Saint Louis University Timeline, 1818 - present
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Fleur

1818

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
Rev. Louis William DuBourg, Catholic Bishop of Louisianax
SLU's first classes were held Nov. 16, 1818, in a building rented from Madame Eugene Alvarez, which is similar to this drawing.x
Fleur

1829

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

1829
Father Peter J. Verhaegenx
Fleur

1832

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
Saint Louis College is located on Washington Avenue between 9th and 10th streets in a undeveloped, heavily wooded area of St. Louis.x
Opening and closing excerpts of the Saint Louis University charter.x
The University owns 482 feet of land on Washington Avenue and 462 feet along Lucas Avenue (which was then known as Christy Avenue). The width of the property was 225 feet on 9th Street.x
A drawing illustrates the campus as it stood in its original location.x
x
x
Fleur

1836

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

1836
The University's first medical school building was located on Washington Avenue at 10th Street.x
The Saint Louis University School of Medicine as it appears today at Grand Boulevard and Park Avenue.x
Fleur

1841

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
The original St. Francis Xavier College Church as it stood in the 1870s at its original location at the corner of 9th Street and Lucas Avenue.x
Laying the foundation of St. Francis Xavier College Church at Grand Boulevard in 1884.x
A photo of a steepleless St. Francis Xavier College Church. The steeple was completed in 1914.x
St. Francis Xavier College Church as it stands today.x
The interior of St. Francis Xavier College Church today.x
Fleur

1843

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

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 9th and 10th streets. Classes were held in this building until the department closed upon the death of its founder, Judge Richard Aylett Buckner, in 1847.x
Fleur

1867

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
A pen and ink drawing of the University's new home. At that time, the site was considered the country.x
A modern view looking north up Grand Boulevard.x
Fleur

1888

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
An early photograph of DuBourg Hall taken in the 1900s.x
A current view of the modern day DuBourg Hall.x
Fleur

1903

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

1903
Marion-Sims-Beaumont College of Medicinex
Fleur

1906

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
Bradbury Robinsonx
Fleur

1908

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 building for the Saint Louis University School of Law was located on the southeast corner of Leffingwell Avenue and Locust Street.x
An original sketch of the Billiken.x
The Billiken from 1915 to 1965.x
The Billiken from 1966 to the 1970s.x
The Billiken from the 1970s to 1984.x
The Billiken from 1985 to 1991.x
The Billiken from 1991 to the early 2000sx
The current Saint Louis University Billiken.x
Fleur

1910

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
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 Regent Joseph Davis and donor, Martin Davis-Shaughnessy.x
Davis-Shaughnessy Hall today.x
The atrium of Davis-Shaughnessy Hall.x
Fleur

1921

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

1925

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
James B. Macelwane, S.J.x
Brother George Rueppel, S.J., (left) and Father Macelwane, S.J., at the seismograph in the basement of DuBourg Hall. (1925)x
The women of the Saint Louis University Homecoming Court ride in a car and wave during the Homecoming Parade. (1955)x
The first University-wide prom (1925)x
The first seismograph installed by the University in 1909.x
Fleur

1927

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
Oliver "Lafe" Parks, namesake of Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology.x
In 1928, Parks purchased land in Cahokia, Illinois. The college moved from Lambert Field the following year.x
Students, faculty and staff pose in front of the main administrative building.x
Fleur

1928

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
SLU School of Nursing Class of 1943.x
The School of Nursing building today.x
Fleur

1929

Mother Marie Kernaghan becomes the first woman to graduate from Saint Louis University with a Ph.D. (physics.)

1929
Mother Marie Kernaghan, Ph.D.x
Fleur

1930

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

1932

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

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

1946

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
As Cupples House stood around the time it was purchased by the University.x
The Historic Samuel Cupples House today.x
The interior of Samuel Cupples House.x
Fleur

1949

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
A co-educational classroom.x
Father William Bowdern, S.J., (pictured) performed the exorcism with Father Walter Halloran, S.J., and Father William Van Roo, S.J.x
Fleur

1956

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

1959

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
The library, shortly after it opened in 1959.x
Saint Louis University President Father Paul C. Reinert, S.J., opened the library on May 18, 1959.x
The library as it looked in 1969. The statue of His Holiness Pope Pius XII has since been moved to Lindell Boulevard. x
Pius Library today.x
The interior of Pius Library today.x
Fleur

1962

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
General Daniel M. Frostx
Dedicated on Sept. 27, 1967, after 10 years of planning, the Busch Student Center was originally christened the Busch Memorial Center (or BMC). Fulfilling a promise made by President John F. Kennedy to Father Reinert of Saint Louis University, Lyndon B. Johnson planted a maple tree on the site of the BMC on Feb. 14, 1964, two months after his inauguration as president of the United States. x
The Busch Student Center today.x
The interior of the BSC.x
Fleur

1967

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
The University's first lay Board of Trustees was chaired by Daniel L. Schlafly.x
Fleur

1969

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
Facade of Padre Arrupe Hall, the main building of Saint Louis University's Madrid Campus.x
An article from the University's alumni magazine, Universitas, about the opening of SLU-Madrid.x
Students stop for a selfie outside of the current Padre Rubio Hall.x
Fleur

1972

SLU surgeons conduct the first heart transplant in the Midwest.

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

1978

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

1978
Today, ITS estimates a daily average of 25,196 computer devices on SLU's campus.x
Fleur

1979

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

1979
The Allied Health Professions Building was opened in 1998.x
A newspaper article calling for the new school to be created.x
Fleur

1981

The Simon Recreation Center opens.

1981
Father Reinert adresses the crowd at the center's opening ceremony.x
The interior of Simon Recreation Center today. Also known as Simon Rec, the center features a rock-climbing wall, a six-lane indoor swimming pool, and a juice bar and lounge.x
Fleur

1988

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
An article from 1988 explains the new scholarship initiative.x
Fleur

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
Stock photo.x
Video

1990

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
Watch and learn about the 9 p.m. Mass.x
Hermann Stadium today.x
Fleur

1991

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
SLU's College for Public Health and Social Justice is headquartered at the University's Medical Center in the Salus Center.x
Fleur

1993

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
The Lipic Clock Tower Plaza today.x
The exterior of MOCRA from the Connelly Mall.x
Fleur

1995

SLUCare Physician Group is formed as the academic medical practice.

1995
SLUCare Physician Group includes more than 500 health care providers in hospitals and medical offices throughout the St. Louis region.x
Video

1996

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
Many courses offered through the School for Professional Studies are offered online, making it an easy way for busy adults to work it into their schedules.x
Fleur

1998

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
SLU's College of Education is located in Tegeler Hall.x
A student volunteers during a Make A Difference Day event in 2013.x
Fleur

1999

1999

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

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

2001

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

2001
Each week, volunteers prepare and deliver hundreds of meals to elderly and disabled residents in the areas surrounding the University.x
Fleur

2002

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 Saint Louis University Cancer Center is located at Vista and Spring avenues in the Saint Louis University West Pavilion Building.x
The Saint Louis University Museum of Art at night.x
Fleur

2005

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

2005
Saint Louis University is the only NCAA Division I school in St. Louis.x
Fleur

2007

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

2007
A modern view of the Edward Doisy Research Center.x
Fleur

2008

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

Chaifetz Arena is home to SLU's men's and women's basketball teams, and has hosted more than 600 events in its five-year history. x
A view of Chaifetz Arena from Interstate 64.x
A packed Chaifetz Arena.x
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.

Saint Louis University's Center for Sustainability is created.

2010
Stock photo.x
Established by a grant from the Alberici Foundation, Saint Louis University's Center for Sustainability offers graduate degrees in sustainability, urban planning and development, and advanced remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS).x
Fleur

2013

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
A view of downtown St. Louis from Scott Hall.x
Fleur

2014

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

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