SLU becomes the first institution of higher learning west of the Mississippi River when Saint Louis Academy (also 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 SLU's College of Arts and Sciences dates back to the original Saint Louis Academy.1818
The Society of Jesus assumes control of the college, and Father Peter J. Verhaegen becomes the school's first Jesuit president.1829
The college, now Saint Louis University, receives a formal charter from the State of Missouri, becoming the first university west of the Mississippi River. SLU also begins offering the first graduate programs west of the Mississippi River.1832
St. Francis Xavier College Church, also known as College Church, is founded at Ninth Street and Washington Avenue. Construction on the current church building in Midtown begins in 1884 and is completed in 1914.1841
University authorities purchase a tract of land at Grand and Lindell boulevards in preparation for a move from downtown to SLU's current location.1867
DuBourg Hall opens on July 31, the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus. Though now home to SLU'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
SLU acquires the Marion-Sims-Beaumont College of Medicine, located at Grand Boulevard and Caroline Street.1903
SLU's Bradbury Robinson throws the first forward pass. SLU played its first football game against Washington University in 1888 and ended its program in 1949.1906
The Saint Louis University School of Law admits five female students -- the first women to attend Saint Louis University.
The Billiken, Saint Louis University's mascot, is created by American art teacher and illustrator Florence Pretz. Learn more about the Billiken's unique history.1908
The School of Commerce and Finance, the precursor to the John Cook School of Business, is founded. It is the first business school west of the Mississippi River.1910
WEW, the oldest radio station west of the Mississippi and the second oldest radio station in the country, hits the airwaves. It was owned by SLU for more than 40 years.1921
SLU Professor James B. Macelwane, S.J, establishes the first department of geophysics in the Western Hemisphere.
SLU holds its first Homecoming and University-wide Prom.1925
Parks Air College, later to become SLU's Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology, is founded at Lambert Field in St. Louis by Oliver "Lafe" Parks. He gave the college to Saint Louis University in 1946. It is the oldest federally certified school of aviation west of the Mississippi River.1927
The School of Nursing is founded. It goes on to be the first in the United States to establish a bachelor's to BSN program and the first in Missouri to offer a Ph.D. program.1928
Mother Marie Kernaghan becomes the first woman to graduate from Saint Louis University with a Ph.D. (physics.)1929
The Saint Louis University School of Social Work is founded. The school became part of the College for Public Health and Social Justice in 2013.1930
The University opens the Firmin Desloge Memorial Hospital — later named Saint Louis University Hospital. The hospital, home to accomplishments such as the state's first heart transplant, was sold by the University in 1996.1932
Father Claude Heithaus, S.J., delivers a sermon at College Church decrying racial prejudice in America, ultimately leading to the integration of Saint Louis University. That summer, five African-American students are admitted to SLU — two undergraduates and three graduate students — making SLU the first university in any of the 14 former slave states to establish an official policy of integration.1944
The University purchases Samuel Cupples house to serve as a student union. Cupples House is later restored and is currently open to the public as a historic home and gallery.1946
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 Saint Louis University perform the religious rite that becomes the basis of "The Exorcist" book and movie.1949
Marguerite Hall opens as Saint Louis University's first residence hall for women. It becomes the University's first co-ed residence hall in 1971.1956
The University's Pius XII 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.1959
A gift from Harriet Frost Fordyce allows the University to purchase 22 acres east of Grand Boulevard, where Busch Student Center, lecture halls, classrooms and Ritter Hall are later built. This area becomes known as the Frost Campus in honor of her father, General Daniel M. Frost.1962
SLU becomes the first major Catholic university to give lay and clergy people combined legal responsibility for institutional policy on its Board of Trustees.1967
SLU establishes a campus in Madrid, Spain. Originally intended as a study-abroad program for U.S. college students, SLU-Madrid is now a free-standing campus of Saint Louis University where students from more than 65 countries take undergraduate and graduate courses.1969
SLU's School of Allied Health Professions, now Doisy College of Health Sciences, is founded.1979
SLU introduces the Presidential Scholarship, a four-year, full-tuition award. Presidential Scholars of which represent some of the most exemplary student leaders at the University.1988
SLU 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 College Church. Now a SLU tradition, particularly for undergrads, the Mass is celebrated at 9 p.m.
Robert R. Hermann Stadium, home to SLU's men's and women's soccer teams, is christened.1990
SLU opens Missouri's first school of public health. Now known as the Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice, it is the only accredited Catholic, Jesuit school of public health in the nation.1991
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.
Saint Louis University'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
SLU's School for Professional Studies is created. Also known as SLU for Busy Adults, the school offers flexible bachelor's, master's and certificate programs for non-traditional students.1996
The Saint Louis University College of Education and Public Service is founded.
SLU holds its first Make A Difference Day. Now the University's single largest day of service, the day involves thousands of students, as well as faculty, staff and alumni volunteering at more than 100 sites around the St. Louis metro area.1998
The Saint Louis University Cancer Center, a joint initiative between SLUCare and Saint Louis University Hospital, opens.
The Saint Louis University Museum of Art, housed in the former St. Louis Club, opens to the public, featuring rotating exhibits, modern and contemporary art, a collection from the Western Jesuit Missions, and Asian decorative arts.2002
The Billikens join the Atlantic 10 Conference. SLU currently has 18 NCAA Division I teams.2005
The $82 million Edward A. Doisy Research Center, with 80 research labs on eight floors, opens.2007
SLU founds the Center for World Health and Medicine. It is dedicated to the discovery and development of medicines to treat diseases that predominantly affect the world's poor and underserved patient populations.
Saint Louis University's Center for Sustainability is created.2010
The Saint Louis University School of Law moves to downtown St. Louis. Located in Scott Hall, which is also home to the Saint Louis University Law Library and SLU'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 College for Public Health and Social Justice is founded. The new college houses the former School of Public Health and School of Social Work.
The University opens its Center for Global Citizenship in what was once the West Pine Gym.
SLU grants the world's first Doctor of Philosophy degree in aviation.2013