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St. Edward's University

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Title: St. Edward's University  
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Subject: Congress Avenue Historic District, Heartland Conference, Congregation of Holy Cross, List of colleges and universities in Texas, Huston–Tillotson University
Collection: Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Buildings and Structures in Austin, Texas, Council of Independent Colleges, Educational Institutions Established in 1878, Educational Institutions Established in 1885, Holy Cross Universities and Colleges, National Register of Historic Places in Austin, Texas, Roman Catholic Universities and Colleges in Texas, Roman Catholic Universities and Colleges in the United States, St. Edward's University, Universities and Colleges Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Universities and Colleges in Austin, Texas, Universities and Colleges in Texas
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St. Edward's University

St. Edward's University
Former names
St. Edward's Academy
St. Edward's College
Motto Take On Your World
Established 1877[1]
Type Private
Liberal Arts University
Affiliation Roman Catholic (Congregation of Holy Cross)
Endowment $95 million[2]
President George E. Martin
Students Approx. 5,000
Location Austin, Texas, U.S.
Campus Urban
Colors Blue & Gold
Athletics NCAA Division II – Heartland Conference
Nickname Hilltoppers
Mascot Mountain Goat
Affiliations ACCU
Website .edustedwards

St. Edward's University is a private, liberal arts Roman Catholic university in the Holy Cross tradition with approximately 5,000 students. Located in Austin, Texas, with a network of partner universities around the world, St. Edward's offers undergraduate and graduate programs.


  • History 1
    • Strategic plans and growth 1.1
      • Buildings completed under the 2010 and 2015 strategic plans 1.1.1
  • Student body 2
    • Hilltop Views 2.1
    • Topper Radio 2.2
  • Academics 3
    • Programs 3.1
    • Fulbright Scholars 3.2
    • Rankings 3.3
    • Admissions 3.4
      • Campus in France 3.4.1
  • Student Lore and Traditions 4
  • Athletics 5
    • Club Sports and Campus Recreation 5.1
  • Residences 6
  • Notable alumni 7
  • Notable professors 8
  • Gallery 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


St. Edward's University was founded by the Reverend Edward Sorin, CSC, Superior General of the Congregation of Holy Cross, who also founded the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. Father Sorin established the institution on farmland south of Austin in 1877 and named it St. Edward's Academy in honor of his patron saint, Edward the Confessor and King. It is affiliated with the Congregation of Holy Cross.

In 1885, the president, Rev. P.J. Franciscus, strengthened the prestige of the academy by securing a charter, changing its name to St. Edward's College, assembling a faculty and increasing enrollment. Subsequently, St. Edward's began to grow, and the first school newspaper, the organization of baseball and football teams, and approval to erect an administration building all followed. Well-known architect Nicholas J. Clayton of Galveston, Texas was commissioned to design the college's Main Building. The structure was built four-stories tall in the Gothic Revival style and was constructed with local white limestone.

In the spring of 1903, a mysterious fire destroyed the majority of Main Building, but it was rebuilt by the fall. In 1922, Main Building sustained damage from a tornado that caused significant damage all over the campus. Main Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

In 1925, St. Edward's received its university charter. Most of the personnel at the time were Holy Cross priests and brothers. Women arrived at St. Edward's in 1966 as students for Maryhill College, a coordinate institution. By 1970, Maryhill was absorbed and St. Edward's became co-educational.

By 1971, the university carried bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration. Also added were the College Assistance Migrant Program, or CAMP (1972); a professionally oriented Theater Arts curriculum (1972); an innovative degree program for adults called New College (1974); and Freshman Studies (1975).

In 1984, Patricia Hayes became the second layperson to lead St. Edward's University. In 1990, enrollment reached 3,000 for the first time. This decade also ushered in a revised undergraduate curriculum, and capital and technological improvements.

In 1999, George E. Martin became the 23rd president of St. Edward's University.

As of Summer 2014, the St. Edward's endowment stands at more than $95 million. Fundraising has grown each year as well, and more than 70% of faculty and staff contributed to the annual fund last year — more than triple the giving levels of benchmark universities.

Strategic plans and growth

In 1999, St. Edward’s University, under the leadership of President George E. Martin and the Board of Trustees, developed a 10-year strategic plan to bring the university recognition as one of the best small universities in the country. By 2010, significant change was implemented across the campus in support of this vision, including:

Enrollment of traditional undergraduates almost doubled.

The size of the faculty increased.

New graduate and undergraduate academic programs were added.

Local and global partnerships were formed to expand opportunities for students.

A campus master plan guided the development of $150 million in new and renovated facilities.

More than $84 million was contributed by donors in support of the mission.

In Fall 2010, the university unveiled Strategic Plan 2015 and a new vision: to educate students for the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century world. To achieve this vision, the plan focused all the efforts of the university on four elements: academic challenge, global preparedness, resource development and Holy Cross, Catholic heritage.

Since the launch of the 2010 and 2015 strategic plans, the university has raised more than $148 million. This record generosity includes $83 million for the university's endowment, which exceeds $95 million, and more than $200 million for new buildings and capital improvements.

Buildings completed under the 2010 and 2015 strategic plans

Trustee Hall, a 33,000-square-foot (3,100 m2) academic facility, was the first building completed under the plan. It opened in Fall 2002. The completion of Basil Moreau Residence Hall in 2003 and Jacques Dujarié Hall in 2005 further enhanced residence life.

The John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center–North facility that opened in Fall 2006, was the first of a two-building science complex and houses the biology and chemistry programs in the School of Natural Sciences. The John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center–South opened in Fall 2013. It houses the computer science, mathematics and physics programs, features 13 classrooms, advanced computer and math labs, and a 126-seat auditorium.

A 756-car parking garage opened in 2007.

Major renovations of existing campus buildings include Premont Hall (2006), Fleck Hall (2007) and Doyle Hall (2009).

A new residential village, which opened in January 2009, evokes a sense of urban living in the heart of campus.

A renovated campus library, formerly the Scarborough-Phillips Library, opened in Fall 2013 as The Munday Library. The library features global digital classrooms for video conferencing, revamped reading, study and meeting spaces, an expanded digital collection, and writing and media centers. The library renovation was funded in 2011 by a $13 million donation from Bill and Pat Munday.[3] The Mundays also donated $20 million for university scholarships in 2013. Both donations were school records.[4]

Plans for renovations to Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel were drawn up by Pollen Architecture and Design. Renovations will include more space for mass, construction of new Campus Ministry offices and an all-faiths meditation garden. The chapel renovation will be concluded in Fall 2014.

Student body

Nearly 5,000 students attend St. Edward's, with undergraduates coming from 44 states and 51 countries. Nearly 55% of incoming freshmen rank in the top 25% of their high school class. The acceptance rate for freshmen applicants is 62%.[5]

More than 1,300 students live on campus in seven residence halls and two apartment communities. Students at St. Edward's University are also involved in more than 125 campus organizations, including student government, service organizations, academic honor societies, cultural clubs and intramural sports. 28 languages and 40 faith traditions are represented on campus.

Hilltop Views

Hilltop Views is the student newspaper published by the School of Humanities at St. Edward’s University. The print edition is available Wednesdays on newsstands across campus during the academic year, and can be accessed online.[6] The newspaper has been printed since 1987.

Topper Radio

In the fall semester of 2012, two freshmen students founded St. Edward's University's radio station, Topper Radio, which operates exclusively online. The media organization launched its official broadcast in September 2014 on Live365, the largest internet radio host in the world. In October through December, Topper Radio was acknowledged for its #1 rank in Live365's "Non-Commercial College Radio" category and #10 rank in "College Radio" overall.[7] The radio station has since moved off of Live365 in favor of StreamLicensing internet radio host.



St. Edward's offers 10 master's degree programs and bachelor's degrees in more than 50 areas of study through the schools of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Education, Humanities, Natural Sciences and The Bill Munday School of Business.[8] Additionally, St. Edward's offers similar bachelor's degrees for adults 24 years of age and older through the New College program, which began in 1974.

Fulbright Scholars

St. Edward’s has been among the top producers of U.S. Fulbright Students for the last five years. In 2014, five students were awarded Fulbright Student Scholarships. Since 2004, St. Edward’s University students have won 27 Fulbright scholarships.


University rankings
Forbes[9] 473
U.S. News & World Report[10] 13 (West)
Master's University class
Washington Monthly[11] 220

National Rankings by U.S. News & World Report

  • #13 Best College in the Western Region. Recognized as one of “America’s Best Colleges” 12 years in a row.
  • #2 Best College for Veterans in the Western Region two years in a row.
  • #3 Up-and-Coming University in the Western Region. Named an up-and-coming school by peer universities in 2010, 2011 and 2013.

Honored as a "Champion of Access and Success" Received the 2013 Institutional Champions of Access and Success Award from the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) for providing access to and success in higher education for all students.

Ranked Among “America’s Best-Bang-for-the-Buck Colleges" Named one of “America’s Best-Bang-for-the-Buck Colleges” in 2013 by Washington Monthly Magazine, based on the economic value students receive per dollar.

Listed Among “Best Schools for Hispanic Students” Recognized for having the highest 2013 graduation rate of any Hispanic-serving institution in the U.S. by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Named a "Best College" by Forbes and CCAP Selected as one of “America’s Best Colleges” by Forbes and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP) in their 2011 report.

Ranked Highly by National Survey of Student Engagement Exceeded the national average in all five benchmark areas: level of academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interaction, enriching educational experiences, and supportive campus environment.

Spotlighted for CAMP Success Home to the nation’s longest continuously running College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), which began in 1972, has served more than 2,800 students, and was featured in The New York Times and on ABC World News Tonight.


U.S. News & World Report describes St. Edward's University's admissions criteria as "selective".[12]

St. Edward's boasts that it has an impressive Theater Arts program, which features a U/RTA contract with the Actors' Equity Association, allowing students who successfully complete the requirements of a Membership Candidate Program to become eligible to join Actors' Equity Association. St. Edward's has one of the only undergraduate programs in the country with this affiliation. In 2005, actor Ed Begley Jr. brought his play, César & Ruben, to St. Edward's University for its Texas premiere.Broadway veteran Robert Westenberg directed The Secret Garden in 2013 at the university's Mary Moody Northen Theatre.

Campus in France

Beginning in September 2008, St. Edward's started a portal campus in Angers, France to provide educational opportunities for European and American students. Faculty members at St. Edward's travel to Angers each semester to teach courses.[13] The St. Edward's in Angers, France, program is in partnership with the Catholic University of the West.[14] Students at St. Edward's also study abroad at any of the universities' other partner universities in Australia, Scotland, Germany, Spain, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and China.

Student Lore and Traditions

Bronze Plaque of Father Paul Foik

To receive good grades on exams, a tradition is to rub the nose of the bronze plaque located near the Munday Library. Although the rest of the bronze plaque has developed a dark brown patina over the years, the nose has remained highly polished and shines like new.

St. Edward's University Presidential Award

St. Edward's University Presidential Awards are prestigious awards presented each year to a select group of graduates from undergraduate, New College and the graduate programs who have excelled in leadership, scholarship and service.

Recipients of the Presidential Award have participated fully in the life of the university and have been a positive influence in promoting the mission and values of St. Edward's and the Congregation of Holy Cross.

Students are nominated for Presidential Awards by members of the St. Edwards University community. Nominees submit comprehensive applications to the Presidential Awards Committee, which is coordinated by the Student Life Office and composed of students, faculty and staff. The committee makes recommendations to the president of St. Edward's University.

SEU Fight Song

March On:

March on and win for SEU.
March on with joy and pride!
March on and win the victory
We're cheering at your side!
March on and win for SEU
Hilltoppers all are we!
March on for good old SEU and
Bring home the victory!


The St. Edward's University seal is embedded at the center of a walkway in front of Ragsdale Plaza. Legend tells that during a basketball game, some time ago, a few of the baseball players showed up with a live ram. They proceeded to race it around the gym during time-outs and slow periods. The ram was such a success that eventually it became the St. Edward’s University mascot. Today, the athletic teams are known as the Hilltoppers, and the ram is named Topper. In the Spring semester of 2010, a real goat named Pax started attending athletic events. Dan Beck, lieutenant of the University Police Department, owns the goat, as well as other "Topper" goats.

University Seal

The St. Edward's University seal is embedded in at the center of a walkway in front of Ragsdale Plaza. Students do not walk on or over the seal out of respect for those who have passed through the university and those who helped establish it.


The Hilltoppers softball team in action against the Texas A&M–Commerce Lions in 2015

St. Edwards NCAA Division II varsity athletic teams, known as the Hilltoppers, include men's and women's baseball/softball, basketball, golf, soccer and tennis. Women also compete in Division II volleyball. St. Edward's is a founding member of the Heartland Conference.

As of Fall 2014, the Hilltopper varsity athletic teams made 29 NCAA Tournament appearances over the last five seasons. Since joining the NCAA in 1999, the Hilltopper teams have won 55 Heartland Conference Championships. In 2008–2009, five St. Edward's athletes were named All-American, and 56 individuals were named to the All-Heartland Conference Team. St. Edward's men's soccer team was the Heartland Conference Champions in 2009. The women's soccer team has been very successful since 2006, posting winning records each season, and being selected to the NCAA Tournament 6 out of 7 years.

The university's official spirit group is the HillRaisers. The university's student-athlete graduation rate of 88% is fourth highest in the nation out of 270 Division II institutions. The Dallas Cowboys football team used the campus for pre-season training from 1990 to 1997.[15]

Club Sports and Campus Recreation

In 2009, the university added a Campus Recreation program to meet the growing needs of the student population. All club sports are housed within the Campus Recreation office. The university supports several club-level programs including:

Competitive Club Sports Teams

  • Cycling
  • Men's Basketball
  • Men's Lacrosse
  • Men's Soccer
  • Rugby
  • Rowing
  • Women's Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Women's Vollyeball

Conditional Club Sports Teams

  • Archery
  • Bass Fishing Club
  • Cultural Dance Club
  • Dance Team
  • Karate
  • Men's Volleyball
  • Outdoor Adventure Club
  • Ving Tsun Martial Arts Club
  • Women's Basketball
  • Women's Lacrosse

Intramural Sports

  • 5-on-5 Basketball
  • 7-on-7 Soccer
  • Dodgeball
  • Flag football
  • Indoor Soccer
  • Indoor Volleyball
  • Innertube Water Polo
  • Racquetball
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball

Founded in 2009, the St Edward’s University Rugby Football Club plays in NSCRO or National Small College Rugby Organization in the Lonestar Conference. St. Edward's joined the Lonestar Conference in May 2013. St. Edward's ascended from from Division III to Division I being promoted to the next division in three straight seasons from 2011-2013. In 2010-2011, their first season, St. Edwards had an undefeated regular season, won the Texas DIII league, and finished fifth nationally among small schools. In 2011-2012, St. Edwards again had an undefeated regular season in DII winning their conference. 2012-2013 saw St. Edward's join the DI South West Conference where they finished as the runner up in both 15's and 7's rugby. St. Edward's then rejoined the NSCRO Lone Star conference and finished with consecutive undefeated conference records and conference championships in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. In 2014 St. Edward's won the inaugural Texas Cup competition which is an open tournament across all divisions and brackets in Texas college rugby, they also became the first team in the history of NSCRO to defeat a Varsity Cup team when they defeated the University of Texas. [16] In 2015 St. Edwards was named men's college rugby program of the year.[17] St. Edward's has seen seen an increase in applications and matriculating students who target the school because of its rugby program, and as a result, the administration has put more support behind the rugby program.


The following residence halls serve the university:[18]

  • Jacques Dujarié Hall (Opened August 2005, coeducational)[19]
  • East Hall (Opened 1966) - East served as a female-only hall and a coeducational hall.[20]
  • Basil Moreau Hall (Opened February 2003, coeducational)[21]
  • Teresa Hall (Opened 1968, renovated 1999, coeducational) - Teresa served as a female-only hall and a coeducational hall.[22]

The Casa and two Casitas, for upperclassmen, serve as "house-style living." The Casa residents use the facilities of Dujarié Hall.[23]

The residential village, which is made up of three residence halls, (Hunt, LeMans, and Lady Bird Johnson halls) opened for residents at the start of the Spring 2009 semester, housing freshmen in suite-style rooms in Hunt and Le Mans, as well as upperclassmen in LBJ's single rooms. In addition, the new residential village has multiple dining venues and a convenience store located on the ground floor.

St. Edward's maintains two apartment communities, Maryhill Apartments (Buildings 1-11) and Hilltopper Heights Apartments (Buildings 12-17) for students.[24]

Notable alumni

Notable professors

Mark Cherry[30] Joe Doerr[31] Carrie Fountain[32] Eamonn Healy[33] Joe M. O'Connell[34] Bro. Gerald Muller (retired)[35]



  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "SEU - Academic Programs", St. Edward's U. web site, 13 Dec 2009
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "St. Edward's University - Best Colleges - Education - US News and World Report" (Admissions), US News and World Report Best Colleges 2010 edition, 13 Dec 2009
  13. ^ "AUSTIN FACULTY SELECTED FOR CAMPUS IN FRANCE." Austin American-Statesman. June 6, 2008. B02. Retrieved on February 9, 2010.
  14. ^ Stromboni, Camille. "St. Edward's university s'installe à Angers." EducPros/L'Etudiant. December 2, 2008. Retrieved on February 9, 2010.
  15. ^ "Camp Returning to Oxnard", Dallas Morning News (Cowboys Blog), 29 Feb 2008
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Residence Life," St. Edward's University
  19. ^ "Jacques Dujarié Hall," St. Edward's University
  20. ^ "East Hall," St. Edward's University
  21. ^ "Basil Moreau Hall," St. Edward's University
  22. ^ "Teresa Hall," St. Edward's University
  23. ^ "Casas and Casita," St. Edward's University
  24. ^ "SEU Apartments," St. Edward's University
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^

External links

  • Map:
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin
  • St. Edward's University
  • St. Edward's University Athletics
  • St. Edward's University Professional Education Center
  • St. Edward's University Financial Services
  • St. Edward's University from the Handbook of Texas Online
  • St. Edward's University Online Radio Project

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