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Fontbonne University to Close After Summer 2025

HomeUncategorizedFontbonne University to Close After Summer 2025



Leaving a legacy of more than 100 years of Catholic higher education 

March 11, 2024, St. Louis, MO – The Fontbonne University Board of Trustees has voted to declare financial exigency and cease operations after the summer 2025 term.  After many years of declining enrollments and a shrinking endowment, the financial position of the university was determined to be unsustainable for the long term. The university will not admit a fall 2024 class. 

 Washington University has entered into a purchase agreement with Fontbonne University to acquire the 16-acre Clayton campus in the coming months.  “We are so grateful to Washington University for this partnership which will allow Fontbonne to continue to teach classes through summer 2025,” said Dr. Nancy Blattner, Fontbonne University President.   

 This arrangement will enable as many current students as possible to complete their degrees and graduate while also providing employment for many staff and faculty.  In addition, to assist students in completing their coursework on campus, the university will provide scholarships to all undergraduate students for the summer 2024 and summer 2025 sessions to cover the cost of tuition. Multiple graduation ceremonies will be held in 2024 and 2025 to celebrate student accomplishments at Fontbonne University.   

“During its more than 100-year history, Fontbonne University has graduated over 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,” said Dr. Blattner.     

Earlier today Dr. Blattner addressed the faculty and staff, stating, “This difficult decision was not made lightly. Despite the best efforts of faculty, staff, administration and our faithful supporters, we have faced challenges, including more than 15 years of enrollment decline heading into the enrollment cliff, the impact of COVID, and many other financial struggles impacting small, private institutions like ours across the nation.”  

Dr. Blattner also met with students to deliver the news and pledge the university’s support to help each student graduate from Fontbonne or transfer to another institution to complete their college education. Students who are unable or unwilling to complete their degrees at Fontbonne will be provided with information about and assistance with completing their degrees at another university based on teach-out agreements that are in the process of being finalized. 

“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 in the St. Louis region and beyond.  Throughout Fontbonne’s history, students have benefited from a high-quality, values-based education and achieved their dream of earning a college degree,” said Dr. Blattner. “When the university closes its doors next year, our legacy and that of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet will live on through each one of them.” 

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About Fontbonne University 

 Fontbonne University is a private Catholic liberal arts university located in St. Louis, Missouri, committed to a transformative education and inspiring students to become global citizens who think critically and act ethically to create a more just world. The university, which celebrated its Centennial in 2023, was founded in 1923 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. For more information, visit  

For more information, contact: 

 Fontbonne Communications and Marketing 

 Fontbonne University 

6800 Wydown Blvd 

St. Louis, MO 63105 

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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