Saint Louis University

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Saint Louis University (also known as SLU) is a private, co-educational Catholic Jesuit university in the Midtown neighborhood of St. Louis City. It is the 4th-largest Jesuit University in the United States.


SLU was founded in 1818 as Saint Louis Academy along with the high school, now known as St. Louis University High School, and later taken over by the Society of Jesus, making it the oldest university west of the Mississippi River and the second-oldest Jesuit college in the nation. (Only Georgetown University has been in existence longer.) It is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. The high school was originally located in DuBourg Hall on the SLU campus but moved to its own campus in the 1920s.

The first M.D. degree awarded west of the Mississippi was conferred by Saint Louis University in 1836.

During the early 1940s, many local priests, especially the Jesuits, began to challenge te segregationist policies at the city's Catholic colleges and parochial schools. Saint Louis University opened its doors to African Americans in 1943 after its president, Father Patrick Holloran, secured the approval of St. Louis Archbishop John J. Glennon.

For over thirty years the university has maintained a campus in Madrid, Spain with a student body of around 1000. The Madrid campus was the first freestanding campus operated by an American university in Europe and the first American institution to be recognized by Spain's higher education authority as an official foreign university.

DuBourg Hall serves as the administration building for Saint Louis University.

Since 1953, the university has had a distinctive research resource in the Vatican Film Library, created through initiatives taken by Fr. Lowrie Daly, S.J. and generously supported by the Knights of Columbus. External scholars are able to apply for NEH Research Fellowships to gain access to the microfilmed manuscript collections. These fellowships are administered by Saint Louis University's Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

In the early 1970's, the campus was the site of an emerging new stream of Biblically-based liturgical music that has enjoyed a worldwide impact. The composers were known as The St. Louis Jesuits. After a twenty-year hiatus, they released a new album in the fall of 2005.

The university was ranked 77th by U.S. News & World Report in their list of the best U.S. colleges for 2007, placing it among the top five Catholic institutions in the United States. [1]

More than 100 doctors from Saint Louis University's physician practice, SLUCare, were ranked among the best doctors in St. Louis in 2006 by St. Louis Magazine. [2]

The University has long supported the arts, with several museums on campus including the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art, the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, and Cupples House.

Major Building and Renovation Projects

Edward A. Doisy Research Center

On Dec. 7, 2007, SLU celebrated the grand opening and dedication of the Edward A. Doisy Research Center.[3] The University's signature fleur-de-lis was added to the top of the building Nov. 7, 2007 -- a 30-foot, fleur-de-lis lantern.[4]

Construction on the $82 million Doisy Research Center project began in summer 2005. It consists of a 10-story tower at the north end with the two lowest floors extending toward the south and connecting in a covered walkway to Saint Louis University School of Medicine, where additional research facilities and training space are located. It is the largest construction project in the history of the University. The center makes it possible for SLU scientists to further research discoveries in five key areas: cancer, liver disease, heart/lung disease, aging and brain disease, and vaccine development for a variety of infectious diseases.

The Doisy Research Center is named for Edward Adelbert Doisy, Ph.D., a professor for five decades at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. He was renowned worldwide for his pioneering work in the field of biochemistry, including winning the 1943 Nobel Prize for discovering the chemical nature of vitamin K.[5]

The building is considered "green." 79 percent of all construction waste created during the creation of the Doisy Research Center was recycled (SLU press release.[6] An energy-efficient heating and cooling system; recycled steel, concrete, floor finishes and carpeting; and materials from rapidly renewable sources such as bamboo and cord were used in the sleek new building. A "green roof" -- low-growing vegetation that requires little care or water -- has been planted on a two-story roof extension to help keep temperatures inside the building even.[7]

Chaifetz Arena

The multi-purpose Chaifetz Arena, construction of which was completed in early April 2008 at a cost of $80.5 million, contains 10,600 seats for basketball, a training facility, state-of-the-art locker rooms, and a practice facility that can house an additional 1,000 spectators. It is located on the eastern-most end of campus, just north of Highway 40. The arena replaced Scottrade Center as the University's primary location for large events, notably Commencement celebrations and varsity sports. On February 28, 2007, the arena was named in honor of University alumnus (1975) Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz, who made a $12 million naming rights gift to the Arena.[8] The University's official dedication ceremony for the Arena was held on April 10, 2008.[9]

School of Law

The school recently unveiled plans for a new building. The school is currently attempting to raise the estimated $30-35 million necessary, with groundbreaking being estimated to being in 2010.


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The men's soccer team has won 10 national titles (1959-60, 1962-63, 1965, 1967, 1969-70, 1972-73), the most in NCAA Men's Soccer Championship history. SLU also holds the record for most NCAA Tournament appearances with 42. Several Billikens have gone on to play professionally. The soccer team plays at Hermann Stadium on campus. Legion 1818 is the official supporters group for the team.

In the 1948-1949 the Billikens were ranked first in the first Associated Press basketball poll. Ed Macauley of the Basketball Hall of Fame and SLU won the National Invitation Tournament championship in 1948 and have played in that 18 times and the last time being 2004. Larry Hughes of the Cleveland Cavaliers played one season at SLU in the 1997-1998 season, where he was selected as the consensus national Freshman of the Year. They have made the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament in 1952, 1957, 1994, 1995, 1998, and 2000. The BLUE CREW is the official student cheering section at the Men's Billiken Basketball games.

The women's soccer program has also made great strides since its founding in 1996. Under the tutelage of coach Tim Champion, the Lady Billikens made their NCAA Tournament debut in 2005, knocking off Stanford before falling to perennial power Santa Clara in the second round.

In 2006, the Billiken baseball team earned the program's first NCAA Tournament berth since 1966 by winning the Atlantic 10 Tournament. SLU’s most successful baseball team of all time was the 1965 squad, which qualified for the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the College World Series.

The Billiken tennis team has had many good seasons over the years, especially during their hey-day during 1981-1984. Mario Barreta, Marco Molinari, Bill Hornbarger, Scott Howell, Lee Blount, and Marc Braekel were among the prominent Billiken players during this era.

SLU has not had football since the late 1940s, although they did field a club-level football squad during the late 1960s and early 1970s. SLU's football team threw the first legal forward pass in football history. Eddie Cochem, the Saint Louis University coach, was the first to use the forward pass in 1906. They also had a hockey program for nearly the entire decade of the 1970s, until the program ended in 1980.

SLU currently plays their basketball games at the Scottrade Center but is presently proceeding on development of a new 10,000-seat arena on the Frost campus which will bring games a lot closer to the resident student body. Construction will start by September 2006 and the arena should be ready for the 2008-2009 season.

The widespread NCAA conference realignment affected the Billikens, as they made the move from Conference USA (which was created by a merger between the Metro and Great Midwest Conferences) to the Atlantic 10 on July 1, 2005. This became the sixth conference affiliation for SLU since 1937. Through the years, SLU has been affiliated with the Missouri Valley Conference (1937-1974); the defunct Metro Conference (1975-1982); the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, now known as the Horizon League (1982-1991); and the defunct Great Midwest Conference (1991-1995).

Student Organizations

Saint Louis University has a large number of student organizations that cover a variety of interests: student government, club sports, organizations focused on media and publications, performing arts, religion and volunteerism and service. A current list can be found here on the university's website. One of the many groups include the Great Issues Committee, which brings speakers to the University's campus. Another is the Presidential Scholars Society, which is an undergraduate social organization and scholastic honor society whose members have received SLU's highest academic award, the Presidential Scholarship. Other student groups include:

  • Parks Guard - Military drill team that competes in Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps drill competitions and conducts honor guard ceremonies for local events

Greek Life

Saint Louis has 13 fraternities and five sororities on-campus.


  • Alpha Delta Gamma
  • Zeta Tau Chapter of Beta Theta Pi
  • Delta Sigma Phi
  • Phi Delta Theta
  • Phi Kappa Theta
  • Phi Kappa Tau
  • Kappa Delta Rho
  • Pi Kappa Alpha
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon
  • Sigma Chi
  • Sigma Phi Epsilon


  • Alpha Delta Pi
  • Delta Gamma
  • Gamma Phi Beta
  • Kappa Delta
  • Sigma Kappa


SLU has both dormitory and apartment space on-campus. As part of the Freshman Year Experience (FYE) program, resident freshman students live in one of two freshman-only buildings for their first year, after which point they are able to live anyplace else on campus.

FYE Options

The Griesedieck Complex (also known as "Gries", pronounced "greez") contains 14 stories of living space in its main building, with additional dorm space in its two wings, Walsh and Clemens. Reinert Hall, named after Jesuit Father Paul C. Reinert, is located across the street from the main campus in a converted hotel; sometimes referred to as "the Island," where the building lacks in location it makes up for in living space, containing some of the largest dormitories at SLU. Freshman Honors students can also choose to live at Notre Dame Hall, located on the western part of campus.

Upperclassman Options

Several housing choices exist for sophomores, juniors and seniors. SLU does not have Greek houses on campus; however, DeMattais Hall acts as a Greek dormitory and de facto community House. Another dorm option is Fusz Hall, catercorner to the University's Clocktower. It contains a food court.

Grand Forest, the Village, and the Marchetti Towers are the apartment options available. Because of its proximity to the stadium, many student-athletes live in Grand Forest. Similarly, the Village, just across from DeMattias, houses many Greeks. The Village is also very close to the local SLU bars -- Humphrey's and Laclede's -- making it an especially popular location for juniors and seniors. The Marchetti Towers is just west of Grand Forest and consists of two, 12-story towers. It is very popular with sophomores coming out of FYE housing, though it also has a strong junior and senior population.

Notable Moments

  • 1903 -- Theodore Roosevelt attends a Latin disputation at Saint Louis University. It is a "Grand Act" (a defense covering Philosophy and Theology) given by Spanish Jesuit Fr. Joachim Villalonga in celebration of the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase.
  • 1906 -- Bradbury Robinson throws the first legal forward pass in the history of American football to Jack Schneider, under the direction of SLU coach Eddie Cochems (September 5, 1906, against Carroll College of Waukesha).
  • 1943 -- Professor of Biochemistry Edward Adelbert Doisy shares (with Henrik Dam) the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on Vitamin K, which he had isolated in a pure form in 1939.
  • Jesuit Priests from SLU assist a boy believed to suffer from demonic possession. The boy's experience serves as the basis of the documentary In The Grip Of Evil and is dramatized in the film The Exorcist.
  • 1967 -- First lay incorporation of a Jesuit university in the United States. The membership of the Board of Trustees went from 13 Jesuit priests to 18 lay members and 10 Jesuits. Fr. Paul C. Reinert yielded the chairmanship to Daniel L. Schlafly. (Reported in Time magazine, February 3, 1967: "A Louder Voice for Laymen.")
  • 2003 -- The unranked SLU basketball team upsets #2 Louisville at the Savvis Center. Louisville had the nation's longest winning streak at the time.
  • 2006 -- Cardinal Sfeir, Patriarch of the 12-15 million-member Maronite Catholic Church and one of the most important figures in the Middle East, was bestowed with Saint Louis University's highest honor, the Sword of Ignatius Loyola, on June 30, 2006.[10]

Contact Information

221 N. Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63103-2097
Phone: 1-800-SLU-FOR-U

External Links


<googlemap lat="38.635813" lon="-90.233374" zoom="16" width="700" controls="large">38.635579, -90.233502, 221 N Grand Blvd St Louis, MO</googlemap>

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