News release from the University of Saint Francis:
USF opens new academic year with record enrollment
The University of Saint Francis opened a new semester Monday with a record number of freshmen and residential students contributing to the highest enrollment in the school’s history.
According to figures released by USF President Sister M. Elise Kriss, OSF at the university’s Opening Mass and Convocation Wednesday, 2,381 students, the most ever for USF, have enrolled for fall semester classes. A total 799 freshmen have joined the Cougar ranks for an increase of 4.5 percent, the largest class in school history, while residential students also shattered the university record at 412, up 5.6 percent over last year. New students have increased from 802 last year to 831 this fall for an increase of 2.6 percent.
The Graduate School has also increased enrollment from 116 to 141 since last year, for an increase of 21 percent. New students are largely enrolled in the new Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Educationâ€”Exceptional Needs degrees.
“We believe that our record enrollment numbers this fall are indicative of the university’s reputation for academic excellence and dedication to a positive and meaningful experience for all of our students,” President Kriss said.
In addition to the enrollment announcement, President Kriss reviewed accomplishments from the previous academic year, laid out major university projects and plans for 2011-2012 and emphasized the Franciscan value receiving special emphasis for the new academic year. The Most Rev. Kevin Rhoads, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of South Bend-Fort Wayne officiated for Mass in the traditional opening of the school year in the Hutzell Athletic Center.
The day was also designated Founders Day to recognize and honor the university’s founders, the Sisters of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration. Members of various convents and the order’s Provincial Council attended the annual event. Lunch in the foyer of the Hutzell Athletic Center concluded the ceremonies.