Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Saint Xavier University
Saint Xavier University

Saint Xavier University

In 1846, Chicago's first Roman Catholic bishop invited the order of the Sisters of Mercy, who had arrived in the United States from Ireland only three years before, to open a grade school for girls in Chicago. The result, Saint Xavier, was granted an Illinois charter in 1847. After its downtown campus was destroyed by the Great Fire of 1871, the school's patrons regrouped, and, by 1915, they were offering college-level classes for women. Saint Xavier opened an expanded campus in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood on the city's Southwest Side in 1956, and the college became coeducational in 1969. In 1998, Saint Xavier's 35 bachelor's degree programs served more than 4,000 students, approximately three-fourths of whom would become the first in their family to graduate from college.