40°02′21″N 75°09′12″W / 40.03925, -75.15325

La Salle University
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(Virtue, Knowledge)
PresidentBro. Michael McGinniss
Academic staff373[2]
LocationPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
CampusUrban, approximately 130 acres (501,809.4 m²)
ColorsDark Blue and gold          
Athletics23 NCAA Division I varsity teams Go Explorers!
MascotThe Explorer
AffiliationsChristian Brothers. (Academic)
A10 (Athletic)

La Salle University is a private, co-educational, Roman Catholic university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. Named for St. Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, the school was founded in 1863 by the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. As of 2008 the school has approximately 7,554 students, about 63% of whom are undergraduates. Located in northwestern Philadelphia, the university is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church through the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The comprehensive cost for a year of tuition is Template:Currency.[2]

History Edit

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La Salle College was founded in March 1863 as an all-male school by Brother Teliow and Archbishop James Wood of Archdiocese of Philadelphia. It was first located at St. Michael's Parish on N. 2nd Street in the Olde Kensington section of Philadelphia. La Salle soon moved to the building vacated by St. Joseph's College at 1234 Filbert Street in Center City, Philadelphia. In 1886, due to the development of the Center City district, La Salle moved to a third location, the former mansion of Michael Bouvier, the great-great-grandfather of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, at 1240 North Broad Street. Due to space constraints, La Salle finally moved to its current campus at the intersection of 20th Street and Olney Avenue in 1930. The new location had a suburban feel with ample land, but was linked to the city by trolleys and the newly constructed Broad Street Subway.

The 1930s proved to be a tumultuous decade for La Salle, which was nearly bankrupt after being unable to sell the 1240 North Broad Street property. The main academic building on campus, College Hall was unable to be finished due to a lack of funds, and the college nearly closed in the late 1930s. The school's closing was prevented by a 75th Anniversary Fund Drive in 1938, spearheaded by Philadelphia businessman John McCarthy. Funds raised from this drive also enabled La Salle to purchase a tract of land to the east of 19th Street, where Philadelphia had intended to build a city college.

La Salle nearly closed again due to a lack of students during World War II, and the football team was disbanded due to a lack of players, but the school experienced a period of growth in the late 1940s. Several new buildings were constructed in the 1940s and 1950s, including a new library, student union, and a science building. It was also during this time that the first student residence halls were constructed at La Salle, mostly on land purchased from the former Belfield Country Club. Additional student housing was provided by purchasing or renting local homes, such as the house known as "The Mansion", on David and Logan Blain's Belfield Estate.

La Salle admitted women to its regular classes in 1970, becoming a fully co-educational institution. A year later, La Salle opened Olney Hall, its main academic building. It also continued to expand its property throughout the 1970s and 1980s, buying land along Chew Avenue, along with the Belfield Estate in 1984, and to the south of main-campus, the orphanage run by the Sisters of St. Basil the Great. It was also during this era, in 1984, that La Salle was granted University status. Recently, La Salle has acquired the former Germantown Hospital, now West Campus, and constructed The Shoppes at La Salle shopping center across the street in 2008.


The University is led by a Board of Trustees headed by a President and Chairman.[4] The President serves one or more 5–year terms.[5] As of 2013, there have been 28 Presidents, the current President being Michael McGinniss, who will retire from the post at the end of his tenure in 2014.[5] As of 2013, the Chairman is Bill Sautter.[5]


La Salle offers undergraduate concentrations in nearly 60 academic areas within its College of Professional and Continuing Studies and its three Schools: Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, and Nursing & Health Sciences.

Communication, Nursing, and Education are the largest majors at La Salle.

Several new and distinctive high-tech majors include Integrated Science, Business and Technology (ISBT) and Digital Arts and Multimedia Design (DArt). The College of Professional and Continuing Studies offers three accelerated cohort programs in Business Administration, Corporate Communication, and Organizational Leadership.

The university also offers master's degrees and doctorate degrees in several courses of study. Every undergraduate, regardless of school or major, must complete a strict Core curriculum in order to graduate. Offering sustained study in a broad range of disciplines, the Core curriculum provides students with an opportunity to build a strong educational foundation for the future. Guided by La Salle's heritage as a Catholic university, the core curriculum reflects La Salle's strong commitment to the interdependence of intellectual and spiritual growth. Its aim is to help students find an engaging living as part of an engaged life. As future competitors in a rapidly re-forming world, students need intellectual resources that keep pace with current innovations; as future innovators, students need spiritual resources that guide human beings towards humane reforms.

Undergraduates must complete the three facets of the Special Core Programs, as well as courses within the three Course Objectives.

Special Core ProgramsEdit

The Special Core Programs consists of the Doubles Program, First Year Odyssey, and Understanding at Home and Abroad.

  • In the Doubles Program, all students are required to enroll in a "Double" during their freshman year. Doubles are thematically linked Core courses in different disciplines. In the Doubles program, students will explore some or all of the topics in these courses under the guidance of two professors. A sense of academic and social community forms.
  • The First Year Odyssey is a one-credit program, which introduces students to La Salle University and the city of Philadelphia through activities such as field trips and campus wide programs. Students participate in the First Year Odyssey as part of designated courses or in special First Year Odyssey sections.
  • Understanding at Home and Abroad refers to fostering the Christian Brothers' ideals of community, social justice, and compassionate understanding across barriers dividing human beings. Students are required to enroll in one course in the Academic Bulletin designated by the symbol of a "house" (Understanding at Home) and one course designated by the symbol of a "plane" (Understanding Abroad). Some students may fulfill the Understanding at Home or Understanding Abroad requirement through an independent project with the approval of the Department Chair and the Core Director. Faculty and staff will mentor a limited number of such projects.

Course ObjectivesEdit

The Course Objectives consist of the Powers, Frameworks of Scientific Understanding, and Patterns of Meaning.

  • Powers refers to competencies that enable students to learn, to think, and to communicate. With this course work, students will emerge from the core curriculum possessing a strong set of skills in reading, writing, oral communication, and mathematics. They will also learn how to use computer technology to aid their work in each of these areas. These competencies will be integrated in courses in all areas of the Core, but will be taught directly in courses in writing, public speaking, mathematics, and computer science.
  • Frameworks of Scientific Understanding refers to concepts and methods learned in courses in the natural and social sciences. In these courses students will become familiar with the scientific method and sharpen their understanding of the natural processes and the social developments, which shape the world in which we live. The "Frameworks of Scientific Understanding" category includes courses in economics, political science, psychology, sociology, biology, chemistry, geology, and physics.
  • Patterns of Meaning refers to a set of capacities students must acquire to engage the moral, aesthetic, and spiritual significance of human events and achievements. Courses in the humanities (religion, philosophy, literature, history, fine arts and foreign languages) will enable students to develop these capacities.

Course RequirementsEdit

All courses in the core may be counted towards any minor or major barring exclusions by the academic departments sponsoring the minor or major. To complete the Core requirements, most School of Arts and Sciences majors must complete a maximum of 19 courses; School of Business Administration majors, a maximum of 16 courses; and School of Nursing and Health Sciences majors, a maximum of 15 courses.


Script error See also: Men's Basketball, Football


La Salle University's 20 varsity sports teams, known as the Explorers, compete in the NCAA's Division I and are a member of the Atlantic Ten Conference. The name derives from a 1931 mistake made by a sportswriter. The writer thought the university was named after the French explorer Sieur de La Salle, when in fact it is named after St. Jean-Baptiste de La Salle and was officially chosen in a student contest during the spring of 1932.

La Salle's teams have won two national championships: The 1954 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament and the 1980 Division II AIAW Field Hockey Championship. The school also won the 1952 National Invitation Tournament. La Salle's major historic rival has been the Hawks of the Saint Joseph's University, especially in men's basketball. Not only are both schools situated in Philadelphia, but they are also both Catholic, private institutions.


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La Salle moved to its fourth and present location in 1931. The campus is located in part on Belfield, the estate of Charles Willson Peale, the Revolutionary War patriot and painter famous for his portraits of the founding fathers, most notably, George Washington. His home is the current office of the University president and is possibly the oldest building currently in use by any university in the nation.

A satellite campus and Conference Center in Newtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the La Salle University Bucks County Center, offers graduate courses in various disciplines, undergraduate courses in nursing, and continuing education courses. The Conference Center comprises fifteen instructional rooms with seating capacities ranging from 20 to 40, along with four computer laboratories with 100 workstations.

La Salle also offers M.B.A. and Clinical-Counseling Psychology M.A. classes at the Plymouth Meeting Metroplex Corporate Center in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

La Salle University Art MuseumEdit

The La Salle University Art Museum is located in the basement of Olney Hall and houses a collection of European and American art from the Renaissance to the present. The museum also owns a number of special collections including Japanese prints. The art museum is also home to the “Walking Madonna” one of four by the British artist Dame Elisabeth Frink. Frink created the sculpture in 1981, the other “Walking Madonna” sculptures remain in England, with one in Salisbury and the other in Frink’s garden at her home.

Connelly Library, Special CollectionsEdit

The Department of Special Collections in the Connelly Library houses a diverse range of materials, from 15th century illuminated devotionals to subject collections treating contemporary social issues. Bodies of work include literature, music, films, art, archival material and ephemera. The discrete collections maintained by the department explore a variety of themes in aural, narrative and illustrative form. Special Collections maintains a focus on acquiring, cataloging and housing unique material that is tied to undergraduate pedagogy and is freely available to researchers. Highlights of the Collections include the largest collection of literary and creative works on the Vietnam War in the world, a one of a kind academic collection of work on Bob Dylan, hundreds of originative works on the Holocaust and psychic trauma, primary sources on local history, and rare and beautiful editions of the Holy Bible.

Food Edit

La Salle has two dining halls, one on each end of campus. The newer Treetops Cafe is on south campus next to St. Basil Court and St. John Neumann Residence Halls and is open seven days a week. The Blue and Gold Commons, located on Olney Avenue, next to the North Residence Halls Complex, is only open on weekdays. In both of these dining halls, one may purchase food with a meal plan, Food Account Money, or cash. In the La Salle Student Union is The Union Food Court, which has several "store fronts". Each of these "store fronts" specializes in a certain type of food, including pizza, burgers, baked goods, sandwiches, salads, and international cuisine. Unlike the other two dining facilities, meal plan is not accepted.

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In Fall 2012, La Salle food services signed a deal with Aramark, and the Union now hosts a Subway and Starbucks, replacing the former smoothie bar and Late Night Intermissions. La Salle owns and runs The Explorers Den, a cheesesteak, pizza and burger shop located on the 2100 block of Olney Avenue.

Student Housing Edit

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Since 1953, La Salle has hosted resident students. There are several student housing complexes: North Residence Halls, Sts. Edward and Francis Residence Halls, St. Miguel Townhouses, St. Teresa Court Apartments, La Salle Apartments, and the South Campus Residence Halls (St. Basil Court and St. John Neumann).

Student lifeEdit

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Students at La Salle are offered many varied opportunities to participate at different degrees and in many different ways. There are several organizations and a student programming center whose mission is primarily to plan activities (games, movie nights, bus trips, etc.) for the students of La Salle University. The Communication Department operates La Salle 56, a cable TV Educational-access television station available to 300,000 subscribers. The university also has a student-run radio station, WEXP and a student-run weekly newspaper, The Collegian along with over 100 other [1] intramurals, clubs, and NCAA division I sports offered.

Greek lifeEdit

One of the aspects of La Salle's social scene are its fraternities and sororities. La Salle's Greek community consists of five sororities (Alpha Theta Alpha, Alpha Sigma Tau, Gamma Sigma Sigma, Gamma Phi Beta, and Delta Phi Epsilon) and five fraternities (Delta Sigma Phi, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Alpha Chi Rho, Alpha Phi Delta, Sigma Phi Lambda, and Phi Beta Sigma).

"Day ONE"Edit

The first day of a student's time at La Salle occurs at the orientation program called Day ONE, which stands for Orienting New Explorers. The day consists of giving essential information to new students and their families, but its primary objective is to build relationships: relationships between the new students and other new students, between the new students and their upper division student hosts, between new students and administration and faculty, and between the students' families and the school.


During the orientation students make their schedule, get their photo taken for their ID, and participate in discussion sessions about important information. Resident students get a presentation on living on campus and see a residence hall, while commuters see a similar presentation about getting involved while living off campus. The other important aspect of this day in the introduction of The Affirmation, which is read line by line and discussed throughout the different sessions of the day.

Community ServiceEdit

FOCUS is the umbrella name for FOCUS Philly (the weekly Philadelphia area community service programs) and the Lasallian Service Trips (the five annual domestic and international service trips). Coordinators and professional staff work together to plan and implement programs, to recruit student volunteers, to engage current partners, and to research new partners for the expansion of student-volunteer efforts.

La Salle service programs include: AIDS Outreach, The Alliance, Circle K, Foster Care Tutoring, LOCK (La Salle Organization Caring for Kids), Neighbor to Neighbor, Neighborhood Tutoring, Police Athletic League (PAL), Pheed Philadelphia, Promise Academy, REACHE, Team Lasallians, Women’s Relationship Awareness Program (WRAP), Students for Environmental Action (SEA), Students in Action.


Learning, Involvement, Community, Relationships

Learning is the reason students attend La Salle in the first place. Involvement is the mechanism through which learning can happen. Community provides the environment that most strongly promotes involvement. Making strong relationships is the first step toward forming a community.

Distinguished accomplishmentsEdit

  • La Salle has graduated 60 students who have been named Fulbright Scholars.[2]
  • A nearly perfect 98 percent of La Salle's applicants to medical school who have been recommended by the pre-medical committee have been admitted to medical school.
  • La Salle ranks 7th out of 253 schools of its type as the undergraduate point of origin of doctoral degree recipients over a 75-year period.
  • La Salle is one of only 19 colleges and universities in the nation to have been invited to participate in the Kemper Scholars Program.
  • La Salle graduates have won nine Emmy Awards.
  • More than 1,700 La Salle students annually donate more than 100,000 hours of community service in activities including neighborhood cleanups, rebuilding homes, and tutoring.
  • La Salle's chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma, the international business honor society, was named the outstanding chapter in the world in 2004.

Expansion and Master PlanEdit

La Salle has worked with Philadelphia architecture firm H2L2 to assist in the development of a Campus Facilities Master Plan, building upon a previous plan completed by the University in 1985. Key components of the Master Plan are the following: New Science and Technology Building, New Athletic Arena, Student Recreation Center, additional student housing, Dining Hall, Chapel, Fine Arts and Theater Building, parking garage, and additional commercial activity.

Accommodating the above facilities while orchestrating seamless connections between the disparate areas of the campus is one of the Plan's greatest accomplishments. Topography, city streets, and heavy traffic, all initially appeared as impediments to the development of a true campus. Improved vehicular and pedestrian circulation patterns now yield enhanced links to memorable spaces, uniting this Campus into one whole, while satisfying all programmatic requirements.[3]

In the Fall of 2005, the $26 million dollar first phase of this master plan was completed with the construction of Tree Tops Cafe (dining hall) and St. Basil Court (Residence Hall).[4]

St. Basil's houses approximately 430 students. Three of the building's wings feature "suites", in which four students share two bedrooms and one bathroom. The fourth wing's rooms have the traditional one-room for housing two students with communal bathrooms. The facilities have lounges, study rooms, and special purpose rooms. Basil is the only co-educational dorm at La Salle in which both genders may live on the same floor (albeit not in the same room).

A $2.5 million dollar athletic field renovation was completed in the Fall of 2006.[5]

In May 2007, the university purchased adjacent Germantown Hospital for $10 million dollars. The Script error acquired has become "West Campus", and increased the campus size by 25 percent.[1]

A $15 million dollar shopping center and supermarket complex opened in Fall 2008.[2]

Phase two was the completion of the New Science and Technology Building. The renovated Holroyd Science Center was completed in Fall 2009.


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See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

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