Every year, USJ students, faculty, alumni, and staff change the University with new ideas, expertise, resources, and support. In 2018, historic change came to USJ on move-in day, when we welcomed our new students – nearly 100 men along with more than 200 women – all excited to join our first coeducational undergraduate class. Our students came to USJ ready to learn; they will not only share and develop their many strengths, but also celebrate their differences, as they prepare themselves for the world in which they will compete after graduation.
In addition to the faster-than-anticipated increase in enrollment (300 incoming students against a goal of 175), there were other exciting accomplishments in 2018:
Introduction of four new academic majors designed to meet the needs of our students and aligned to the regional economy:
A series of academic lectures, book signings, and readings that celebrated the scholarship of USJ’s outstanding faculty. The 2018 Sister Mary Ellen Murphy Faculty Scholarship Award was awarded to Reverend Joseph Cheah, OSM, Ph.D., professor of Religious Studies and Theology, who presented his lecture entitled “‘Haunted House,’ Skeletons of a Racist Past, and Their Influences on U.S. Buddhism.”
New coaches – including three-time NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship winner Jim Calhoun, and NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball three-time Academic All-American Wendy Davis, – and the expansion of athletic teams from eight to 12, with the addition of men’s basketball, cross-country, soccer, and swimming and diving. Coming next year: women’s field hockey and men’s lacrosse.
About $30 million in capital investments to fulfill USJ’s 2020 Strategic Plan goals to modernize and renovate residence halls and student activity spaces; expand conference meeting opportunities; athletic center operations; and improve campus facilities, operations, and processes to optimize student experiences.
The continued success of the Women’s Leadership Center, which held programs throughout the year including a panel discussion entitled “Global Changemakers,” in partnership with the World Affairs Council of Connecticut, to mark International Women’s Day and an interview series called “Making Her Story” in partnership with Connecticut Public Radio.
Contributions and grants that totaled $6 million and a successful (and festive!) Gala that contributed $200,000 to scholarships.
Our momentum continues because of the incredible community of people at the University of Saint Joseph – our successful alumni, distinguished faculty, dedicated staff, and engaged students – and, most of all, our generous donors and supporters who continue to move the University forward. Thank you for all that you do for USJ, and please stay connected by joining us online or on campus.
Rhona C. Free, Ph.D. President
The University of Saint Joseph, founded by the Sisters of Mercy in the Catholic tradition, provides a rigorous liberal arts and professional education for a diverse student population in an inclusive environment that encourages strong ethical values, personal integrity, and a sense of responsibility to the needs of society.
Since our founding, providing scholarships to talented and motivated students has been a high priority for USJ. As a University founded to educate students with “a sense of responsibility to the needs of society,” we seek to grow our endowment to assure that the excellence of a USJ education is available to students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. Fiscal year 2018 (FY18), produced significant growth in this area, and we are particularly grateful to the 92 people who contributed more than $500,000 to endowed scholarships this year, including:
Overall, 2,439 individuals, companies and foundations contributed nearly $6 million during FY18, strengthening our ability to support the aspirations of talented students and meet the needs of employers and our community.