DePaul was founded as St. Vincent’s College in 1898 by followers of the 17th Century priest St. Vincent de Paul. The school’s mission was then to educate Roman Catholic immigrants who had been denied admission to other schools because of their religious affiliations. In 1907, in response to pressure from Chicago's archdiocese, the Vincentians renamed their college DePaul University and opened up admission to students of all religious backgrounds.
DePaul expanded rapidly after it was renamed. In 1912, the music and business schools were established, and in 1915, the DePaul College of Law began enrolling students. DePaul's enrollment had its ups and downs over the next twenty years, due to contributing factors like the Great Depression and beyond. But after World War II, enrollment boomed.
During the 1980s, DePaul began work on an intense strategic plan to increase the student body while expanding construction into Lincoln Park and Chicago's downtown Loop. Throughout the 90s, buildings were popping up all over the place including Richardson Library, new residence halls, and the science center and in 1998, DePaul was one of seven finalists for Time magazine’s “College of the Year.”
DePaul’s campus is split up into two regions - Lincoln Park and the Loop. Neither is a traditional "campus,” and the college’s buildings are generally spread out among neighborhood homes. Students say, however, that the Lincoln Park side has more of a campus feel, though they stress that the city of Chicago is their campus. There are also suburban DePaul campuses in Naperville, Oak Forest, O’Hare, and Rolling Meadows.
The Lincoln Park campus covers 36 acres and is home to the Liberal Arts, Communication, Education, Theater, and Music schools. Lincoln Park also contains the three-story student center, as well as the majority of DePaul’s on-campus housing. The Loop is smack in the middle of downtown Chicago's financial district. The heart of the campus is the DePaul Center, an historic building that housed Goldblatt's flagship department store for more than 30 years. The Colleges of Law and Computing are both located on the Loop campus.
Chicago and DePaul are like two peas in a pod. Part of DePaul’s appeal lies in its city ties. Students take advantage of class excursions, “Explore Chicago” freshman seminars, and any number of sponsored trips to the myriad museums, theaters, and concert halls.
Chicago's cultural offerings are expansive, and by the time they graduate, students develop a real passion for the city.
The Fest is a huge annual concert featuring a big-name act.
Some DePaul students aiming to change the noticeable lack of school-wide traditions started a Facebook group - "DePaul Traditions" - just last year to remedy this problem. Suggestions so far include a blowout block party or a parade.
Gillian Anderson (1990) is an actress who played Scully on the X-Files.
Richard M. Daley (1964) is the current mayor of Chicago.
James Jenness (1969) is a former CEO of Kellogg Co.
Ray Manzarek (1960) was the keyboardist and founding member of The Doors.
John C. Reilly (attended) is an Oscar-nominated actor.
Pete Wentz (attended) is the bass player for Fall Out Boy and a minor celebrity married to Ashlee Simpson.
DePaul is a Division I school in the Big East Conference. Their mascot is the Blue Demon. DePaul athletics are best known for their renowned basketball team, which has spawned quite a few NBA players (about seven of whom are currently playing in the NBA). They’ve only made it to the Final Four once, in 1979. Their rivals include Marquette, Northwestern, and Notre Dame. DePaul fields varsity teams and a host of intramural activities.
The Blue Crew is the DePaul cheerleading squad that plans all halftime shows. They also plan welcome events and hand out paraphernalia to incoming students.
DePaul is the largest Catholic University in the country.
In recent years, criticism of The DePaulia, has led to independent student groups publishing their own papers. Many students think the newspaper limits freedom of speech.
The DePaul “Blue Demon” mascot took the game floor for the first time in 1968 with a head made out of papier-mâché and a crappy warm-up suit. Through the years, the Blue Demon has taken on many forms – in the 1990s, the mascot was dubbed “DIBS.”
The DePaul Theatre Conservatory is the oldest theater conservatory in the Midwest.
The Lincoln Park Campus provides the closest thing to a traditional college campus, although it's certainly far from traditional. Lincoln Park hosts residence halls, apartment-style living centers, and “apartment communities,” which are apartment buildings with courtyards for hanging out. Located in a trendy neighborhood just a mile from Lake Michigan, the Lincoln Park buildings are fully furnished and feature cable television, wireless Internet, and phone lines for each resident.
The only option for living in the Loop campus is the giant, high-rise University Center of Chicago (UCC), which opened in 2004. Because it was jointly developed by DePaul, Roosevelt University, and Columbia College, students from all three schools mingle in the building's food court, third-floor rooftop garden, and fitness center. Both residence hall and apartment-style units are available to all students, who range from undergraduates to graduate students of all ages.