Saint Francis University
Former name
Saint Francis College (1847–2001)
TypePrivate university
Established1847; 177 years ago (1847)
Religious affiliation
Catholic Church
Endowment$51.9 million (2020)[1]
PresidentMalachi Van Tassell
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States

40°30′15″N 78°38′15″W / 40.50417°N 78.63750°W / 40.50417; -78.63750
CampusRural, 600 acres (243 ha)
ColorsRed and White    
NicknameRed Flash
Sporting affiliations

Saint Francis University (SFU) is a private Catholic university in Loretto, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1847 and conducted under the tradition of the Franciscan Friars of the Third Order Regular. The university is situated on 600 acres (243 ha) in the forests and farmland of Loretto.


Saint Francis College was established in 1847 by six Franciscan teaching Brothers from Mountbellew, Ireland, who had been given land in Loretto by Michael O'Connor, the first Bishop of Pittsburgh, to establish a school.[4] The university was one of the first Catholic universities in the United States and the first Franciscan college in the nation. Although it originally only admitted males, it became one of the first Catholic Universities to become co-educational. Loretto is the site of the first English-language Roman Catholic settlement established west of the Allegheny Front, in what is now the United States, by Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin in 1799.

In 2001, Saint Francis College was approved to become a university by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and renamed "Saint Francis University".


Saint Francis University enrolls approximately 1,658 undergraduate students (of whom 1,392 are traditional students and 266 are continuing education students) and 527 graduate students.[5] The university offers 25 undergraduate majors and 7 graduate fields of study (including Physical Therapy, in which the university awards a doctorate) to its students.[4] The university maintains an average graduation rate of 70.3%.[2]


The main building for the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, which also has a number of smaller facilities across the local region, is located on campus. Also on the campus are The DiSepio Institute for Rural Health and Wellness,[6] the Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation (CSOR),[7] Center for Watershed Research & Service,[8] and The Institute for Contemporary Franciscan Life.[9]

Immergrün Golf Course is a semi-private, nine-hole, regulation-length 3,234-yard, par-36 course on rye grass located on the campus of Saint Francis University at 105 Saint Elizabeth Street. Immergrün has not been altered since Donald Ross built it for the steel magnate Charles M. Schwab in 1917.[10]

Saint Francis University also runs a campus at Ambialet France in the Midi-Pyrénées.[11] All classes are in English.


Main article: Saint Francis Red Flash

See also: Saint Francis Red Flash men's basketball and Saint Francis Red Flash football

Athletically, Saint Francis competes in the NCAA's Northeast Conference. Their nickname is the Red Flash. The University has a total of 22 varsity sports teams, with 9 men's teams and 13 women's programs all competing in NCAA Division I. Men's sports include basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, and track & field, and volleyball competing in the Northeast Conference; while women's sports include basketball, bowling, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field and volleyball which compete in the Northeast Conference. Saint Francis University also added Women's Water Polo in the 2016-2017 school year as its 23rd varsity sport at the Division I level. In addition to this, there are also two club sport teams, ice hockey and baseball.

Notable alumni


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Flash Facts, Rankings, and More - Saint Francis University". Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  3. ^ a b As Fall 2019."Institutional Research & Effectiveness". Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  4. ^ a b History of Saint Francis University Archived 2007-07-12 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ As 2019-20."2019-20 SFU student body fast facts". Retrieved 2019-12-02.
  6. ^ [1] Archived August 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "CSOR - SFU launches Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation". Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  8. ^ "Center for Watershed Research & Service - Pennsylvania | Saint Francis University". Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  9. ^ "Institute for Contemporary Franciscan Life - Pennsylvania | Saint Francis University". 2015-06-30. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  10. ^ "". 2012-01-06. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  11. ^ "Semester in France - Pennsylvania | Saint Francis University". Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  12. ^ "Marist hires Jeff Bower as new basketball coach". 10 April 2013. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  13. ^ Farrell, Perry A. "Pistons GM Jeff Bower honored in sports Hall of Fame in Pennsylvania". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  14. ^ Tobin Center Staff (2010-05-01). "Boyton (Captain Paul) Collection". St. Francis University Tobin Center Archives Collections. (Information submitted by Nagy, John A. to the archive center via email on May 1, 2010): Additional Information – via Margaret M. Tobin Center for Archives and Special Collections.
  15. ^ "The Pennsylvania House of Representatives". 2008-06-04. Archived from the original on 4 June 2008. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  16. ^ "Mike Ryba Statistics and History". Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  17. ^ "Amateur Athletic Union Basketball". Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  18. ^ "Mike Iuzzolino (2001) - Saint Francis University Athletics Hall of Fame". Saint Francis University Athletics. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  19. ^ Staff Reports (2019-01-08). "Former St. Francis (Pa.) standout Lorenzo Jerome signs with Calgary of CFL". Trib LIVE. Trib Total Media. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  20. ^ "Saint Francis U Alum Nick Kolarac Signs With Philadelphia Fury". Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  21. ^ "Rob Krimmel - Head Coach - Staff Directory". Saint Francis University Athletics. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  22. ^ " Scott Layden".
  23. ^ Beal, Barry (2014-05-16). "Saint Francis Has a History with the NFL". Saint Francis University Athletics. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  24. ^ "Thaddeus Piotrowski | University of New Hampshire at Manchester". 2013-07-21. Archived from the original on 2013-07-21. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  25. ^ "Kevin Porter (2003) - Saint Francis University Athletics Hall of Fame". Saint Francis University Athletics. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  26. ^ "Charles M. Schwab – Steel & Mining Magnate – Legends of America". Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  27. ^ "Athlete bio: Brian Sell". USA Track & Field.
  28. ^ "Maurice Stokes (1996) - Saint Francis University Athletics Hall of Fame". Saint Francis University Athletics. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  29. ^ "Norm Van Lier (1999) - Saint Francis University Athletics Hall of Fame". Saint Francis University Athletics. Retrieved 2022-03-14.