Saint Xavier University Celebrates 175 Years of Mercy Education

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CHICAGO, Sept. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Saint Xavier University (SXU) celebrates 175 years of Mercy education on September 23, 2021, marking 175 years to the day that five Sisters of Mercy arrived in Chicago to begin the work of Catholic education and open the Saint Francis Xavier Female Academy of Chicago in 1846.

Saint Xavier University logo (PRNewsfoto/Saint Xavier University)
Saint Xavier University logo (PRNewsfoto/Saint Xavier University)

As Chicago's first Catholic university and the first Mercy institution of higher learning in the world, SXU has shown marked resilience over the years, from surviving the destruction caused by the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 to navigating more recent challenges posed in the higher education landscape. SXU has evolved tremendously over the past 175 years.

Perhaps most exceptional is SXU's transformation story, built under the leadership of President Laurie M. Joyner, Ph.D., SXU's 20th president, who's served the University since January 2017. President Joyner has positioned SXU for a brighter future, transforming it into a university once again on the rise, marked by the many accomplishments of its community, including:

  • launching strategic initiatives to create more than a dozen new academic programs, invest in its equity and inclusion agenda, expand athletics offerings and increase support for high-impact practices;

  • recruiting three of the largest first-year classes in SXU's history;

  • increasing first-to-second year retention three consecutive years; and

  • moving from financial fragility to greater financial stability, among other important work.

Throughout all the changes, challenges and triumphs, SXU has remained focused on its mission of service to the underserved, providing an exceptional student experience that prepares students for meaningful lives and successful careers so they may go on to serve their communities and change the world.

To celebrate SXU's continued success and mark this momentous anniversary occasion, the University will hold several events, including the traditional Spirit of Mercy Day Mass and Student Leader Commissioning and the opening reception for the art exhibit "Into the Light: A Gathering of Religious Artifacts from Permanent Collection in Celebration of the 175th Anniversary of Saint Xavier" on September 23.

SXU is thrilled to celebrate 175 years and looks forward to another 175 years of delivering on its Mercy mission for the benefit of future generations of students.

Saint Xavier University was founded in 1846 by the Sisters of Mercy and is a private, Catholic, four-year, coeducational institution that provides a transformative educational experience to more than 3,500 undergraduate and graduate students who are prepared to become compassionate leaders in their field of study and their communities. As a mission-driven, student-centered institution, Saint Xavier educates for competence, character and career success, with program offerings through our College of Arts and Sciences, Graham School of Management and School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Recognizing Saint Xavier's excellence in education, U.S. News & World Report has ranked SXU consistently among the best colleges in the Midwest.

MEDIA CONTACT: Deb Rapacz, Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications,


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