Founded to educate women soon after passage of the 19th Amendment, Fontbonne has continued to change with the times, welcoming students of all genders, faiths and ethnicities, while fulfilling its vision for developing leaders to create a more just world
September 12, 2022, St. Louis, Mo. – Fontbonne University, a private Catholic liberal arts university located in Clayton, Mo., in suburban St. Louis County, is celebrating its Centennial with a nearly year-long celebration during the 2022-23 academic year. Celebrations will feature a full schedule of religious, academic, athletic and social gatherings, with many of the planned activities centered around its Catholic identity and the relationship Fontbonne shares with its founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, as well as the general public.
Festivities will begin with an opening mass celebrated by St. Louis Archbishop Rozanski, 10 am, Friday, Sept. 16, on the Fontbonne campus, 6800 Wydown Blvd., 63105. The following day Fontbonne will introduce St. Louis sports fans to Sprint Football, a full-contact, intercollegiate men’s varsity sport with the same rules as regular college football except that all players must weigh 178-pounds or less. Kick-off for the first game is 12 pm, Sat., Sept. 17, at St. Louis University High School field, 4970 Oakland Ave., 63110.
On Thurs., Sept. 22, John Petrie, Windsor Herald at the College of Arms in London, will present Fontbonne University with its new crest and seal, a commission that was conceptualized and funded by Fontbonne board member Dr. Brian Abel Ragen. The new crest will be presented during Academic Convocation with a proclamation made by Clayton Mayor Michelle Harris.
Saint John’s Bible Available for Individual and Group Tours
The highlight of the year-long celebration will be Fontbonne sharing with the public special access to the elaborately handwritten and extensively illuminated Volume 6, Gospels and Acts, of the world-renowned Saint John’s Bible, the first handwritten, hand-illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in over 500 years. A monumental work of faith, the Bible appeals to people of different faiths and different ages in the spirit of unity. A lecture about the Bible will be held 7 pm, Tues., Sept. 20 in the Library by Tim Ternes, director of the St. John’s Bible. There is no charge, but reservations are required by calling the Library at 314-889-1417. Information about scheduling individual and group docent-led tours is available at www.fontbonne.edu.
“It is an honor and a privilege to bring this exceptional masterpiece to Fontbonne University for our Centennial as well as to share it with people across the region. The Bible’s inspirational messages and illuminations have special meaning in the world we live in today and the beauty and magnificence of the Saint John’s Bible is an awe-inspiring experience for everyone who beholds it,” said Dr. Nancy Blattner, president, Fontbonne University.
Fontbonne University Celebrating a Century of Transitions
Nestled on 16 acres in the quiet residential area of Clayton, Mo., the county seat of St. Louis County, Fontbonne University has experienced remarkable transitions since its modest beginning in 1923. Founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ) as a private Catholic commuter college to
provide access to college education for women, an urgent need in the early 20th century, its beginning coincided with the passage a few years earlier of the 19th amendment, giving women the right to vote.
As history and society continued to evolve over the past Century, Fontbonne has embraced change to provide students with a personalized, values-based college education that is focused on helping them to be successful in their careers and life. In the latest rankings from US News & World Report, released Sept. 12, 2022, Fontbonne moved up 20 points in Best Value in the Midwest and 18 points in Social Mobility, which refers to success in enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded Pell Grants.
Fontbonne’s history reflects its tradition of forward thinking. While remaining true to its origins as a small, private higher education institution, Fontbonne became co-ed in the mid-1970s, changed its status from college to university in 2002, and serves a wide range of students, including first-generation university students, many from groups that have been underserved by higher education.
“Fontbonne is a university that understands and appreciates the need to change and adapt to real-life situations with a singular purpose to develop future leaders to serve a world in need and be successful in life, said Fontbonne Board Chair and alumna Karen Gedera. “This was as true in 1923 as it is today, 100 years later. While there have been substantive changes, Fontbonne’s fundamental role in higher education is more important now than ever before in its history.”
Holding true to its Catholic roots and identity honoring the heritage of the CSJs, the university’s core values are based on respect, integrity, community, excellence, service, justice and faith. With a focus on developing future leaders to serve a world in need, Fontbonne embraces a student-centered academic environment, where every student is known by name and one-on-one counseling and advising help every student identify the best areas of study based on their individual interests, passion and career goals.
Fontbonne’s more than 100 areas of study primarily concentrate on healthcare, education, technology, business and humanities, with 44 undergraduate majors and 34 minors, as well as 10 undergraduate certificates. Graduate students may choose from 19 majors and 8 certificate programs, as well as two special programs in partnership with Avila University in Kansas City, Mo., and St. Catherine (St. Kate’s) University in St. Paul, Minn., where graduate students in speech-language pathology can gain practical experience providing services in free community family clinics.
A full listing of Fontbonne’s 100th anniversary events can be found at: www.fontbonne.edu/centennial. More information on Fontbonne University can be found at www.fontbonne.edu and Facebook (@Fontbonne), Instagram and Twitter (@FontbonneU), and LinkedIn and YouTube (@FontbonneUniversity).