The University of San Francisco was established as the City of San Francisco's first institution of higher education by the Jesuit Fathers in October 1855. The original college, known first as St. Ignatius Academy, was located in a simple frame building 26 feet long by 16 feet wide. The Academy opened its doors as a "Jesuit college for the youth of the city" under the guidance of Father Anthony Maraschi, S.J., founder and first president. The original site of the institution, on the south side of Market Street between Fourth and Fifth Streets, is currently the Westfield Shopping Center.
On April 30, 1859, the State of California issued a charter under the title of "Saint Ignatius College," empowering the College to confer degrees "with such literary honors as are granted by any university in the United States." The curriculum included courses in Greek, Spanish, Latin, English, French, Italian, algebra, arithmetic, history, geography, elocution, and bookkeeping.
In 1862, a new building for the College was constructed on the same site, on Market Street between Fourth and Fifth. The 1862 catalog stated the purpose of St. Ignatius College as the "giving of a thorough classical, mathematical and philosophical education." In June 1863, the first bachelor of arts degree was conferred.
In 1880, the College moved to a new building, which had been erected on Van Ness Avenue near the site of the Civic Center. This location currently is the site of the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall. Twenty-six years later, the 1906 San Francisco fire and earthquake destroyed the institution and all its laboratories, libraries, and art treasures. The College was relocated to "temporary" quarters at Hayes and Shrader Streets within the year. From 1906 to 1927, St. Ignatius College was known as "the shirt factory" because of its resemblance to a number of hastily built structures south of Market Street, some of which actually were shirt factories.
In 1930, on the occasion of its Diamond Jubilee, at the request of alumni groups and civic, professional and industrial leaders of San Francisco, St. Ignatius College became the University of San Francisco.
Since 1855, the University of San Francisco has grown with the city whose name it bears. Today, USF, with its 55 acres, is San Francisco's largest independent university campus, located on a hilltop near Golden Gate Park, and overlooking downtown San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean. The coeducational student body represents all geographic sections of the United States and over 85 countries. Although USF retains its rich Jesuit Catholic heritage, its students and faculty are from all religious backgrounds.
The Jesuit traditions of scholarship and dedication to a liberal education are the foundation for all academic programs at USF. Undergraduate and graduate programs are offered in arts, sciences, management, and nursing. Professional programs are offered by the School of Nursing and Health Professions, School of Law, School of Management, and the School of Education, which confers an Ed.D. degree.
The Jesuits continue their commitment to the University they founded and are joined in that commitment by other religious and lay faculty. The University's humanistic tradition views the individual mind and spirit as its most valuable resources. The academic philosophy at USF emphasizes enrichment of personal values, expansion of personal responsibility, and lifelong learning.
Early Beginnings, The College of Arts and Sciences
In 1925, what had been the departments of Arts, Sciences and Philosophy officially became the College of Arts and Sciences to reflect the changes taking place within the College, including an increase in the number of elective courses offered to students. In 1927, to accommodate the growing student population, the Liberal Arts building (Kalmanovitz Hall) was completed and dedicated and the entire University was moved to its present location.
In 1940, under President William Dunne, S.J., the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Science were established as separate colleges. In 1982, the name was changed back to reflect the incorporated status of both Colleges into one: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
School of Law
The USF School of Law was established in 1912 with classes held in the Grant Building on Market Street. Matthew I. Sullivan, who later became Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, was the School's first dean. In 1917, the School moved its classes to Hayes and Shrader Streets, the temporary quarters for the University following the earthquake and fire of 1906. In 1927, the School of Law relocated to the current USF campus. The school now includes the Koret Law Center, Kendrick Hall, and the Dorraine Zief Law Library. The latter 60,000 square foot, state-of-the-art building was completed in 2001. In 2003, Kendrick Hall, originally built in 1962 and expanded in 1982, was completely reconstructed, including its classrooms, seminar rooms, offices, student support services and lounges. In January 2004, the University of San Francisco School of Law formally dedicated the Koret Law Center, the complex which comprises both the reconstructed Kendrick Hall and the new Dorraine Zief Law Library. The law school facilities now count among the finest in the United States.
School of Management
Founded in 1924, the business program began as a four-year evening certificate program. In 1925, the College of Commerce and Finance was established, and the first bachelor of commercial science degrees were awarded in 1928. In 1947, the College of Business Administration became a separate academic division under Dean Roy C. Hall. The College of Business has been accredited nationally since 1953 by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. In 1974, the name was changed to McLaren College of Business when the program became headquartered in McLaren Center. In 1981, AACSB accreditation was achieved for the MBA program. In 1991 the name was changed to the McLaren School of Business. In 1999, the name was changed to the School of Business and Management, with the undergraduate program named the McLaren College of Business, and the graduate program named the Graduate School of Management. In 2003, the Graduate School of Management was renamed the Masagung Graduate School of Management. In 2004, Malloy Hall, the new home for the School of Business and Management, was dedicated. In June 2009, the University of San Francisco created the School of Business and Professional Studies by merging the School of Business and Management with the College of Professional Studies. The merger built upon the strengths of both legacy schools, bringing into a single administrative structure faculty and staff with complementary expertise. The School of Management, as it was renamed in 2011, is committed to the preparation of men and women for leadership positions in the public and private sectors. A practical orientation is added to a theoretical foundation to prepare students for the increased complexity of organizational environments. The City of San Francisco and the world provide a unique setting for this educational experience. Learn more »
School of Education
In 1948, the University established the Department of Education under the leadership of Paul J. Harney, S.J. From its inception, and through the decades of the 1950's and 1960's, the Department had a highly reputed teacher preparation program. In addition to the teacher preparation program, the school offered several master's degree programs. In 1972 the Board of Trustees established the School of Education and in 1975 the first doctoral students were admitted to study for the newly approved Doctor of Education degree. The years from 1975 to 1980 represented an expansion period during which the enrollment grew rapidly in the doctoral programs, and innovative master's degree and credential programs were offered off-campus at various sites throughout the state. The School's focus has shifted to serving the professional growth needs of mid-career working adults. Currently, the School enjoys a well-established reputation as a leading School of Education dedicated to meeting the needs of professional educators through academic programs, research, and other services.
School of Nursing and Health Professions
The University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions began in 1948 as a department within the College of Arts and Sciences. This first nursing department was a cooperative effort with the Sisters of Mercy so that registered nurses from nearby St. Mary's Hospital could earn their baccalaureate degrees. An independent School of Nursing and Health Professions was formed in 1954 and accredited by the National League for Nursing when the first class graduated in 1958. Sister M. Beata Bauman, S.M., served as the School's first dean from 1956-1970. Classes were held in Campion Hall or in temporary postwar buildings from the government, called Quonset huts. Administrative and faculty offices were in St. Mary's Hospital until Cowell Hall was built in 1969. The baccalaureate program provides a strong liberal arts and science preparation coupled with professional knowledge in nursing theory and practice. The School provides various educational pathways for applicants who have graduated from high school, for college transfer students, and registered nurses. For individuals who have a baccalaureate degree in another area, the School of Nursing and Health Professions offers a Masters entry program. The School began offering a Master of Science program in Nursing in the Fall of 1984, and was accredited later by the National League for Nursing. In 2007, the School was approved to offer the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, making USF the first university in California to offer this advanced degree for working nurses. In 2009, the DNP was accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Important Dates in the History of the University
1855 St. Ignatius Academy founded, October 15
1859 State Charter authorized St. Ignatius College to grant degrees
1862 College moved to new building on Market Street
1863 First Bachelor of Arts degree awarded
1867 First Master's degree awarded
1880 College moved to new buildings on Van Ness Avenue, near present-day Civic Center
1905 College celebrated its 50th anniversary, a Golden Jubilee
1906 Van Ness facilities totally destroyed by fires after earthquake; College relocated to temporary quarters at Hayes and Shrader Streets
1909 Ignatian Heights property acquired at Fulton and Parker Avenues
1910 Ground broken for St. Ignatius Church
1912 School of Law established
1914 St. Ignatius Church dedicated
1924 Evening classes began in liberal arts and commerce
1925 Major academic divisions established at University: College of Arts and Sciences and College of Commerce and Finance, in addition to School of Law
1927 College moved to Ignatian Heights campus
1930 Diamond Jubilee; St. Ignatius College became the University of San Francisco
1932 Summer Session established
1948 Baccalaureate degree program in Nursing instituted; Department of Education established, offering a postgraduate program leading to state credentials
1949 Graduate Division established
1950 Richard A. Gleeson Library dedicated
1951 Evening College established
1954 School of Nursing established
1955 University celebrated its Centennial
1961 Institute of Chemical Biology established
1964 University became coeducational in all academic divisions
1969 University acquired old St. Ignatius High School facilities
1972 Department of Education became School of Education
1974 College of Business Administration became McLaren College of Business as new McLaren Center is dedicated
1975 Office of Continuing Education established
1977 KUSF-FM began broadcasting to the Bay Area
1978 USF acquired Lone Mountain campus
1979 Office of Continuing Education became School of Continuing Education
1980 University of San Francisco celebrated its 125th anniversary
1980 School of Continuing Education became College of Professional Studies
1981 Evening College programs integrated into the College of Arts and Sciences and Business
1984 Master's Program started in School of Nursing
1987 School of Law celebrated its 75th Anniversary
1989 Koret Health and Recreation Center dedicated
1991 McLaren College of Business became McLaren School of Business
1991 USF acquired School of Education Building
1997 Gleeson Library addition including the Geschke Learning Resource Center completed
1999 McLaren School of Business became the School of Business and Management consisting of the McLaren College of Business and the Graduate School of Management
1999 Loyola House was built for the University of San Francisco Jesuit Community
2000 Dorraine Zief Law Library completed, a state-of-the-art facility offering a spacious study environment for the USF community
2000 281 Masonic, a leased building, houses the College of Professional Studies
2000 Pedro Arrupe Hall, a leased building, provides housing for 116 students in upper division and graduate levels
2002 Loyola Village completed, a newly constructed housing complex for students, faculty, and staff
2003 Graduate School of Management became the Masagung Graduate School of Management
2003 Fromm Hall dedication marked beginning of reconstruction of former Xavier Hall
2004 Dedication of Koret Law Center
2004 Dedication of Malloy Hall, a new home for the School of Business and Management
2005 University celebrated its Sesquicentennial
2005 Kalmanovitz Hall groundbreaking marked beginning of reconstruction of former Campion Hall
2006 Dedication of Alfred and Hanna Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning facility at USF
2007 School of Nursing and Health Professions received approval to offer the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree
2008 Kalmanovitz Hall reconstruction completed and building reopens
2009 School of Business and Professional Studies established by merging the School of Business and Management with the College of Professional Studies
2010 Ground broken for the new John Lo Schiavo, S.J., Center for Science and Innovation, a 60,000 square foot state-of-the-art science building
2011 School of Business and Professional Studies became School of Management
2011 School of Nursing changed its name to the School of Nursing and Health Professions
2012 Opening of downtown campus in the historic Folger Coffee Building at 101 Howard St.
2012 School of Law celebrated 100th anniversary
2013 John Lo Schiavo, S.J., Center for Science and Innovation ribbon cutting ceremony and opening