Message from the vice president for university Advancement
Did you know, Saint Xavier University is Chicago’s oldest university and one of the top universities in Illinois. With campuses in Chicago and Orland Park, the University offers a dynamic environment that includes top-notch academic programs, accomplished faculty, state-of-the-art facilities and award-winning athletics. The most recent report from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) indicates that critical features of the teaching-learning environment at Saint Xavier University are on par with the top 10% of colleges and universities nationally.
Did you know, Saint Xavier University serves more than 4,000 students each year, placing great emphasis on diversity – currently 26% of undergraduate students are Hispanic, 16% are African-American, 3% are Asian and 2% are multiracial. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University’s student population among the five most diverse public and private colleges and universities in the Midwest and third in Illinois. Further, it commends the university for serving low-income populations, ranking the University eleventh among master’s-granting universities in terms of the economic diversity of its students. It should be noted that nearly two-thirds of university’s undergraduates are students who are the first in their families to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
Did you know, Saint Xavier University does more than enroll a diverse student body -- it graduates them and does so with distinction. The average graduation rate (six-year rate) of the Top 10 US News Universities for campus diversity is 39%. The average six-year graduation rate of Saint Xavier University is 54%, the second highest in this group. Saint Xavier University also helps students obtain gainful employment and careers. Results of the University’s “First Destination Survey” of bachelor’s degree recipients revealed that 86% are either employed professionally and/or are attending graduate school. Together, these statistics highlight the university’s longstanding commitment to making high-quality education available to all students regardless of economic status and to creating a productive citizenry.
As we proceed with this critical work, your financial support of the University is essential, especially in the critical areas of:
Unrestricted annual gifts are crucial to the institution’s ongoing financial stability, providing the flexibility to quickly and effectively respond to both pressing needs and new opportunities, including:
- Periodic upgrades of classroom and laboratory equipment;
- Purchase and/or replacement of books, journals, and periodicals;
- Seminars, workshops, special events and other activities that support a vibrant campus community;
- Need-based and academic scholarships for deserving students.
Currently, nearly all (98%) of the University’s students receive some type of financial aid, and 80% of this aid is in the form of student loans. Approximately 87% of these students leave with some level of debt, sometimes upwards of $33,000. Numerous studies have shown high levels of student debt can have a significantly negative impact on long-term success, greatly diminishing students’ ability to acquire wealth, live independently, build sufficient retirement saving or make large consumer purchases such as cars and homes.
Athletic Facilities Enhancements
Renovations to Deaton Field are much needed, and will include a new track, entrance pavilion, concessions stand and washrooms.
Without significant investment, the ongoing growth and long-term impact of the University’s Science Program will be greatly diminished. Current issues include insufficient laboratory space and inadequate staffing. The biology department currently has only four labs all of which are at full capacity every day. In addition, faculty are overextended with heavy teaching loads and advising schedules. This limits their ability to pursue their own research activities, which is critical for ongoing professional development. If this situation continues, it will become more difficult to attract and retain both qualified students and faculty. It will also become more difficult to cultivate and maintain partnerships with key association and industry leaders who could support student research and post-graduate employment. Together, these limitations will ultimately impede the programs’ abilities to position students for long-term success. Perhaps one of the departments’ faculty members says it best: "What’s important is how we are transforming our students into professionals who can contribute intellectually to research and the profession. We are already doing that extremely well; better facilities and more space will enhance that process."
Saint Xavier University is deeply committed to ensuring that its students are fully equipped to meet the challenges of this new millennium. We respectfully request that you join us in fulfilling that commitment by making a gift today.
Shereitte C. Stokes III, M.Ed., ACFRE
Vice President, University Advancement