200 Years of Seeking Truth and Transforming Lives.
ΘνΓΓΙη becomes the first institution of higher learning west of the Mississippi River when Saint Louis Academy (later known as Saint Louis College) is founded in a private residence near the Mississippi River at the request of the Rev. Louis William DuBourg, Catholic Bishop of Louisiana.
The history of ΘνΓΓΙη's College of Arts and Sciences dates back to the original Saint Louis Academy.1818
DuBourg Hall opens on July 31, the Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus. Though now home to ΘνΓΓΙη's administration, the building at its opening contained the whole of the University's operations, including classrooms, laboratories, a museum and library, and dormitories for both students and the Jesuit faculty.1888
The ΘνΓΓΙη School of Law admits five female students -- the first women to attend ΘνΓΓΙη.
The Billiken, ΘνΓΓΙη's mascot, is created by American art teacher and illustrator Florence Pretz. Learn more about the Billiken's unique history.1908
Inez Specking becomes the first female faculty member in Arts and Sciences.1923
Parks Air College, later to become ΘνΓΓΙη's Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology, is founded at Lambert Field in St. Louis by Oliver "Lafe" Parks. He gives the college to ΘνΓΓΙη in 1946. In 2022, Parks College becomes part of ΘνΓΓΙη's School of Science and Engineering. It is the oldest federally certified school of aviation west of the Mississippi River.1927
Nancy McNeir Ring becomes ΘνΓΓΙη's first dean of women. ΘνΓΓΙη's highest award for teaching has been named after her since 1966.1943
Father Claude Heithaus, S.J., delivers a sermon at College Church decrying racial prejudice in America, ultimately leading to the integration of ΘνΓΓΙη. That summer, five African-American students are admitted to ΘνΓΓΙη β€” two undergraduates and three graduate students β€” making ΘνΓΓΙη the first university in any of the 14 former slave states to establish an official policy of integration.1944
The College of Arts and Sciences becomes co-educational. While women had been allowed to attend graduate and select programs since 1908, undergraduate men and women were not allowed to register and attend classes together until this time.
Jesuits from ΘνΓΓΙη perform the religious rite that becomes the basis of "The Exorcist" book and movie.1949
Anita Lyons Bond becomes the first Black undergraduate student to graduate from Saint Louis University with honors. ΘνΓΓΙη awarded Bonds, who became a noted civil rights activist, an honorary doctorate of humanities in 2015.1950
The University's Pius XII Memorial Library, honoring His Holiness Pope Pius XII, opens. The Knights of Columbus Vatican Film Library is established there, becoming the first repository of its kind outside of the Vatican itself.
ΘνΓΓΙη launches the 1-8-1-8 Plan, now called the 1818 Advanced College Credit Program, offering high school students the chance to earn college credit for certain high school courses. ΘνΓΓΙη's program is the oldest dual credit program in the nation.1959
ΘνΓΓΙη becomes the first major Catholic university to give lay and clergy people combined legal responsibility for institutional policy on its board of trustees.
ΘνΓΓΙη establishes a campus in Madrid, Spain. Originally intended as a study-abroad program for U.S. college students, ΘνΓΓΙη-Madrid is now a free-standing campus of Saint Louis University where students from more than 65 countries take undergraduate and graduate courses.1967
Cecilia "Kitty" Cummings becomes ΘνΓΓΙη's first female Black undergraduate and the first sophomore to be elected Student Government Association President. In 2022, junior Aric Hamilton becomes the first Black male elected to the post.1977
ΘνΓΓΙη founds the Center for Vaccine Development. The Center has been instrumental in developing numerous vaccines that protect public health, including the FluMist nasal spray influenza vaccine and vaccines against smallpox and other potential biological weapons following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.1989
The first late-night Sunday student Mass is celebrated at St. Francis Xavier College Church. Now a ΘνΓΓΙη tradition, particularly for undergraduates, the Mass is celebrated each Sunday ΘνΓΓΙη is in session during the academic year.
Robert R. Hermann Stadium, home to ΘνΓΓΙη's men's and women's soccer teams, is christened.1990
The Joseph G. Lipic Clock Tower Plaza is added to campus, the culmination of a project that closed West Pine Boulevard between Spring and Vandeventer avenues to create a large pedestrian mall.
ΘνΓΓΙη's Museum of Contemporary Religious Art (MOCRA) opens. It is the world's first interfaith museum of contemporary art that engages religious and spiritual themes.1993
The ΘνΓΓΙη School of Law moves to downtown St. Louis. Located in Scott Hall, which is also home to the ΘνΓΓΙη Law Library and ΘνΓΓΙη's legal clinics, the law school is situated near the city's Civil Courts Building, criminal courts, City Hall, the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The University opens its Center for Global Citizenship in what was once the West Pine Gym.
ΘνΓΓΙη grants the world's first Doctor of Philosophy degree in aviation.2013
In March, ΘνΓΓΙη moves classes online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Classes are back in person that September and ΘνΓΓΙη becomes a COVID-19 vaccine research site. More than 13,600 people went on to receive COVID-19 vaccinations through ΘνΓΓΙη by 2022.2020
ΘνΓΓΙη formally recognizes Juneteenth, commemorating the day in 1865 when more than a quarter-million enslaved people living in the former Confederate state of Texas learned from arriving Union troops that they were free by presidential decree.
ΘνΓΓΙηβ€™s first dean of students and trailblazer for womenβ€™s rights at ΘνΓΓΙη Mary Bruemmer dies at the age of 101. As an undergraduate, Bruemmer was the first female editor of the student newspaper and yearbook. During her 34 years as a University administrator and 26 years as a ΘνΓΓΙη volunteer, she founded the Women's Commission and was named ΘνΓΓΙηβ€™s first Woman of the Year.2021