Residence for SLU Jesuits to be Built on University's North Campus
After 18 months of discussion and collaboration between the University, its Jesuit community and the leadership of the Jesuit Central and Southern Province, ground soon will be broken for a new on-campus residence for SLU Jesuits, which will serve to enhance the integration of Jesuits into the campus community and University life.
The decision to locate the residence on campus was made in furtherance of one of the five strategic priorities SLU President Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D., has set for the University in this academic year: Continue to strengthen our Catholic and Jesuit Mission.
"The mission and values of the University have never been more important as we deal with the sad realities of COVID-19, racial injustices, and the economic struggles of many in our community," said Pestello. "Having the Jesuits who are actively involved in ministry, academics and campus life in the middle of North Campus will enhance the many ways in which we live our mission every day at SLU."
The residence will be located on the north side of Laclede Ave., just west of Spring Ave., with Fusz Hall to the North and Beracha and Spring Halls to the east.
“Jesuit Hall needs extensive repairs and maintenance and no longer serves the needs of the Jesuit community,” said Vice President for Mission and Identity David Suwalsky, S.J. "The new residence is designed to be an apostolic center meant for hospitality and the university Jesuits look forward to welcoming SLU faculty, staff and students to the residence."
Jesuit Hall has been home to SLU Jesuits and other members of the Society of Jesus since 1973. The building itself is more than 100 years old. In 2020, former Jesuit Provincial Ronald Mercier, S.J., confirmed a plan to create two new communities from Jesuit Hall: One designed for retired Jesuits and those who need medical support, and the second for Jesuits missioned as professors, pastors and staff members at the University.
The residence project will have 20 bedrooms for SLU Jesuits and five for guests. It will also have a chapel, dining space and meeting rooms. The chapel will be visible from the West Pine Mall. The project is similar to new Jesuit residences built recently at Loyola University Chicago and Marquette University.
The cost of the project, which will take 18-20 months to complete, is still being finalized. The University has launched a fundraising campaign to help pay for the project. Also, the proceeds from the pending sale of Jesuit Hall will be applied to the expense of the new residence.