Franciscan University of Steubenville

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Franciscan University of Steubenville A Franciscan-founded university located in Steubenville, Ohio.

In 1946, Steubenville’s first bishop, John King Mussio, suggested that the Franciscan Friars of the Third Order Regular establish a college to serve the needs of local students, most especially the veterans of World War II. The friars purchased the Knights of Pythias Building in downtown Steubenville in June 1946.

The college nearly failed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Reeling from the social and cultural upheavals that rocked schools nationwide, the College found itself facing a serious identity crisis and declining enrollment. Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, who became president in 1974, helped restore the institution's Franciscan identity by placing worship and religious fellowship, in forms heavily influenced by the Catholic charismatic renewal, at the center of campus life and orienting the curriculum toward an emphasis on traditional Catholic doctrine.

The College achieved university status in 1980, changing its name to Franciscan University of Steubenville in 1987. During its 56 years of existence, the University has grown to a 124 acre (500,000 m²) campus with 21 buildings and an academic institute in Gaming, Austria. It now educates more than 2,250 students each year who come from 50 states and 25 countries. The University also reaches over 30,000 other Catholics through its 22 annual adult and youth conferences.

Franciscan University has achieved national recognition from a variety of sources, including The Templeton Guide for Colleges That Encourage Character Development, National Review’s Guide to America’s Top Liberal Arts Schools, The Templeton Foundation’s Honor Rolls for Education in a Free Society, Barron’s Best Buys in College Education, and U.S. News & World Report’s list of America’s Best Colleges.

Franciscan University’s student body has grown from just 258 students in 1946 to its current numbers of more than 2,250 students today.

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