Saint Francis University

Start Your Visit With

Historical Timelines
Chronological Eras
Information Tables
General Interest Maps
History Quizzes

Travel and History Blog

Follow OregonCoastMag on Twitter


Saint Francis University was founded in 1847, in Loretto, Pennsylvania. It is a comprehensive four-year, co-educational, liberal arts university sponsored by the Franciscans of the Third Order Regular. The nickname of the oldest Franciscan institution of higher learning is the Red Flash.

The university is located on 600 acres in rural central Pennsylvania, just west of Altoona. The various programs are organized to promote the growth of understanding, respect for diversity of people, and to develop the various skills of the people. The university offers higher education in an environment guided by Catholic values and teachings.

Saint Francis was established as a boys' academy by the Franciscan friars from Ireland, in the mountain hamlet of Loretto, in 1847. Saint Francis University was recognized by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and was given the authority to grant educational degrees.

During the 1950s and 1960s, after World War II, an extensive building program was begun. In 1976, the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art was started in the former gymnasium, Doyle Hall.

Today, the university campus comprises residence halls, classrooms and administrative buildings, athletics center, dining hall, library, a chapel and a number of other buildings.

The liberal arts institution is committed to providing the knowledge, culture, and values of the past, as vital factors in facing the realities of life in the 21st century.

SFU is ranked as one of the first Catholic universities, the first Franciscan college, and the first co-educational Catholic university in the United States.

The university offers undergraduate and graduate programs in various disciplines. These programs include the liberal arts tradition, graduate and professional programs of study that emphasize personal and professional ethics, and continuing education opportunities for personal and career enhancement.

Saint Francis University is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and a member of the Northeast Conference. The university is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of community leaders and Franciscan friars.

The Charles M. Schwab Estate and Gardens, Lake Saint Francis, and Immergrun Golf Course are near Saint Francis University, which makes it an exceptional environment for living and learning.

Off-site search results for "Saint Francis University"...

The Art of the Gold Rush - Saint Francis Hotel
Saint Francis Hotel Harrison Eastman (1823-1886), Saint Francis Hotel, Corner of Clay and Dupont Streets, 1849, watercolor on paper mounted on cardboard. California Historical Society, gift of Templeton Crocker. 1998 Oakland Museum of California.

Hopkins, Francis
He received his college education from what is today the University of Pennsylvania. He later went on to study law and open up his own practice. In 1763 he began to work as a customs collector in Salem, New Jersey, but failure at this job lead ...

Dunlavy, Francis
... WilliamOhio Constitutional Convention of 1802Ohio Country Francis Dunlavy was born in Virginia in 1761. He moved with his family to western Pennsylvania ten years later. He played an active part in the American Revolution, participating in ...