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Fontbonne Announcement 2025

HomeUncategorizedFontbonne Announcement 2025

I am Nancy Blattner, the president of Fontbonne University.  It is with deep sadness and great regret that I am announcing Fontbonne will not admit a freshman class in fall 2024.  After many years of declining enrollments and a shrinking endowment, the financial position of the university is no longer able to be sustained for the long term.  As a result, earlier today, the university’s Board of Trustees voted to cease operations effective summer 2025. 


During its 100-year history, Fontbonne University has graduated more than 20,000 students.  Each one is a living legacy of our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.  We are proud of our alumni and the excellent value-laden education that students have received from our outstanding faculty and supportive staff.     


Fontbonne will continue to teach classes through summer of 2025 in an attempt to graduate as many current students as possible.  We will offer additional classes to students at no cost due to scholarships during multiple summer 2024 sessions to assist students in completing their coursework on campus. All students will be provided with information about and assistance with completing their degrees at another university if they are unable or unwilling to complete their degrees at Fontbonne. Graduation ceremonies will continue to be held to celebrate students’ accomplishments.   


Fontbonne’s dedicated faculty and staff have been the heart of our university since its founding.  I am grateful for their commitment to our mission to educate students to become global citizens, to think critically, and to act ethically in order to create a more just world. We will work with our faculty and staff to assist them in transitioning to other positions in the coming months.    


I wish to thank our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet who with great vision achieved the dream of establishing a Catholic institution of higher education for women in 1923.  I want to acknowledge the current and past members of our Board of Trustees who have guided Fontbonne through the turbulent challenges that exist in the world of higher education.  Gratitude is also owed to our faithful supporters, those who have made a Fontbonne education possible for our students.    


Many who are hearing this message will experience shock, hurt and anger.  Please know that members of the university community and the leadership team have worked tirelessly during the past few years to forge a viable path forward for Fontbonne.  Despite our best efforts to cut costs, create new academic programs and launch athletic teams, the university is unable to recover from years of declining enrollments and budget deficits.  


For more than a century, Fontbonne has filled a void in the higher education community, first for young Catholic women and then over time for both women and men from diverse backgrounds here in the St. Louis region and beyond.  Each of them benefited from a high-quality, values-based education.  Throughout Fontbonne’s history, thousands of students have achieved their dream of a college education.  When the university closes its doors, our legacy and that of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet will live on through each one of them.  


I appreciate your understanding during this most difficult time and request your prayers for members of our university community.    

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Fontbonne University to close in summer 2025 leaving a legacy of more than 100 years of Catholic higher education.Learn More