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La Salle University Celebrates 150th Anniversary

Brother President Michael McGinniss and Mayor Michael Nutter hold the proclamation.

La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA, officially kicked off its 150th year with an opening convocation for new students and families August 23. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter read a proclamation recognizing the anniversary which urged “all citizens to be aware of La Salle University’s 150-year history as an outstanding higher education institution and its place as an indispensable part of the fabric of our city.”

logoThe sesquicentennial celebration will continue throughout the academic year with the theme “Living the Promise.” Events planned include a nationwide Lasallian Day of Service in September, an honorary degree to be conferred upon Archbishop Charles J. Chaput in October, recognizing Catholic Relief Services with the Signum Fidei Medal for its work in advancing humanitarian principles in November, and a presentation by Pulitzer Prize historian Doris Kearns Goodwin on the Civil War and Philadelphia during La Salle’s Heritage Week in March. La Salle has also commissioned a history of the University, written by Emeritus Professor Dr. John Rossi ’58 which will be available in late September. Additionally, the University has launched a large-scale campaign with advertising for billboards, print, radio, web, and at Citizens Bank Park during Phillies home games.

Brother President Michael J. McGinniss, FSC, Ph.D., ’70, who called serving as president during this significant anniversary an honor, said it is powerful to think about all of the people who started the school, sustained it in tough times, and built it into a strong operation. He said this milestone is a chance to look at what’s essential to the mission, and look to the future. “I think the future holds us reaching out even more broadly to find more people to whom we can offer education services, recruiting for undergraduate admissions more up and down the coast as we have been doing, graduate programs and some undergraduate online, more outreach, more internationalizing it, more reaching out from our strong base in Philadelphia. I think that’s what will be keeping us busy hopefully for the next 150 years,” he said.

Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga and Saint Mary’s College High School in Berkeley, CA, are also celebrating their 150th anniversaries this year. They will be featured in September when their celebrations get underway.