|St. Procopius College
Illinois Benedictine College
|Motto||Ut In Omnibus Glorificetur Deus (Latin)|
Motto in English
|That in all things God may be glorified|
|Affiliation||Roman Catholic (Benedictine)|
|President||William J. Carroll|
|Campus||Suburban, 108 acres (43.7 ha)|
|Athletics||NCAA Division III – NACC, MLC|
Benedictine University is a private Roman Catholic university located in Lisle, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. The school was founded in 1887 as St. Procopius College by the Benedictine monks of St. Procopius Abbey in the Pilsen community on the West Side of Chicago. The institution has retained a close relationship with the Benedictine Order, which bears the name of St. Benedict (480-543 A.D.), the acknowledged father of western monasticism. The school secured its charter from the state of Illinois in 1890, and moved to its current location in 1901. St. Procopius College changed its name to Illinois Benedictine College in 1971, and became Benedictine University in 1996 adding a third school color of black to their existing colors in which the home football team wears a black jersey. Benedictine University is minutes from Metra's Burlington Northern train station in Lisle and a 30-minute drive from O'Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport. The university is in proximity to the many social and cultural offerings of the Chicago metropolitan area, including museums, professional athletic teams, broadway shows and the Morton Arboretum. Also nearby are two national research facilities—Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. The university's location in the high-tech East-West Tollway corridor provides various internship and employment opportunities for students.
Benedictine University offers 56 undergraduate majors through The College of Science, The College of Liberal Arts, The College of Business and The College of Education and Health Services. Newer offerings are undergraduate programs in Business Analytics, Clinical Life Science, Exercise and Sports Studies, Music Education and Theology. Adult programs are offered through the Moser College of Adult and Professional Studies. Master’s degrees are offered in accountancy, business administration, clinical exercise physiology, clinical psychology, education, leadership, management information systems, management and organizational behavior, nursing, nutrition and wellness, public health, and science content and process.
The university also offers Ph.D. programs in Organization Development and Values-Driven Leadership, a D.B.A. program in Values-Driven Leadership, and an Ed.D. program in Higher Education and Organizational Change.
Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. StateUniversity.com ranks Benedictine University as the 34th safest campus in the United States – and the safest four-year school in Illinois. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private, nonprofit master’s universities.
Benedictine University moved to Lisle, Illinois, in the far western suburbs of Chicago and DuPage County, in 1901. After the dedication of Benedictine Hall, new buildings were added throughout the early 1900s. Although it had admitted women from time to time, the college became fully coeducational in 1968. In 1971, it changed its name to Illinois Benedictine College. In response to community needs, graduate, doctorate and adult learner programs were added. In 1996, the college was renamed Benedictine University. The Birck Hall of Science and the Kindlon Hall of Learning were built in 2001. The Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex, a unique cooperative venture between a governmental body and private university, was dedicated in 2005. Renovation of the Dan and Ada Rice Center was completed in October 2011.
One of the Lisle campus' unique features is the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum, a small natural history museum located on the second floor of the Birck Hall of Science. The museum represents the work of Frs. Edmund and Hilary Jurica, O.S.B., who collected specimens for their students to use during their almost 100 combined years of teaching at Benedictine University, and Fr. Theodore Suchy, O.S.B. (d. 2012), who served as museum curator for more than 30 years. The museum has continued to collect specimens since the Juricas' deaths in the early 1970s and now has a collection numbering almost 10,000 specimens ranging from a tiny aphid to a roqual skeleton. The Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum is open to the public as well as to school groups.
Benedictine's Lisle campus has approximately 3,800 undergraduate students of which 41 percent are male and 59 percent are female, and the student body represents 50 states and territories, and 15 countries. Nearly one-third of the students are minority.
Benedictine is a member of the Northern Athletics Conference and its athletic teams (known as the Eagles) compete at the Division III level in 20 men’s and women’s sports: men’s baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, volleyball, and indoor and outdoor track and field; and women’s basketball, cheerleading and dance, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball, and indoor and outdoor track and field.
In the fall of 2011, the new Benedictine Fitness Center open to students, faculty and staff was unveiled in the Dan and Ada Rice Center. The facility, part of a $6.7 million renovation, was made possible through the generosity of the Rice Family Foundation and hundreds of individual and corporate donors, including members of the Benedictine community. The Dan and Ada Rice Center is the university's primary indoor athletic facility.
The football, baseball, softball, lacrosse, soccer and track and field teams compete at the $10 million Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex, which was made possible through a partnership between the university and the Village of Lisle and was dedicated in 2004. It has hosted the NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Championships and hundreds of college, high school and community athletic events. The facility is also home to the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women's Soccer League.
The sports complex is also home to the DuPage County Hounds, a member of the Midwest Collegiate League nationally known summer baseball league based in the Chicago area.
Springfield branch campus
The Springfield branch campus of Benedictine University was originally founded in 1929 as a separate institution known as Springfield Junior College. The college changed its name in 1967 to Springfield College in Illinois. In early 2003, Springfield College in Illinois and Benedictine University formed a partnership through which Benedictine offered bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in Springfield. This partnership resulted in a merger between the two institutions, following Illinois Board of Higher Education guidelines and those of the U.S. Department of Education. In 2010, Benedictine University established a branch campus known as Benedictine University at Springfield. Springfield College in Illinois ceased all academic programs in August 2011.
Benedictine in Asia
More than 1,000 students have graduated with a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) or Master of Science in Management Information Systems (M.S.M.I.S.) from Benedictine University through its partnerships with two Chinese universities – Shenyang University of Technology (SUT) and Shenyang Jianzu University (SJZU) -- formed in the early 2000s. In 2009, Benedictine partnered with two universities in Vietnam—the Vietnam National University (VNU) in Hanoi and Binh Dong University in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon)—to offer graduate programs in business administration and management information systems. In 2012, Benedictine received approval from the Ministry of Education in China to offer a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) through a partnership with Dalian Medical University.
Among the universities with which Benedictine partners is Palacky University in Olomouc, Czech Republic, one of the oldest universities in Central Europe. Palacky University, a renowned center for teaching and research, is located in the heart of the country from which the founders of Benedictine University emigrated.
Lawsuit by the Monks
In June of 2015, monks from St. Procopius Abbey sued the university, claiming that they had been shut out of important decisions in defiance of the university's by-laws. The suit also alleges that the trustees, again in defiance of the by-laws, have not disclosed conflicts of interest in the search for a new president.
Presidents of the university
- Rev. Daniel Kucera, O.S.B. - a Benedictine who would later become Archbishop of Dubuque.
- Richard C. Becker, Ph.D., 1976-1995.
- William J. Carroll, Ph.D., 1995–present.
- Woodhouse, Kellie. "Monks Seek Shared Governance". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 26 June 2015.