Xavier University

Xavier University (/ˈzvjər/ ZAY-vyər[12][13][14]) is a Jesuit university in Cincinnati and Norwood, Ohio. It is the sixth-oldest Catholic and fourth-oldest Jesuit university in the United States.[9] Xavier has an undergraduate enrollment of 4,485 students and graduate enrollment of 2,165. It is primarily an undergraduate, liberal arts institution.

Xavier University
Latin: Universitas Xaveriana
Former names
St. Xavier College
MottoVidit Mirabilia Magna (Latin)
Motto in English
He has seen great wonders
TypePrivate Roman Catholic Research Non-profit Liberal Arts Coeducational Higher education institution
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic (Jesuit)
Academic affiliations
Endowment$169 million (2017)[3]
PresidentMichael J. Graham SJ[4]
ProvostMelissa Baumann
Academic staff
392 Full-time and 399 Part-time[5]
3800 Victory Parkway Cincinnati
, ,
Campus190 acres (76.9 ha)[9]
ColorsNavy Blue, White, Silver[10]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IBig East Conference[1]
MascotD'Artagnan the Musketeer
The Blue Blob[11]


Xavier University is the fourth oldest Jesuit University and the sixth oldest Catholic university in the United States. The school was founded in 1831 as a men's college in downtown Cincinnati next to St. Francis Xavier Church on Sycamore Street. The Athenaeum, as it was then called, was dedicated to the patronage of Saint Francis Xavier by Bishop Edward Fenwick on October 17, 1831. Upon Bishop John Baptist Purcell's request, the Society of Jesus took control of The Athenaeum in 1840, and the name was changed to St. Xavier College in honor of the 16th century Jesuit missionary, St. Francis Xavier who, like the founder of the Jesuits, Ignatius Loyola, was a Spanish Basque.

St. Xavier College moved in 1912 to its current Norwood location, about 5 miles (8.0 km) north of downtown Cincinnati, after the purchase of 26 acres (0.11 km2) from the Avondale Athletic Club. The "original" Anthenaeum is now the seminary of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. St. Xavier College and St. Xavier High School officially split in 1919, though they did not become financially independent until 1934. The school's name was changed a second time to its current name, Xavier University, in 1930.

The Williams College of Business was established in 1961 and Xavier's first doctoral program, in psychology, began in 1997. Xavier fully admitted women in 1969, but women began attending the college in 1914 in the evening, weekend, and summer school divisions. Edgecliff College, another Catholic college in Cincinnati, merged with Xavier University in 1980.

In 2000, Xavier opened the doors to the Cintas Center,[15] an arena for the Musketeers. Xavier also opened the Gallagher Student Center in 2002.

Smith Hall and the Conaton Learning Commons opened in 2010 as part of the James E. Hoff, S.J., Academic Quadrangle. Fr. Hoff was the University's 33rd President, 1991–2000. Fr. Michael J. Graham, S.J., Hoff's successor and 34th President, still serves Xavier. Fenwick Place, a residential complex, opened in the fall of 2011.


The campus covers approximately 190 acres (0.77 km2)[9] in the City of Cincinnati (Norwood neighborhood) and features residential and academic malls, flanked by the older west campus and by the expanding east campus. At the center of campus are the Gallagher Student Center and Bellarmine Chapel. Bellarmine Chapel's roof is in the shape of a hyperbolic paraboloid, also known as a saddle roof, that will not collapse even if the Chapel walls were removed. The chapel is also home to an active parish community independent of the university.

Academic mall

Six buildings with castle architecture sit elevated overlooking Victory Parkway to the west and resemble a single fortress. Next to the Gallagher Student Center (north to south) is Science Row: Lindner Hall (Physics), Logan Hall (Chemistry), and Albers Hall (Biology). In the middle of this impressive chain is Hinkle Hall, the three-story Tudor-Gothic structure that is the oldest standing building on campus (1919) and whose turrets were modeled after the Xavier Family Castle in Navarre, Spain. It houses the Departments of Mathematics, Computer Science, English, History, Philosophy, and Theology. Schmidt Hall sits next as the University’s current Administration Building. It is followed by Edgecliff Hall which was Alumni Science Hall (1919) but was renamed after the former Edgecliff College and is home to the Department of Music.

On the opposite side of the mall to the east stands the tallest structure on campus, Schott Hall. It houses the Office of Admission and Office of Financial Aid as well as the Departments of Modern Languages, Classics, Communication Arts, Political Science, and Sociology. Next (south to north) is McDonald Library followed by Alter Hall, which has been completely rebuilt. Alter Hall is the main classroom building on campus, and was reopened for the 2015 fall semester. Finally, Hailstones Hall, which was the former home of the Williams College of Business, is adjoined behind Alter to the east, and so is not truly on the mall. Alter and Hailstones are next to Bellarmine Chapel.

Residential Mall

To the north of the Academic Mall and on the opposite side of the Gallagher Student Center and Bellarmine Chapel is the Residential Mall. All four underclassmen residence halls are here. Brockman Hall is due north of Gallagher and is an all-freshmen, community-style residence where about 300 students have one or two roommates and share a bathroom with their wing. Diagonally north across the mall is Buenger Hall. Buenger accommodates over 200 freshmen and sophomore athletes and honors students in suites. Diagonally south across the mall from Brockman and due east of Gallagher are Kuhlman Hall and Husman Hall. Kuhlman and Husman together house about 1,000 freshmen and sophomore students and feature suite style, where students have one or two roommates and share a bathroom with another room. Between Kuhlman, Husman, and Gallagher is what is often referred to as "The Xavier Yard," a large open all-purpose area for students and events.

Across Victory

On the opposite side of Victory Parkway from the Academic and Residential malls is west campus. It is home to most of the athletics and recreational sports with facilities including J. Page Hayden Field, Corcoran Soccer Field, Schmidt Fieldhouse, Corbett Physical Education Building, and the O'Connor Sports Center. St. Barbara Hall and the Armory are home to Xavier's ROTC. Joseph Hall and Elet Hall are home to the School of Education and Department of Psychology.

Cintas Center and Cohen Center

The Cintas Center, where the Musketeers host their basketball games, is adjacent to the Residential Mall. Besides the 10,250-seat arena, Cintas also includes the Schiff Conference Center and the James and Caroline Duff Banquet Center. Cintas is surrounded on all sides by several parking lots, and on the far east side is the A. B. Cohen Center. Cohen is home to the Art Department and Xavier Art Gallery, as well as the School of Nursing and departments of Criminal Justice, Social Work, Occupational Therapy, Health Services Administration, and some of the offices of the School of Education.

Campus growth

As part of the latest construction on campus, a new residential complex called Fenwick Place opened in fall 2011 to the west of The Commons and south of the Residential Mall. It features four residential towers with 535 beds in a suite-style setup, similar to Buenger Hall, for sophomores and juniors. It is the home to a new dining center for all of campus. Fenwick Place opened for the 2011–2012 academic year.

The Hoff Academic Quadrangle, to the south of Fenwick Place and east of the Academic Mall, opened in 2010. Smith Hall is home to the Williams College of Business and features a Wall Street-style trading center with Bloomberg Terminals and two stock tickers. Smith is also home to Xavier's MBA programs and Xavier's Entrepreneurial Center. The D'Artagnan Capital Fund (Xavier's undergraduate student investment fund) is in the building's Fifth Third Trading Center. Xavier's Entrepreneurship is ranked 11th nationally according to The Princeton Review.[16] The Conaton Learning Commons is west of Smith Hall and next to the Academic Mall. The Learning Commons is home to all of Xavier's academic support services.


Xavier University offers 81 majors within the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Social Sciences, Health and Education, and the Williams College of Business.[17] Several minors and pre-professional programs are also offered including a blended Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.[18] All students must complete the core curriculum.

Undergraduate students attending Xavier must complete a significant number of distribution requirements that are more commonly known as the Core Curriculum. There are required courses in: Theology, Philosophy, Mathematics, Fine Arts, History, Physical Science, Literature, Foreign Language, and the Social Sciences. The Core Curriculum is a confluence of Jesuit ideals known as the Ratio Studiorum and a Great Books program. All students upon completion of a bachelor's degree have read The Republic, Discourse on Method, and selections from the Bible among other original texts.

Major requirements

All undergraduate students are required to complete the Core Curriculum (see above) and comply with departmental requirements. Business majors (from the Williams College of Business) are also required to complete the Business Core, which consists of courses in Accounting, Business Law, Economics, Finance, Human Resources, Information Systems, Management, Marketing, and Statistics (the Business Core occupies 35 credit hours). Business majors, therefore, are only required to take 18–21 hours in their chosen field (providing many students with an incentive to declare a second major within the Williams College of Business). Students in the other colleges (the College of Social Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences) generally have to complete at least 60 credit hours of courses within the major and electives within the College. To graduate with a B.A. or B.S. degree, 120 credit hours must be obtained, and all students must achieve a 2.0 GPA minimum in their major course of study. Most scholarships require a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Transfer scholarships are awarded based on GPA from previous university attended.

Certain majors, such as Politics Philosophy and the Public (PPP), Honors Bachelor of Arts (HAB), and Philosophy, require a written thesis and defense before a selected committee. Philosophy also requires a written comprehensive exam.

Honorary society chapters

Xavier has several honorary society chapters, including:

  • Alpha Sigma Nu, the honor society of Jesuit institutions of higher education[19]
  • Beta Alpha Psi, an honor organization for financial information students and professionals[20]
  • Beta Gamma Sigma, the international honor society serving business programs accredited by AACSB International[21]
  • Phi Beta Kappa, an elite honor society present within only 10% of universities[22]
  • Mortar Board, national honor society recognizing college seniors[23]
  • Eta Sigma Phi, an honor society aimed at preserving interest and scholarship in Classical Studies.


  • Xavier was ranked 8th among 172 Midwest colleges and universities by U.S. News & World Report for its 2019 edition of America's Best Colleges report.[24]
  • It was ranked 1st for average six-year graduation rate in the Midwest at 78%, 3rd for alumni giving and 2nd for "up and coming schools."[9]
  • Kiplinger's Personal Finance listed Xavier 70th among 100 private college and universities as a "Best Value" for 2013.[9]
  • Forbes ranked 272nd among America's Top Colleges for 2019.[25]


Xavier competes at the NCAA Division I level in the Big East Conference, and their mascot is D'Artagnan the Musketeer. Xavier sponsors eight intercollegiate sports for men, and eight sports for women.[26] The University's graduation rate of 94%[27] is the third highest graduation rate for athletes in the nation behind Duke University and Stanford University. Xavier sports teams have several traditional rivalries with local universities, including the University of Cincinnati and the Villanova University.

Xavier was a founding member of the Midwestern City Conference in 1979. Renamed the Midwestern Collegiate Conference in 1985, it is now known as the Horizon League. Xavier was a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference from 1995 to 2013 where it enjoyed many successful basketball seasons. On March 20, 2013, the Xavier administration announced that the school will join the newly created Big East following the realignment of the old Big East Conference,[28] and moved to the new conference July 1, 2013.

The basketball and volleyball teams play in the 10,250-seat Cintas Center on campus which opened in 2000.[29]

Men's basketball

The Xavier men's basketball team is perhaps the best known of the sports sponsored at Xavier. The team has enjoyed considerable recent success, reaching the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament in 2004, 2008, and 2017 and still has not made a Final Four. Since 1985, every men's basketball player who has played as a senior has graduated with a degree.[30] During the era of college football's now-defunct Bowl Championship Series, Xavier was one of only two schools outside the main BCS conferences (a group now known as the Power Five) to be listed among the top 20 most valuable programs in college basketball (the other being UNLV) according to Forbes.[31]


Xavier fielded an NCAA Division I football team until the 1973 season.


The Xavier baseball team won the 2014 Big East Championship and participated in the Nashville Regional. The 2009 Xavier Baseball team won the Atlantic 10 tournament and participated in the Houston Regional.


The Xavier men's swim team earned the school's first Big East Conference Championship in 2014.[32] The team was led by head coach Brent MacDonald, who earned Big East Coach of the Year in 2014 and 2015.[33] The Xavier men's swim team overall has captured the Big East Title in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2019 making it their fourth championship in the six years since joining the conference in 2013.[34]

Club sports

The club sports program is designed to serve the interests of Xavier University students, faculty, and staff in different sports and recreational activities. These interests may be competitive, recreational, and/or instructional in nature.

The Xavier Men’s Volleyball Club Team took home 2nd place at Nationals in April 2019. No other sports team in the history of Xavier has made it that far.


Xavier is one of a handful of universities with two mascots.[35] D'Artagnan, the Musketeer, is the university's official mascot and is the origin of the school's nickname, The Xavier Musketeers. The Musketeer concept was suggested in 1925 by the late Reverend Francis J. Finn, S.J.

The Blue Blob came about in 1985 when the spirit squad coordinators realized that a more audience-friendly mascot was needed. The musketeer mascot, who sported a handlebar mustache and a prop sword, scared younger spectators.[11] The Blue Blob is a furry creature that has made several television and magazine appearances over the years, including a controversial PlayBoy appearance.[36] The Blue Blob has Bobble-Body dolls,[37] Plush replicas,[38] and T-shirts made in his likeness, and an annual Blue Blob Appreciation Night during the Musketeer's basketball season. He most recently appeared on two ESPN This is SportsCenter commercials with Pro Football Hall of Fame member Jim Kelly and SportsCenter anchors Scott Van Pelt and John Anderson.[39]


Most Xavier games can be heard on WLW or WKRC-AM. Joe Sunderman does the play-by-play and Byron Larkin does color commentary. Fox Sports Net Ohio holds the local television rights to the Musketeers basketball games. Brad Johansen does play-by-play and Steve Wolf is the analyst. Over the air stations, WCPO-TV and WSTR-TV have held the rights to Xavier games in the past.

Dorothy Day Center for Faith and Justice

This center is an important part of Xavier University's mission to form men and women for others.[40]

Student programs

At the beginning of freshman year, the Center gives students opportunities to form community among themselves, with an effort at inclusiveness across all lines of faith and culture.[41] They are then encouraged to join the other students in choosing from a variety of service opportunities.

Students can pursue community service through the following programs: work in the Nexus community garden, weekly service with organizations in the Cincinnati area through the X-CHANGE program, Community Action Day when the whole XU community and alumni are encouraged to give a day of service to the larger community, a monthly service opportunity at St. Francis Seraph Soup Kitchen,[42] and Alternative Breaks offering opportunities to serve in the United States and abroad during fall and spring breaks.[43] A total of 25 immersion trips are offered.[44] It is estimated that students perform more than 60,000 service hours in a year.[45]

Most programs include reflection components, and the following programs facilitated by the Center are also staged to provoke reflection: Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, Stories of Solidarity, Jesuit Martyrs of El Salvador commemoration, and Contemplatives in Action.[46]

More intensive service experiences include the following:

  • Summer Service Internship allows 20 students to live on campus while being paid for working at an area non-profit.[47]
  • Graduate Internship employs graduates to work along with the CFJ staff.[48]
  • Xavier eRecruiting is the Center's listing of non-profit internships nationwide. This is supplemented by Idealist.org which includes also international listings. Sponsors of internships include Scripps Howard Foundation, the Catholic Archdiocese, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, and Community Shares.[49]
  • GetAway for First Year Students, with opportunities to organize and make spiritual retreats.[50]
  • Graduate School and Year-of-Service Fair introduces students to over 50 options for a year of service after graduation, at home and abroad. Some of the more popular are Peace Corps, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Public Allies, and Americorps. Long listings of possibilities are on websites hosted by Stanford, Notre Dame, Service Leader, and Volunteer.gov.[51]

Faculty and staff

Opportunities include mixing with the students in the NEXUS Community Garden project, joining in on the Alternative Breaks immersion experiences, participating in Community Action Day, and working service-learning into the content of courses.[52]


Alumni contribute to the service efforts of the university through The Magis Society. On the CFJ blogspot they share what they are doing and they meet at times as a group.[53] The CFJ office helps them to network with others on social causes in their profession.[54]

Notable alumni

Xavier has a number of notable alumni, including:

Notable faculty

See also


  1. "Xavier at a Glance". Xavier University. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  2. "Institutional Memberships". Xavier University. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  3. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2016 Market Value of Endowment Assets and Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY2015 to FY2016" (PDF). NACUBO. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 15, 2017. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  4. "Xavier at a Glance". Xavier University. Archived from the original on November 13, 2012.
  5. https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?q=xavier+university&s=all&id=206622
  6. https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?q=xavier+university&s=all&id=206622
  7. https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?q=xavier+university&s=all&id=206622
  8. https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?q=xavier+university&s=all&id=206622
  9. Xavier Facts Update, Xavier University, 2013
  10. Xavier University: Brand and Graphic Identity Guide (PDF). Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  11. "Behind the Blue Blob". Xavier Magazine. Xavier University. Spring 2013. Archived from the original on September 19, 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  12. Hawley, Brad (March 20, 2016). "Chris Mack to reporter: We're not 'eggs'-avier". Fox19 Now. WXIX-TV. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  13. Daughterty, Paul (June 3, 1997). "Eggs-avier of Ohio? Try Zay-vier, period". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Gannett Company. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  14. "Ohio gets credit in Clooney film 'The Ides of March'". The Blade. Toledo, Ohio. Associated Press. January 9, 2012. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  15. "Cintas Center rising on Xavier U.'s campus". Enquirer.com. September 7, 1999. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  16. "2015 top 25 colleges in entrepreneurship for undergraduates". Entrepreneur.com. September 16, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  17. "Admission Office". Xavier University. Archived from the original on December 5, 2008.
  18. "Second-Degree Accelerated BSN Program | Xavier University". Xavier ABSN. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  19. "Alpha Sigma Nu".
  20. "Beta Alpha Psi".
  21. "Beta Gamma Sigma". Archived from the original on May 10, 2013.
  22. "Phi Beta Kappa". Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  23. "Mortar Board". Archived from the original on October 29, 2013.
  24. https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/search?schoolName=Xavier%20University
  25. "America's Top Colleges". Forbes.
  26. "About Xavier". Xavier University.
  27. "Xavier University—Freshman-Cohort Graduation Rates" (PDF). NCAA. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  28. Athletics Website
  29. "Xavier University - Athletics". www.xavier.edu. Archived from the original on January 18, 2016. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  30. Branch, John (March 15, 2010). "At Xavier, Nun Works Out Players' Academic Side". New York Times.
  31. "The Most Valuable College Basketball Teams – Forbes.com". January 2, 2008.
  32. "Xavier Athletics - Xavier Men's Swimming Captures First BIG EAST Championship". Goxavier.com. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  33. "Xavier Athletics - A BIG Accomplishment For Xavier Men's Swimming". Goxavier.com. February 26, 2014. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  34. "Xavier Athletics - Men's Swimming Wins Third-Straight BIG EAST Championship". Goxavier.com. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  35. "Xavier Official Athletic Site – Traditions". Goxavier.cstv.com. Archived from the original on February 17, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
  36. "On Campus – College Team Mascots – Blue Blob – Xavier University". Playboy.com. Archived from the original on October 23, 2010. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
  37. "Xavier Athletics and Wing Eyecare to Distribute Blue Blob Bobblebody". goxavier.com. October 29, 2007. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
  38. "Xavier University Kids Teddy Bears & Toys". Bkstr.com. June 27, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  39. "The Xavier Newswire – Front Page – week of October 17, 2007". Xavier.edu. Archived from the original on June 7, 2010. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
  40. "Men for Others". onlineministries.creighton.edu. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  41. "Why We Stay…The Changing Role of Women in our Faith Communities, AJC Cincinnati Regional Office". www.ajccincinnati.org. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  42. "Service Programs". www.xavier.edu. Archived from the original on November 16, 2016. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  43. "Catholic College Students Find Joy in Spring Break Service Trips". m.ncregister.com. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  44. "Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio) comes to visit!". Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  45. "President's Service Honor Role, p.20. Accessed 9 May 2016" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 3, 2016. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  46. "Contemplatives in Action". www.xavier.edu. Archived from the original on October 13, 2017. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  47. "The Dater Foundation -Serving Cincinnati-". www.daterfoundation.org. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  48. "Rachel Snodgrass | Brueggeman Fellows". brueggemanfellows.org. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  49. "Xavier University - Center for Faith and Justice - Service and Justice - Internship Opportunities". www.xavier.edu. Archived from the original on March 19, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  50. "First Year Opportunities". www.xavier.edu. Archived from the original on September 1, 2017. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  51. "Xavier University - Center for Faith and Justice - Service and Justice - Post-Graduate Service". www.xavier.edu. Archived from the original on March 19, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  52. "Faculty/Staff". www.xavier.edu. Archived from the original on May 7, 2017. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  53. "Alumni". www.xavier.edu. Archived from the original on September 1, 2017. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  54. "Cincinnati, OH - Xavier University Post-Grad Service Fair // Alliance for Catholic Education". Alliance for Catholic Education. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  55. "Biography of Robert L. "Bob" Heleringer". equineregulatorylaw.com. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  56. https://cemetery.tspb.texas.gov/pub/user_form.asp?pers_id=9430
  57. Staff. Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey: 1987 edition, p. 243. E. J. Mullin, 1987. Accessed September 13, 2016. "Dennis L. Riley, Dem., Gloucester Township - Mr. Riley was born Sept. 13, 1945, in Ottawa, Ill. He studied at Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati, and received his law degree at the Camden Law School of Rutgers University in 1972, the year of his admission to the bar."

Further reading

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