Saint Xavier University (abbreviated SXU) is a four-year, coeducational institution of higher learning located in the southwest side of Chicago, Illinois.
Saint Xavier University was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1846 at the request of Bishop William Quarter. With the City of Chicago less than ten years old, the Sisters of Mercy, under the guidance of Mother Mary Francis Warde, RSM, established Saint Francis Xavier Female Academy. The Academy, which would later become Saint Xavier College, and finally Saint Xavier University, was the first Mercy College in the world and is the oldest chartered College in the city of Chicago.
The original campus, which burnt down in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, was located on Wabash Avenue between Madison and Monroe in downtown Chicago. Soon after, the campus was rebuilt on a 5-acre (2.023 ha) site on the southern boundary of Chicago.
Saint Xavier's 109 acres (44.1 ha) main campus is located in City of Chicago, on the corner of 103rd Street and Central Park Avenue.
The university's main campus is made up of several buildings, including the Warde Academic Center, which is the oldest building on campus and houses administrative offices and the library, the Shannon Center, McDonough Chapel, a large Catholic chapel, the Graham School of Management Building, Andrew Conference Center, Driehaus Center, and Pulaski Center. Recently, the school has opened the Visual Arts Center and O'Grady Center which houses the offices of records, registration, and financial aid. Up until the Spring of 2010 the offices of records and advising and financial aid was moved back the Warde Academic Center.
In recent years, Saint Xavier has experienced an influx of students and to accommodate them, Saint Xavier University has opened up 4 brand new dormitories on campus since 2001. McCarthy, Morris, Rubloff, and O'Brien Halls are apartment style dorms that accommodate upperclass students on campus.
In 2009, former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley recognized Saint Xavier University for its eco-friendly efforts with the opening of the Arthur Rubloff Hall and O'Brien Halls on campus. These residence halls are environmentally friendly, and feature rooftop gardens, and clean source alternative energy.
Saint Xavier also has a campus located in Orland Park located off I-80 and LaGrange Road. The Orland Park Campus houses the School of Continuing and Professional Studies programs as well as a Fast-Track Business Administration program.
Recognized as one of the top 40 comprehensive master's universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges 2009, Saint Xavier University offers more than 43 undergraduate majors and 40 graduate programs through their 5 schools:
In addition to undergraduate programs, the Graduate School at Saint Xavier University offers Master's degrees in Computer Science, Education, Nursing, Business Administration, Speech and Language Pathology, and more.
The Saint Xavier Cougars are the athletic teams of Saint Xavier University. The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, dance, soccer, softball, track & field and volleyball. Its football team competes in the Mid-States Football Association under head coach Mike Feminis.
SXU's school colors are Scarlet and Grey. Athletic facilities are located on campus. The Shannon Center, which also houses the university fitness center, holds up to 3,500 students and is home to both men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams. Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field is home to football, soccer, and track.
In 2011, Saint Xavier won the NAIA Football National Championship.