Apr 24, 2024  
2015-2016 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Mission, Vision, History, and Facilities

Statement of Mission

A Mind for Excellence: Saint Francis University offers higher education in an environment guided by Catholic values and teachings, and inspired by the example of our patron, Saint Francis of Assisi. The oldest Franciscan institution of higher learning in the United States, Saint Francis University is an inclusive learning community that welcomes all people.

A Spirit for Peace and Justice: University programs and activities foster such Franciscan values as a humble and generous attitude toward learning, respect for diversity and the uniqueness of individual persons, understanding of ethical issues, and reverence for all life. With a spirit of simplicity and joy, we provide opportunities for the University community to think critically and analytically, communicate effectively, and integrate theory and practice.

A Heart for Service: Saint Francis University offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts tradition, graduate and professional programs of study that emphasize personal and professional ethics, and continuing education opportunities for personal and career enhancement. We seek to inspire in all members of the University community a love of lifelong learning and a commitment to share their gifts and skills generously with others in a rapidly changing world.

The Office of Mission Integration

Saint Francis University is a Catholic academic community of higher learning, dedicated to providing its students with both a liberal arts education and career-oriented studies. As a Catholic university founded and animated by the Third Order Regular Franciscans, one of its distinctive goals is to enable Franciscan values and the Catholic tradition to shape intellectual inquiry and decision-making, both on a personal and institutional level.

In addition, Saint Francis University aims to be an academic institution where religion in general and Catholicism in particular are vitally present and operative across campus. This occurs when theological perspectives, ethical concerns, and faith seeking understanding intersect with every subject area and academic discipline. Such integration fosters the education of the whole person, through academic and career-oriented learning as well social, psychological, physical, moral, and spiritual/religious growth.

To achieve these goals, the Office of Mission Integration works with diverse groups, offices, departments, and divisions across campus to implement several objectives outlined in Ex corde Ecclesiae (“From the Heart of the Church”), which is an Apostolic Constitution issued by Pope John Paul II in 1990 describing the “identity and mission” of Catholic colleges and universities. These objectives are:

  • to increase consideration of theological perspectives, ethical concerns, and Catholic teaching in curricular and co-curricular activities;
  • to foster the integration of knowledge across subject areas and academic disciplines; and
  • to promote conversations across campus between faith and reason in order to bear witness to the harmonious unity of all truth
  • to be of service to the people of God and the human family in their quest for transcendental goals which give meaning to life (Ex corde Ecclesiae, 1990, #12-20).

In various ways the Mission Integration Office offers programming for faculty and staff members in Franciscan history, spirituality, and values as well as the Catholic intellectual tradition. The office also collaborates with numerous departments across campus, including the Department of Campus Ministry Office, to foster the engagement of faith and reason, the integration of ethical concerns, and the faith formation of its students and staff through curricular and co-curricular activities.

“Francis 2020” Vision

Saint Francis University is the Catholic university of choice for high-ability students who seek an authentic, academically rigorous, interactive learning experience where they can grow intellectually, spiritually, morally, and socially. Students seek out Saint Francis for its ability to combine the values and vision of a liberal arts education with learning goals that are relevant to the economic needs of society.

Saint Francis University is recognized as a vital strategic partner - regionally, nationally, and internationally - establishing strong relationships by seeking collaborators to nurture and expand the University’s mission, vision, and strategic goals while contributing to a global vision of societal good brought about by the exercise of effective servant-leadership principles.

Saint Francis University’s facilities are designed to enhance and raise to the highest level of capability its nationally-recognized leadership programs in business, health care, science, and the humanities.

Saint Francis University engages in continuous improvements in organizational effectiveness and efficiency at all levels - driven by internal and external assessments - to promote exceptional stewardship of its human and financial resources.

Core Values and Guiding Principles

Goals of Franciscan Higher Education
  • A humble and generous attitude toward learning
  • Reverence for all life and for the goodness of all humanity
  • A global vision
  • Service to the poor and needy
  • Respect for the uniqueness of individual persons
  • A community of faith and prayer
  • The spirit of simplicity and joy
  • Franciscan presence

The Place

Our Beginnings …

The seeds of what has become Saint Francis University were planted by six Franciscan friars from Ireland who founded a boys’ academy in the mountain hamlet of Loretto, Pennsylvania, in 1847. Saint Francis University was soon given the power to grant degrees by the Common wealth of Pennsylvania and was one of the first Catholic co-ed colleges in the nation.

An extensive building program was begun after World War II and continued through the 1950’s and 60’s. Today the campus includes nine residence halls, a student center, classroom and administrative buildings, athletics center, dining hall, library and chapel - all aesthetically located on the 600-acre campus. In 1976, the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art was opened in the former gymnasium, Doyle Hall, and now offers extensive artistic opportunities for students and area residents. The nearby Mount Assisi Gardens, Lake Saint Francis, and Immergrün Golf Course further enhance the setting of Saint Francis University, making it an exceptional environment for living and learning.

Today, Saint Francis University is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of both laypeople and Franciscans. The President, chief executive officer of the University, receives input from faculty, administrators, and students in order to provide members of the University community with opportunities to participate in the University’s development.


Administration and Instruction
SCOTUS HALL. Completed in 1967 as part of a complex including Padua and Sullivan Halls, Scotus contains classrooms and administrative offices. It will be renovated to house the School of Arts & Letters.

PADUA HALL. The offices of Admissions, Residence Life, Student Development, and Financial Aid are located on the second floor of Padua Hall. The Padua Express and classrooms are on the lower level.

RAYMOND HALL. The dormitory where the legendary Red Flash basketball All-American of the ‘50’s Maurice Stokes once lived has been renovated and now houses administrative and faculty offices, and two conference rooms. 

ST. FRANCIS HALL. The former friary, this building is now the home of Campus Ministry. Café Gubbio is located on the lower level.

SCIENCE CENTER. The School of Sciences, consisting of the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, and MECS (Mathematics, Engineering, & Computer Science), is housed in the three-story, 70,000 square foot Science Center. The state-of-the-art facility provides dedicated undergraduate research space, student work spaces, and lounge areas as well as specialized teaching classrooms and laboratories.

SULLIVAN HALL. The Department of Physician Assistant Sciences is located in this four-story building which is slated to be renovated to house the School of Health Sciences.

SCHWAB HALL. Erected in 1931 with financial assistance from former steel baron Charles M. Schwab, this building is undergoing renovations and will soon be home to the School of Business.

LIBRARY AND LEARNING COMMONS. The Library and Learning Commons is a dynamic community resource, providing access to information, offering instruction, and serving a proactive leadership role in support of the mission of Saint Francis University. Facilities include: electronic classrooms, the Bud Shuster Conference Room/Instruction Lab, group study, the Curriculum Materials Center (CMC), and the Margaret M. Tobin Center for Archives and Special Collections, the home of the University archives and records center.

The Library and Learning Commons provides access to its collections and online resources through the Library webpage at library.francis.edu. Access to materials not housed in the library can be obtained through interlibrary loan. All members of the University community may borrow materials and obtain other services from the library by presenting a valid Saint Francis University identification card. The library is open year-round, with the exception of official University holidays. A complete posting of current library policies, regular hours, services, and other general information can be found by visiting the Library webpage.
Also located within the library facility is IT Services including the Laptop Help Desk, the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), the Writing Center, and the Tutoring Center.

SOUTHERN ALLEGHENIES MUSEUM OF ART. The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art and its Extension facilities exist to provide dynamic cultural programming with an American perspective of the visual arts to the diverse people who inhabit the Southern Alleghenies mountain region. The intent of the museum is to develop an understanding and appreciation of American art from a broad and historical perspective as well as from a contemporary state and regional one.

Since its inception in 1976, this challenge continues to be pursued by maximizing the efforts of the professional staff, expanding the permanent collection, increasing the scope of the exhibition calendars and the activities, and broadening the supportive base from the region which the museum serves.

DOROTHY DAY OUTREACH CENTER: SOCIAL OUTREACH AND VOLUNTEER SERVICE. The Dorothy Day Outreach Center is the social outreach arm of Saint Francis University. The mission of the Center is two-fold. One goal is to educate the University students in issues of social concern and justice and to involve them in volunteer service through an array of programs on campus and in the local communities. The second goal is to offer assistance to the economically, socially, and mentally challenged of local communities and institutions.

Assistance is offered in various ways that include, but are not limited to: emergency financial assistance, food pantry, clothing pantry, furniture, basic household items, and personal hygiene products. The Adopt-a-Grandparent program, whose volunteers visit the elderly at the John Paul II Manor in Cresson, an assisted living home, and the V.I.T.A. program, preparing and e-filing simple tax returns for low income individuals.

In these times of reduced budgets and lessening government funding, volunteerism is becoming increasingly important to assist the poor and disenfranchised. Saint Francis University tries to help students understand their responsibility for service to society. The Dorothy Day Center expresses the Franciscan values toward others that Saint Francis University students’ can experience while completing their education and preparation for entrance into the world of Church and society.

SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER. This building houses the Small Business Development Center, one of 18 centers in Pennsylvania, and the Center for Global Competitiveness. The Center provides free and confidential business counseling to current and prospective entrepreneurs. Services include assistance in the areas of accounting, financial analysis, business planning, and marketing.

DISEPIO INSTITUTE FOR RURAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS. The DiSepio Institute for Rural Health and Wellness offers a series of health promotion and rehabilitation services to the University and the surrounding community, particularly those who are underserved living in rural areas. The curricular and research dimensions of the Institute enable the academic departments to enhance their programs of study including, where applicable, clinical education. Recreational and co-curricular programming sponsored through the Institute allows the University community to engage in health and wellness activities and programs designed to promote optimal, holistic health of body, mind, and spirit. The service dimension of the Institute provides improved access to preventive services and specialty rehabilitation care to reduce the burden of chronic illness in the rural communities of Pennsylvania. The DiSepio Institute services include:

  • DiSepio Center for Rehabilitation: The Center for Rehabilitation is staffed by Board Certified Clinical Specialists in orthopedic, sports, and pediatric physical therapy as well as occupational therapists and speech language pathologists who treat the injuries and conditions of the SFU students, employees, and regional community. The Center offers a state-of-the-art examination and modality area and full treatment gym. It also houses a Hydroworx aquatic therapy pool which features an underwater treadmill, resistance jets, and underwater video analysis system. The Center for Rehabilitation offers a variety of specialized services including hand therapy, serial casting, splinting, Biodex isokinetic testing, concussion management, NeuroCom balance assessments, and sports injury prevention and enhancement programs. In addition, our pediatric evaluation staff has extensive experience providing pediatric occupational, physical, and speech therapy in school-based, home health, and outpatient settings. The vision of our pediatric rehabilitation program is to provide a viable, local treatment option for children who may otherwise have difficulty accessing pediatric rehabilitation services. The DiSepio Center for Rehabilitation staff is committed to providing the best care possible by keeping up to date on current research regarding physical, occupational, and speech therapy practice.
  • Human Performance Laboratory: The HPL is a state-of-the-art facility offering the latest in health and physical fitness assessments. Through a combination of cutting-edge technologies and world class multidisciplinary experts, including certified exercise physiologists and physical therapists, the HPL enables individuals to attain their maximum physical conditioning. Using a preventative model of care combined with in-depth assessment tools, the HPL staff can help people of all-ages accomplish their goals by clearly identifying their current health and fitness status and establishing a road map forward. The areas of assessment include, but are not limited to, body composition, aerobic and muscular fitness, resting metabolic rate, metabolic efficiency, and biomechanical motion analysis. These types of approaches can also assist individuals in understanding their risk of developing chronic medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes. Many such conditions can be more effectively prevented, managed or even reversed with detailed physical assessments and appropriate pre-emptive actions. The mission of the HPL is to assess, evaluate, and disseminate knowledge of human performance as it relates to health, wellness, physical fitness, athletic ability, and exercise physiology through education, research, and service.
  • DiSepio Fitness Center: The Fitness Center consists of a 3,500 square-foot gym for individual exercise and a 1,000 square-foot group exercise room. The gym includes a stretching and core strengthening area; a cardiovascular area with treadmills, elliptical machines, adaptive motion trainers, and upright and recumbent bikes; a strength training area with a circuit of exercise units for the upper and lower extremities; and a free weight area. All participants are required to complete and submit a membership application prior to utilizing the DiSepio Fitness Center. Group exercise classes offered to students, employees, and the community include spinning, yoga, Zumba, kickboxing, and various circuit training classes. Groups of five or more can schedule use of the group exercise room to follow their own exercise program. The Fitness Center organizes the health and wellness educational programming offered by the Institute that includes nutrition management, diabetes management, tobacco use cessation, and more. The DiSepio Fitness Center also offers different community programs, including Silver Sneakers and Silver and Fit. These are great learning opportunities for students to gain experience working with senior citizens in an exercise setting. Through different internship opportunities that are offered through the DiSepio Institute, students can gain experience with personal and group exercise training, worksite health promotion, fitness assessments, and more.
  • Spiritual Wellness Center: An outdoor labyrinth meditation garden, an indoor ecumenical sacred space, and programming in the theology of wellness are available to the University and local communities.
  • Ernest J. Scharpf Family Conference Center: Equipped with video and teleconferencing capability and high-tech audiovisual equipment, the main space of the Center is a symposium room for 90 people seated at tables, or up to 200 in theater-style seating. The room is divisible by a curtain wall into two separate rooms. A large pre-conference area outside the symposium room is available for informal gatherings, display tables, or food service. Smaller sessions can be accommodated in the Executive Conference Room that seats 16-20 or the Health and Wellness Seminar Room that seats 40. The Conference Center is available for use by members of the campus community as well as outside communities.
  • Student Health Center: The Student Health Center is staffed by a team of health professionals that includes the medical director, assistant director, registered nurse, and medical assistant. All students are required to submit a completed health form (provided to students upon acceptance to the University) before treatment can be received. Services available to students include evaluation and treatment of acute medical conditions, allergy injections and immunizations, physical exams, travel consultations, blood draws, and urine drug screens. Referral to community resources will be made for students on an as-needed basis. The Health Center is open Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (5:00 to 6:00 p.m. by appointments only) and Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Visits are by appointment. Walk-ins will be accommodated when possible. Any student that becomes ill during the evening or weekend hours may visit the Conemaugh MedWell site in Ebensburg for urgent care. Any student requiring emergency care should call 911 or visit an Emergency Room.
  • Play Works Toy Lending Library: A wide variety of toys are available to provide children the opportunity to develop their skills through the use of play. Each toy has an activity analysis which helps parents/caregivers to choose toys that are developmentally appropriate for their child. The toy library is open during spring, summer, and fall semesters. Refer to the website for current hours of operation: francis.edu/toy-lending-library/.
Campus Life

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CHAPEL. The Chapel contributes to the spiritual welfare of Saint Francis University students. Dedicated in 1957, it provides the opportunity for the University community to make frequent visits for private meditation and prayer, to participate in daily liturgies, and to participate in ecumenical prayer events.

JOHN F. KENNEDY STUDENT CENTER. This is the social, cultural and recreational center of the campus. The Center offers facilities for a wide variety of activities including films, dances, special events, art exhibits, music and drama. The lower level of the Kennedy Center contains a bookstore, the mail room, publications offices for the student newspaper, yearbook, student activities and student government, the Frankie’s food court, stage dressing rooms, a convenience store, a large-screen television, and a conference room. The upper level, planned for versatile use, includes the information center, the Office of Student Activities, a student art gallery in the lobby, and a spacious student lounge. The 600-seat air conditioned auditorium has a fully-equipped stage and motion picture projection booth that doubles as the studio for SFU-TV Channel 27. Parking facilities for special events are located adjacent to the building.

MAURICE STOKES ATHLETICS CENTER. The Stokes Center houses facilities for basketball, volleyball, tennis, weightlifting, running, swimming, racquetball and other intercollegiate, intramural, and recreational athletic activities. Named in honor of the Saint Francis University basketball All-American of the 1950’s, the building has a seating capacity of approximately 3,500. The building also houses the offices of the Athletics Department and the Physical Therapy Department.

ATHLETIC FIELDS/COURTS. These areas provide space for outdoor activities, including soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, football and softball.

IMMERGRÜN GOLF COURSE. Immergrün, a nine-hole course patterned after the challenging courses found in Scotland, serves as the home course for the University’s golf teams. Built early in the 1900’s by Charles Schwab, the course was designed to blend with the topography of the land in western Pennsylvania. Located near the campus, the facility features a fully-stocked pro shop, locker rooms, equipment storage areas, and a club house.

SAINT FRANCIS UNIVERSITY BOOKSTORE. Managed by Barnes & Noble College, a leading operator of over 700 college bookstores nationwide, the bookstore provides course materials in a variety of formats - including new, used, rental and digital textbooks - ensuring students have access to the options and formats that best suit their needs. The bookstore also sells Red Flash emblematic clothing, supplies, as well as gifts for alumni, friends and family. In addition to the campus store, it also manages the University’s online bookstore website (francis.bncollege.com) - delivering an innovative customized shopping experience and giving students, faculty and alumni the choice and convenience to shop in-store and online.

SFU faculty also have access to a groundbreaking online community, FacultyEnlight (www.facultyenlight.com), the new streamlined textbook adoption platform that combines advanced search capabilities with detailed information on course material formats, pricing and reviews by other faculty.

The Saint Francis University Bookstore has established a strong social media presence on Facebook (www.facebook.com/stfrancisubookstore) that reflects local events and promotions. The bookstore team also reaches out to both faculty and student organizations to ensure these groups are able to leverage the full resources the Saint Francis University Bookstore has to offer.

Visit the Saint Francis University Bookstore at 117 Evergreen Drive, JFK Building, Loretto, PA or online. For more information, please contact the bookstore at 814/472-3170.

Residence Life

Our residence halls provide all of the facilities and services needed for pleasant, comfortable living. Each hall includes a TV lounge, study area and laundry room. All rooms provide basic cable and are wired for phone service and internet access. Housing is guaranteed for four years in either residence halls, special interest housing or independent living areas. Most rooms are double occupancy. In order to receive Saint Francis Institutional Aid students must live in University Housing or commute from the home of parent/ legal guardian. For more information on aid, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Traditional Residence Halls
  • AVE MARIA HALL (1948), named in honor of our Blessed Mother, is a housing unit for both male and female students.
  • AMICI HALL (1955) houses upper class male students. It is named in honor of the Friends of Saint Francis, a group of community leaders who have aided the University in its development program.
  • CHRISTIAN HALL (1998) houses upper class male and female students. It is named in honor of Father Christian Oravec.
  • GILES HALL (1955), named in honor of the first President of Saint Francis, Brother Giles Carroll, T.O.R., houses first-year male students.
  • SAINT LOUIS HALL (1962), is the largest residence hall for male students. It is named in honor of King Louis IX of France, the patron of the Third Orders of Saint Francis.
  • SAINT AGNES HALL (1958), named in honor of Saint Agnes of Assisi, houses first-year female students.
  • SAINT CLARE HALL (1958), named in honor of the founder of the Poor Clares, house first-year female students.
  • SAINT ELIZABETH HALL (1962), housing upper class female students and was named for Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, patroness of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis.
  • SAINT FRANCIS HALL is the former friary and was renovated for students and completed in the summer of 2007. The building houses first-year male students.
  • SAINT JOAN OF ARC HALL (1966), named in honor of the great French saint, houses female students.
Thematic Housing
  • BACH FAMILY HONORS HOUSE (2006) is a 6,000 + square-foot facility that includes a conference room-with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment-for Honors seminar and core courses; a residence for nine Honors students per year; a 24-hour study space for all Honors students; and meeting, lecture and movie space. It is named in honor of its benefactors, the Thomas and Eileen Bach Family from Johnstown.
  • FAITH INSPIRED STUDENT HOUSING (F.I.S.H.) is a collection of several houses that allow residents to live fully submersed in a life centered around their Christian faith. Located adjacent to campus, these houses and the residents have a distinct mission of sharing their passion for Jesus with Saint Francis University students and the local community.
  • ASSISI HOUSE is a Christian-based house where the residents experience components of St. Francis of Assisi’s life and learn how crucial servant leadership is to one’s overall wellness and success. Located adjacent to campus, they also coordinate servant leadership opportunities between the local community and Saint Francis University students.
Independent Living Units

The House & Apartment Transition Program (HATP) gives upperclass students the opportunity to experience independent living while being under the umbrella of University Housing. All units consist of one to four bedrooms, full bathrooms, and kitchen/living areas. Three apartments are located in Ave Maria Hall, while the remaining townhouses/houses and apartments are located within walking distance to campus. This program is part of University Housing Operations and therefore all policies and procedures apply.

Campus Shrines

OUR LADY OF LOURDES GROTTO. In 1935, a member of the Franciscan community cleared the long-abandoned stone quarry, from which the founders of Saint Francis University had obtained material for the first buildings, and carved out “The Grotto,” a replica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, France.

THE SHRINE OF SAINT JOSEPH THE WORKMAN. The focal point of this shrine is a life-size statue of Saint Joseph, dedicated on October 18, 1958. The shrine rests amid an acre of shrubbery, towering pines, and graceful birches. The instruments of labor surrounding it convey the theme of the dignity of work.

Service Facilities
Dining Services

Torvian is the all-you-care-to-eat dining facility constructed in 1955 and renovated in 2008 and 2013. Torvian is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and accommodates 585 guests. All residents are required to be on a dining plan. To see the many dining plan options available visit our website francis.edu/dining.

Frankie’s is a retail cafe located in the lower level of the JFK Student Center. Frankie’s offers a wide variety of made to order sandwiches, salads, burgers and pizza. Many convenience items are also available from boxed cereal, cases of soda, and personal hygiene products.

Café Gubbio is a coffee house located in the lower level of St. Francis Hall. Café Gubbio offers a wide variety of fresh baked pastries, frozen fruit smoothies and brewed coffees from espresso to caramel lattes. We proudly brew Starbucks Coffee.

Padua Express is located in the lower level of Padua. Padua Express offers a variety of fresh On the Go features, fresh brewed coffees and snack foods.

Catering is available to departments and campus clubs. A simple, easy option for catered services is our No Frills program. The No Frills catering option is available for pick-up only and provides an economical way to feed your guests. A custom menu can be created for each of our guests events, please contact our catering department for details. University policy is that campus funds used for food must go through the University Catering Department.

All dining locations accept cash, declining balance and dining plan bonus dollars. Hours and menu options vary daily by location please visit our web site at francis.edu/dining for details.

Physical Plant / Purchasing Department. These departments service all University buildings and facilities.