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This handbook provides important information on institutional policies and procedures, campus activities and traditions, and services and resources. Every effort has been made to provide current and accurate information in this document; however, the administration reserves the right to alter, amend, or abolish its rules, regulations, or policies at any time.
Fontbonne University takes its name from Mother St. John Fontbonne, who in 1808 after the French Revolution, refounded the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph. More than a century and one-half before, in 1650, the Sisters of St. Joseph had been founded in Le Puy, France. During the French Revolution, the sisters were forced to return to their homes, and the community was dispersed.
Fewer than 28 years after the refounding, six Sisters of St. Joseph came to the United States in 1836 and established American roots at Carondelet, a small community in south St. Louis, Missouri. Five years later, in 1841, they opened St. Joseph’s Academy for Girls.
The CSJ heritage of strength and stability stems from values found in the order’s original documents and repeated in other records through the succeeding centuries. At least eight values can be identified throughout this long CSJ history – quality, respect, diversity, community, justice, service, faith, and Catholic presence.
It is on the tradition of service and of change, based on the values of the Congregation of St. Joseph, that Fontbonne College was founded in 1923. Fontbonne realized a change in status in 2002 when it became a university. A devotion to the tradition continues to move Fontbonne forward into the 21st century.
Fontbonne University, a Catholic coeducational institution of higher learning sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, is rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition. The university is dedicated to the discovery, understanding, preservation and dissemination of truth. Undergraduate and graduate programs are offered in an atmosphere characterized by a commitment to open communication, personal concern and diversity. Fontbonne University seeks to educate students to think critically, to act ethically and to assume responsibility as citizens and leaders.
Fontbonne University aspires to be a preferred destination, committed to providing a holistic learning experience rooted in excellence, for those seeking to be educated as leaders to serve a world in need and for those dedicated to educating them.
Fontbonne University honors the values and heritage of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet by fostering excellence, integrity, respect, diversity, community, justice, service, faith and Catholic identity.
Fontbonne University is committed to:
- Achieving academic and educational excellence.
- Advancing historical remembrance, critical reflection and moral resolve.
- Promoting dialogue among diverse communities.
- Demonstrating care and respect for each member of the community.
- Serving the larger community.
- Preparing individuals to be an ethical and responsible presence to the world.
Fontbonne affirms its identity as a Catholic university. Sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, it is founded on the beliefs that all creation reveals God, that the ministry of Jesus began a process of redemption that extends to this day, and that the Holy Spirit continues to impart grace through the daily experiences of women and men. Among the many signs of God’s grace are teaching and learning, which at Fontbonne are pursued by people sharing a variety of religious beliefs and an understanding of the importance of education.
“Catholic” means “universal” and “throughout the whole,” like leaven permeating bread. The permeating quality of Fontbonne is our commitment to know, to love, and to serve the truth that unites faith and reason, nature and grace, the human and the divine. The desire for a greater understanding of creation and its Creator is one of the most profound expressions of human dignity. In this sense, to learn is to augment one’s capacity for love so that the thoughtful and loving acts of an educated person are a witness to the transformation of the world that began with the Resurrection and continues with the enlivening of humanity. What makes us truly human helps to unite us with the divine as we seek to understand, love, and serve God and neighbor without distinction.
The permeating and universal nature of Catholicism gives rise to the mission and vision of this university. Because Fontbonne is Catholic, we embrace openness and inclusiveness. Because Fontbonne is Catholic, we pursue educational excellence. And because Fontbonne is Catholic, we seek to recognize the presence of God in all creation and to participate in the continuing transformation of ourselves and a world in need.
Fontbonne University maintains a strong commitment to diversity to increase the number of faculty, staff and students from all backgrounds. Every person, regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability shall be treated with respect and dignity.
Therefore, Fontbonne University will strive to:
- Create a learning environment that promotes nurtures and supports the understanding, recognition and appreciation of contributions to society made by diverse individuals and groups.
- Increase recruitment and retention of diverse students, faculty and staff.
- Promote and foster effective communication and interaction among diverse populations.
In 1976, just after Fontbonne College converted from an all-women’s school to a coed institution, Barry McArdle, then dean of students and Shirley Greenspan, then physical education teacher, spearheaded a mascot finding search. After a Fontbonne community vote, the Griffin became the official mascot of Fontbonne College, now Fontbonne University. A Griffin is a mythological beast who is the king of the sky and the king of the land. It has the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. Stories were told of how these fierce beasts were the guardians of massive treasure.
Fontbonne University has a special Griffin named Gunner. Gunner was introduced to the Fontbonne University family on November 9, 2007, at Late Night with Lee McKinney.Gunner can be seen at many athletic home games and at various special events at Fontbonne University.
He loves to dance and shake his wings! Just like the legends of old, Gunner keeps a vast amount of treasure but he is often seen dispensing this treasure out to the Fontbonne Community in the form of T-shirts and other surprises.