Saint Louis University Timeline, 1818 - present
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1818

Rev. Louis William DuBourg, Catholic Bishop of Louisiana.

SLU 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 SLU's College of Arts and Sciences dates back to the original Saint Louis Academy.

SLU's first classes were held Nov. 16, 1818, in a building much like the drawing seen here, rented from Madame Eugene Alvarez.

1818
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1829

Father Peter J. Verhaegen, S.J.

The Society of Jesus assumes control of the college, and Father Peter J. Verhaegen, S.J., becomes the school's first Jesuit president.

1829
Fleur

1832

Saint Louis College is located on Washington Avenue between Ninth and Tenth streets in a undeveloped, heavily wooded area of St. Louis.

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.

Opening and closing excerpts of the Saint Louis University charter. A map showing 482 feet of land on Washington Avenue and 462 feet along Lucas Avenue (then known as Christy Avenue), owned by Saint Louis University. The width of the property was 225 feet on Ninth Street. A drawing illustrates the campus as it stood in its original location. The facade of University on Ninth Street, as seen in 1888. The University buildings in 1888, including the faculty residence.

1832
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1836

The University's first medical school building was located on Washington Avenue at Tenth Street.

SLU establishes the first medical school west of the Mississippi River.

The Saint Louis University School of Medicine as it appears today at Grand Boulevard and Park Avenue.

1836
Fleur

1841

The original St. Francis Xavier College Church as it stood in the 1870s at its original location at the corner of Ninth Street and Lucas Avenue.

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.

Laying the foundation of St. Francis Xavier College Church at Grand Boulevard in 1884. A photo of a steepleless St. Francis Xavier College Church. The steeple was completed in 1914. St. Francis Xavier College Church as it stands today. The interior of St. Francis Xavier College Church today.

1841
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1843

The law department shared a 34-by-80-foot building with a public chapel, a physical sciences laboratory, a lecture hall, an artist's workshop and a museum on Washington Avenue between Ninth and Tenth streets. Classes were held in this building until the department closed upon the death of its founder, Judge Richard Aylett Buckner, in 1847.

SLU establishes the first law department west of the Mississippi River.

A view of downtown from Scott Hall, the current location of the School of Law.

1843
Fleur

1867

A pen-and-ink drawing of the University's new home. At that time, the site was considered rural.

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
Fleur

1888

An early photograph of DuBourg Hall taken in the 1900s.

DuBourg Hall opens on July 31, the Feast of St. Ignatius 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.

A current view of DuBourg Hall.

1888
Fleur

1903

The Marion-Sims-Beaumont College of Medicine

SLU acquires the Marion-Sims-Beaumont College of Medicine, located at Grand Boulevard and Caroline Street.

1903
Fleur

1906

Bradbury Robinson.

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
Fleur

1908

The original building for the Saint Louis University School of Law was located on the southeast corner of Leffingwell Avenue and Locust Street.

The Saint Louis University School of Law admits five female students -- the first women to attend Saint Louis University.

An original sketch of the Billiken.

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.

A mid-century version of the Billiken. The Billiken from the 1970s to 1984. The Billiken from 1985 to 1991. The Billiken from 1991 to the early 2000s The current Saint Louis University Billiken.

1908
Fleur

1910

In the fall of 1931, 21 years after the school was founded, the business school's current home 	— Davis-Shaughnessy Hall  	— opened. The building is named in memory of Father Joseph Davis and donor Martin Shaughnessy.

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.

Cook Hall today. The atrium of Cook Hall.

1910
Fleur

1921

Brother George Ruepple, S.J., at his sending station in the early days of the radio. (1947)

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.

Brother George Rueppel, S.J., was the founder of WEW radio and served for many years as its technical director and chief engineer. (1941) Breaking ground for a new FM tower for the WEW Radio Station. (1947) WEW radio announcer Cliff Lancot at the microphone. (1946)

1921
Fleur

1925

James B. Macelwane, S.J.

SLU Professor James B. Macelwane, S.J., establishes the first department of geophysics in the Western Hemisphere.

Brother George Rueppel, S.J., (left) and Father Macelwane, at the seismograph in the basement of DuBourg Hall. (1925) The first seismograph installed by the University in 1909.

The women of the Saint Louis University Homecoming Court ride in a car and wave during the Homecoming Parade. (1955)

SLU holds its first Homecoming and University-wide prom.

The first University-wide prom. (1925)

1925
Fleur

1927

Oliver "Lafe"Parks, namesake of Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology.

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.

In 1928, Parks purchased land in Cahokia, Illinois. The college moved from Lambert Field the following year. Students,  faculty and staff pose in front of the main administrative building.

1927
Fleur

1928

The School of Nursing is founded. It goes on to be the first in the United States to establish an accelerated BSN and the first in Missouri to offer a Ph.D. program.

The School of Nursing building today.

1928
Fleur

1929

Mother Marie Kernaghan, Ph.D.

Mother Marie Kernaghan becomes the first woman to graduate from Saint Louis University with a Ph.D. Her degree was in physics.

1929
Fleur

1930

Tegeler Hall is the current home to the School of Social Work.

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
Fleur

1932

A gift from the estate of Firmin Desloge laid the groundwork for the hospital's construction.

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
Fleur

1944

Father Claude Heithaus, S.J., (seated) meets with SLU's newest students. (1944)

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
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1946

Cupples House as it stood around the time it was purchased by the University.

The University purchases Samuel Cupples House to serve as a student union. Cupples House is later restored and is now open to the public as a historic home and gallery.

The Historic Samuel Cupples House today. The interior of Samuel Cupples House.

1946
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1949

A co-educational classroom at Saint Louis University.

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.

Father William Bowdern, S.J., (pictured) performed the exorcism with Father Walter Halloran, S.J., and Father William Van Roo, S.J.

Jesuits from Saint Louis University perform the religious rite that becomes the basis of "The Exorcist" book and movie.

1949
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1956

Marguerite Hall is named in honor of Marguerite of Provence, wife of Saint Louis of France.

Marguerite Hall opens as St. Louis University's first residence hall for women. It becomes the University's first co-ed residence hall in 1971.

The exterior of Marguerite Hall

1956
Fleur

1959

The library, shortly after it opened in 1959.

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.

Saint Louis University President Father Paul C. Reinert, S.J., opened the library on May 18, 1959. The library as it looked in 1969. The statue of His Holiness Pope Pius XII is by artist Ivan Mestrovic. Pius Library today. The interior of Pius Library today.

An early brochure cover fromt the 1-8-1-8 Plan.

Saint Louis University 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. SLU's program is the oldest dual credit program in the nation.

1959
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1962

General Daniel M. Frost

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. The north end of SLU's Midtown campus becomes known as the Frost Campus in honor of her father, General Daniel M. Frost.

Dedicated on Sept. 27, 1967, after 10 years of planning, Busch Student Center was originally christened Busch Memorial Center. Fulfilling a promise made by President John F. Kennedy to University President Paul Reinert,S.J., Lyndon B. Johnson planted a maple tree on the site on Feb. 14, 1964, two months after his inauguration as president of the United States. Busch Student Center today. BSC interior.

1962
Fleur

1967

The University's  first lay board of trustees was chaired by Daniel L. Schlafly.

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
Fleur

1969

Facade of Padre Arrupe Hall, one of three buildings on Saint Louis University's Madrid Campus.

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.

An article from the University's alumni magazine, <i>Universitas</i>, about the opening of SLU-Madrid. Students stop for a selfie outside of Padre Rubio Hall.

1969
Fleur

1972

Members of the heart transplant team included: Dr. Russell Kraeger, Dr. John Schweiss, Dr. Vallee Willman, Dr. George Kaiser, Dr. Henrick Barner and Dr. J. Gerard Mudd. Not pictured: Dr. Richard Whiting, Dr. John Codd and Dr. Kenneth Nachtnebel.

SLU surgeons conduct the first heart transplant in the Midwest.

News coverage of the first heart transplant in the Midwest, performed by SLU surgeons. Page 2 of the article.

1972
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1978

In 2015, ITS estimated a daily average of 25,196 computer devices on SLU's campus.

SLU's Office of the University Registrar is equipped with its first computer.

1978
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1979

The Allied Health Professions Building  opened in 1998.

SLU's School of Allied Health Professions, now Doisy College of Health Sciences, is founded.

An article announcing the creation of the School of Allied Health Professions.

1979
Fleur

1981

University President Thomas Fitzgerald, S.J.,adresses the crowd at  the Simon Recreation Center's opening ceremony.

Simon Recreation Center opens.

The interior of Simon Recreation Center. Also known as Simon Rec, the center features a rock-climbing wall, a six-lane indoor swimming pool, and a juice bar and lounge.

1981
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1988

An article from 1988 explains the new scholarship initiative.

SLU introduces the Presidential Scholarship, a four-year, full-tuition award. Presidential Scholars represent some of the most exemplary student leaders at the University.

1988
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1989

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
Video

1990

The first late-night Sunday student Mass is celebrated at St. Francis Xavier College Church. Now a SLU tradition, particularly for undergraduates, the Mass is celebrated at 9 p.m.

Hermann Stadium.

Robert R. Hermann Stadium, home to SLU's men's and women's soccer teams, is christened.

1990
Fleur

1991

SLU's College for Public Health and Social Justice is housed in the University's Salus Center.

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
Fleur

1993

The Lipic Clock Tower Plaza.

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.

The exterior of MOCRA, located in the former chapel of Fusz Hall.

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
Fleur

1995

SLU<i>Care</i> Physician Group includes more than 500 health care providers in hospitals and medical offices throughout the St. Louis region.

SLUCare Physician Group is formed as the academic medical practice of Saint Louis University.

1995
Video

1996

Many courses offered through the School for Professional Studies are available  online, making it convenient for busy adults to work classes into their schedules.

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
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1998

SLU's School of Education is located in Fitzgerald Hall.

The Saint Louis University School of Education is founded.

A student volunteers during a Make A Difference Day event in 2013.

SLU holds its first Make A Difference Day. Now the University's single largest day of service, the event involves thousands of students, as well as faculty, staff and alumni, volunteering at more than 100 sites around the St. Louis metro area.

1998
Fleur

1999

The center's Learning Studio is a state-of-the-art teaching space that features flexible furniture and a range of innovative technologies.

SLU opens the Paul C. Reinert, S.J., Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning.

1999
Fleur

2001

The Campus Kitchen Project logo.

Saint Louis University becomes the first location of the national Campus Kitchen Project.

Each week, volunteers prepare and deliver hundreds of meals to elderly and disabled residents in the areas surrounding the University.

2001
Fleur

2002

The Saint Louis University Cancer Center is located at Vista and Spring avenues in the Saint Louis University Hospital West Pavilion Building.

The Saint Louis University Cancer Center, a joint initiative between SLUCare and Saint Louis University Hospital, opens.

The Saint Louis University Museum of Art at night.

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
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2005

Saint Louis University is the only NCAA Division I school in St. Louis.

The Billikens join the Atlantic 10 Conference. SLU has 18 NCAA Division I teams.

2005
Fleur

2007

A view of the Edward Doisy Research Center.

The $82 million Edward A. Doisy Research Center, with 80 research labs on 10 floors, opens.

2007
Fleur

2008

A view of Chaifetz Arena.

Chaifetz Arena opens at a cost of $80.5 million. It seats 10,600.

A packed Chaifetz Arena.

2008
Fleur

2010

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.

In 2015, Saint Louis University received a silver rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. The rating acknowledges SLU's achievements in sustainable operations — such as its goals to reduce energy and water usage throughout its campus — and academics — such as the creation of the Center for Sustainability.

Saint Louis University's Center for Sustainability is created.

2010
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2013

A view of downtown St. Louis from Scott Hall.

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 mission of the Center for Global Citizenship is to promote collaboration across the University to educate and engage the SLU community for global awareness, responsibility, and participation.

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
Fleur

2014

Dr. Pestello giving his inaugural address on Oct. 3, 2014.

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

2014
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