 1941. An unusual botanical phenomenon on a mountain in view of campus, where the trees have fallen and left a clearing in the shape of a heart, is linked to Merton in campus myth. Some students call it "Merton's Heart" and claim that Merton visited the place often.


The campus sits on 500 acres (2.0 km2) in the town of Allegany, just over the line from the city of Olean (total pop.: 15,000). The university is located off Interstate 86 (exit 24).

Campus buildings are designed in red brick with Italianate roofs, to reflect the architecture of St. Francis' native Italy. The campus proper has several residence halls, townhouses/apartments and academic buildings. Its expansive front lawn has been cited as the largest front lawn in America.

The past couple of years has seen several campus improvements, including a new $6 million recreation center, a new Starbucks-product coffee café, and completely renovated dining hall and residence hall. The state-of-the-art William F. Walsh Science Center is another recent addition.

The University is a large landowner in the Allegany area, as part of the original Devereux grant, and offers much to appreciators of nature. The south edge of campus lies on the Allegheny River. A small portion of the campus is wooded. Across the street from campus, the university owns a cemetery, 9-hole golf course, and restaurant.

About 25 miles (40 km) from the main campus, the university also has the opportunity to experience the Franciscan tradition in the Allegheny Mountain foothills in West Clarksville, New York at a place called Mount Irenaeus. "The Mountain," as it is referred to by students, faculty and alumni, provides a retreat for students. While not owned by the university, Mount Irenaeus has a shared mission with the university and primarily serves its population.

St. Bonaventure also has a second campus in Hamburg, a suburb of Buffalo, on the campus of Hilbert College. Some of the graduate classes are taught there, set up on a night and weekend schedule. The Hilbert College library, bookstore, cafeteria, athletic facilities and computer lab are available to St. Bonaventure graduate students during the week, including evenings, and on weekends. A computer lab directly linked to the St. Bonaventure network is located at Hilbert College.

St. Bonaventure University has its own U.S. Post Office. Mail may be addressed to St. Bonaventure, NY 14778.

The Franciscan connection

The school is the largest Franciscan-affiliated institution of undergraduate higher education in the English-speaking world. The friars at the St. Bonaventure Friary belong to the Holy Name Province, and are members of the Order of Friars Minor, OFM, one of the orders of Franciscans.

The Bonaventure friars are involved in a number of activities in the greater Olean community, besides ministry on campus. They administer St. Bonaventure's Parish in Allegany, called "Little Bona's". There is a strong Franciscan presence at Olean General Hospital, and the university operates the Warming House, an area soup kitchen believed to be the oldest student-run soup kitchen in the United States. Also adjacent to campus is the Motherhouse of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, a group of Franciscan religious sisters.

St. Bonaventure himself (1221-74), born John of Fidenza, was a cardinal and Doctor of the Church. A theologian and contemporary of St. Thomas Aquinas at the University of Paris, he became head of the Franciscan order and did much to institutionalize that order. His most famous work is Itinerarium mentis in deum, or The Soul's Journey to God. Bonaventure was canonized in 1482 by Sixtus IV.

The university is also home to the Franciscan Institute. Founded in 1939 by Fr. Thomas Plassmann, O.F.M., then president of St. Bonaventure College, and led by its first Director, Fr. Philotheus Boehner, O.F.M., the Franciscan Institute stands as the preeminent center in North America of teaching, research and publication on the history, spirituality and intellectual life of the Franciscan movement.

Recently the University took part in a conference through the Franciscan Institute. St. Bonaventure was host to one part of a four part world wide conference series on John Duns Scotus. There were four parts, only one of which was in America at St. Bonaventure. The other three were in Germany, Italy, and Oxford England.

The University today

The school is well known in New York state and the mid-Atlantic region for its journalism, business and education programs, having produced five Pulitzer Prize-winning writers. John Hanchette, one of the Pulitzer Prize winners, is currently a journalism professor at the university.

Dual-degree programs are offered to freshmen in many fields including medical, dental, physical therapy or pharmacy schools. The university has more than 50 academic programs, including new ones in gerontology, theater arts and art history.

The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts hosts several art galleries and a 321-seat theater.

St. Bonaventure is home to the Russell J. Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Its campus newspaper, The Bona Venture, has been published continuously since 1926. Known on campus as The BV, the newspaper has earned The Pacemaker Award numerous times from the Associated Collegiate Press, the last time in 1994. The school is also home to The Laurel, the nation's oldest continuously published college literary magazine. The school's student radio station, WSBU 88.3 The Buzz, is ranked No. 2 nationally by The Princeton Review.

The school has a unique organization known as SFM (Students for the Mountain). SFM holds retreats for students at the Franciscan Mountain Retreat Centre at Mount Irenaeus, including BonaResponds — which sent nearly 300 people to the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and continues to perform relief work at home and across the county — and SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise), which has established successful business and education programs in the Bahamas.

St. Bonaventure is strongly identified with the Western New York region. A notable proportion of the student body are from the Buffalo and Rochester metro areas, and references to Buffalo and Rochester—and their Catholic high schools—are common even among students not from those areas. However, the university has students from 34 states and nearly a dozen countries.


St. Bonaventure Bonnies logo

St. Bonaventure is a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference and offers 14 varsity athletic programs. The men's basketball program has enjoyed success on and off throughout its history, including an NCAA Final Four appearance in 1970, and an NIT Championship in 1977. St. Bonaventure's last NCAA Tournament appearance was in 2000, an 85-80 double overtime loss in the 1st round to Kentucky.

NBA Hall of Famer Bob Lanier played at St. Bonaventure, leading them to that Final Four in 1970. Other players, including Tom and Sam Stith, and most recently J.R. Bremer have played in the NBA. Bremer played for the Boston Celtics in 2002 and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003, and is now with the Russian League club Triumph Lyubertsy. Many alumni have played in the top European leagues.

The men's and women's basketball teams play on Bob Lanier Court in the Reilly Center. The court was named in honor of Lanier during a dedication ceremony on October 12, 2007. Lanier attended along with his mother, sister and daughter. The Arena seats 6,012.

St. Bonaventure's head men's basketball coach is Mark Schmidt. The head women's basketball coach is Jim Crowley.

The school has other successful athletic programs. Notably, the men's and women's Swimming and Diving teams have won the most conference titles for the school and are perennial contenders.

Atlantic 10 Conference titles:

  • Men's Swimming and Diving 2006
  • Baseball 2004
  • Men's Tennis 2003
  • Men's Tennis 2001
  • Men's Swimming and Diving 1999
  • Women's Swimming and Diving 1998
  • Women's Swimming and Diving 1997
  • Women's Swimming and Diving 1996
  • Men's Swimming and Diving 1993

Division I sports offered:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball, Men's & Women's
  • Cross Country, Men's & Women's
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse, Women's
  • Soccer, Men's & Women's
  • Softball
  • Swimming & Diving, Men's & Women's
  • Tennis, Men's & Women's

Club sport offerings:

  • Downhill Skiing
  • Ice Hockey, Men's
  • Field Hockey
  • Lacrosse, Men's
  • Rugby, Men's & Women's

Programs of study

(Bachelor of Art/ Bachelor of Science)

Undergraduate Programs of Study:

Undergraduate Minor Course Offerings:

In addition to being able to obtain minors in all of the subjects listed above, other minors are available in these programs of study:

Graduate program offerings

Dual Admissions Program:

These programs are available for high school students who are looking for careers in health care. To be admitted to these programs, students must have suitable credentials and are expected to maintain a specific level of academic performance while at SBU.

Graduate Course Offerings:

  • MSED Counselor Education Community Mental Health
  • MSED Counselor Education School
  • MSED Adolescent Literacy
  • MSED Childhood Literacy
  • MSED Adolescence Education
  • MSED Advanced Inclusive Processes
  • MSED Educational Leadership
  • Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Masters of Business Administration
  • Masters of Professional Leadership
  • Master of Arts in English
  • Masters in Franciscan Studies

Notable alumni

Notable alumni of St. Bonaventure University include:

Pulitzer Prize winners and members of Congress

The school also boasts five Pulitzer Prize winners as alumni.

  • Robert A. Dubill '58, former executive editor of USA Today. Won in 1980 for public service (uncovering religious fund-raising scandals).
  • John Hanchette '64, former managing editor of Gannett Newspapers, now professor of journalism at St. Bonaventure. Won in 1980 for public service (uncovering religious fund-raising scandals).
  • Dan Barry '80, reporter for The New York Times. Won in 1994 for investigative reporting (corruption in Rhode Island court system).
  • Brian Toolan '72, vice president of The Hartford Courant. Won in 1999 for breaking news reporting (shooting at the Connecticut Lottery).
  • Charles J. Hanley '68, reporter for the Associated Press. Won in 2000 for investigative reporting (the massacre at No Gun Ri).

Five Members of the United States Congress also attended St. Bonaventure.


In the 2009 movie Surrogates (film) St. Bonaventure University's Dr. Anne Foerst is featured in the first few minutes of the movie discussing robotics. Her name displayed with St. Bonaventure University under it.

External links

42°04′41″N 78°28′53″W / 42.078094°N 78.481307°W / 42.078094; -78.481307Coordinates: 42°04′41″N 78°28′53″W / 42.078094°N 78.481307°W / 42.078094; -78.481307



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