University Profile Saint Louis University (SLU) is a Catholic, Jesuit university ranked among the top research institutions in the nation. Founded in 1818, it is the oldest university west of the Mississippi and the second oldest Jesuit university in the United States. Several colleges and schools make up the University campus. The Madrid campus was established in 1967. The first freestanding campus operated by an American University in Europe, this campus is recognized by Spain's higher education authority as an official foreign university, the first U.S. institution to hold this endorsement. Jesuits believe in educating "the whole person," mind, body, heart and spirit. Saint Louis University offers nearly 100 undergraduate programs, honors and scholars programs, and pre-professional programs.
SLU ranked 86th out of the more than 260 national universities in the United States in the latest U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News also gave high marks to the programs in international business (No. 12), entrepreneurship (No. 14) and engineering (No. 38). SLU was named one of the top schools in the country for undergraduate education by Princeton Review. Only about 15 percent of America's 2,500 four-year colleges were chosen. The Princeton Review surveyed SLU students, who praised the University's academic programs, values-based curriculum and close-knit and active campus.
Saint Louis University's location in St. Louis, Missouri puts students close to anything and everything. "The Arch," St. Louis Gateway Arch, is a massive shiny structure is the "Gateway to the West" and invites you to see the view from the top. The Anheuser-Busch Brewery offers tours of the historic building where Adolphus Busch manufactured the "King of Beers." Busch Stadium, the Edward Jones Dome and the Scottrade Center are must-sees as well. St. Louis is often called one of the nation's best sports cities. Enjoy the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, St. Louis Blues hockey team and St. Louis Rams football team in downtown St. Louis. The "New Cathedral" is about a mile from the Saint Louis University campus and contains the largest collection of mosaics in the world, some 83,000 square feet of encrusted domes, ceilings, arches and walls. One of St. Louis' newest landmarks is Citygarden, a two-block oasis in the shadows of downtown's high-rises. Walk amid lush landscaping and world-class modern sculpture, get your feet wet in the "spray plaza" or people-watch from the glass-walled gourmet café.
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University HistorySaint 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 oldest university west of the Mississippi River and 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.
Saint Louis University traces its origins to the Saint Louis Academy, founded on 16 November 1818 by the Most Reverend Louis Guillaume Valentin Du Bourg, 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 Du Bourg'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 Du Bourg 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. 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.
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 expose on St. Louis Archbishop John J. Glennon's interference with the admittance of a black student at the local Webster College, 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.
During the past twenty years, the University has seen significant improvements, including 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.
In addition, for over thirty years the university has maintained a campus in Madrid, Spain with a student body of around 700. 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.
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