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Saint Louis University Bicentennial

Seeking Truth, Transforming Lives

Saint Louis University is celebrating two centuries of educational excellence. As the first university in the American West, we are proud of our home in St. Louis and of our Catholic, Jesuit mission.

Our origins are humble. In November 1818, classes were offered to “young gentlemen” in a few rooms rented by newly arrived Bishop Louis DuBourg. Vincentian seminarians were studying theology nearby. A few years later, the Jesuits of the Missouri Mission began to run the school. And the rest, as they say, is history.

The bicentennial anniversary of Saint Louis University is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate together through public festivities, worship, lectures and the arts.

On this Day in SLU History
March 24, 1836

Peter Verhaegen, S.J., is named superior of the Jesuit mission in Missouri. He makes Saint Louis University his home.

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Moments in SLU History


SLU's campus moves to Grand Boulevard in Midtown St. Louis


The Billiken is created


The College of Arts and Sciences becomes co-educational


Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D., becomes SLU's first permanent lay president

SLU 200-Years-In-One Challenge

In honor of our 200th anniversary, we’re challenging all SLU students, faculty, staff, alumni and others beyond the University to continue to improve the world around us. We’re going to give back 200 years of volunteer service – that’s more than 1.75 million hours — all in one short year.

Starting Nov. 14, we invite you to download our app, and add your volunteer hours to our 200-Year Clock at the corner of Grand and Lindell boulevards.

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