St. Bonaventure University

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St. Bonaventure University
Former names
St. Bonaventure's College
Established1858; 164 years ago (1858)
Religious affiliation
Catholic Church (Franciscan)
Academic affiliations
Endowment$71.8 million (2020)[1]
PresidentJoseph Zimmer (acting)
ProvostDavid Hilmey (acting)
Administrative staff
Undergraduates1850 [2][note 1]
Postgraduates569[2][note 1]
CampusSmall town/rural, 500 acres (200 ha)
Colors    Brown, white[3]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IAtlantic 10
MascotThe Bona Wolf[4]

St. Bonaventure University is a private Franciscan university in St. Bonaventure, New York. It has 2,381 undergraduate and graduate students.[5] The Franciscan Brothers established the university in 1858.[6]

In athletics, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies play National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I sports in the Atlantic 10 Conference.[5] Students and alumni often refer to the university as Bona's, derived from the school's name.


The college was founded by Utica, New York, financier Nicholas Devereux,[7] one of the first to gain land grants in newly surveyed Cattaraugus County from the Holland Land Company.[8] Devereux founded the town of Allegany on the grant, hoping to build a new city. Devereux approached John Timon,[9] the bishop of Buffalo,[10] for assistance. The two invited the Franciscan order to Western New York,[7] and a small group under Pamfilo da Magliano arrived in 1855.[9] The school graduated its first class in 1858. St. Bonaventure's College was granted university status by New York State in 1950. The largest residence hall on campus, Devereux Hall, is named for the founder.

The Franciscan connection[edit]

The university is named after Bonaventure (1221–1274), born John of Fidenza, who became a cardinal and Doctor of the Church. A theologian and contemporary of Thomas Aquinas at the University of Paris, he became head of the Franciscan order. Bonaventure was canonized in 1482 by Sixtus IV. The Franciscan friars at the St. Bonaventure Friary belong to the Holy Name Province and are members of the Order of Friars Minor,[9] one of the orders of Franciscans.

The university is also home to the Franciscan Institute. Founded in 1939 by Thomas Plassmann, then president of St. Bonaventure's College, and led by its first Director, Philotheus Boehner.


The campus sits on 500 acres (2.0 km2) in the town of Allegany, just over the line from the city of Olean (total pop.: 15,000), at Exit 24 of Interstate 86. The university has its own US Post Office and is listed as a separate census-designated place by the Census Bureau. The university's postal address is Saint Bonaventure, NY 14778. St. Bonaventure also has a second graduate studies center in Hamburg, a suburb of Buffalo, on the campus of Hilbert College.


The university has more than 50 academic programs, including programs in the Jandoli School of Communication[11] and combined degree health care programs preparing students for careers in medicine, dentistry, physical therapy or pharmacy.


St. Bonaventure also has the Center for the Study of Attention, Learning & Memory, a joint initiative between the School of Education and the School of Arts and Sciences, promotes interdisciplinary research and increases awareness of the importance of attention and learning in education.[12]


On the U.S. News & World Report's 2021 list of best regional universities, St. Bonaventure University was ranked No. 6 for value and No. 19 in the North.[13]

Student life[edit]


The campus newspaper, The Bona Venture, has been published continuously since 1926. Known on campus as The BV, the newspaper has earned The Pacemaker Award numerous times from the Associated Collegiate Press, the last time in 1994. The school's student radio station is known as WSBU 88.3 The Buzz. In 2019, the Jandoli School of Communication's student-produced newscast, "SBU-TV", became available to television viewers across Western New York.[14]

Popular folklore[edit]

Thomas Merton, the religious writer, taught English at St. Bonaventure for a year just at the start of World War II, living on campus on the second floor of Devereux Hall.[15] It was at this school that Merton finally gave into his vocation and decided to join the Trappists. He entered the monastery in Kentucky in 1941. A heart-shaped clearing on a mountain in view of campus is linked to Merton in campus myth. Some students call it "Merton's Heart" and claim that Merton visited the place often and that the trees fell when he died. In reality, the hillside had been cleared for oil drilling in the 1920s and trees have since regrown, leaving the bald patch.[16]


St. Bonaventure is an NCAA Division I member of the Atlantic 10 Conference and offers 19 varsity athletic programs. The school's programs are known as the Bonnies. The men's team has reached the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament a total of 8 times, most recently in the 2020–2021 season.[17]

Notable alumni[edit]

Pulitzer Prize winners[edit]

The school boasts six Pulitzer Prize winners as alumni,[18] and one Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award winner, the broadcast equivalent of the Pulitzer.

DuPont Columbia Award winners[edit]

Members of the United States Congress[edit]


  1. ^ a b as of Fall 2019


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "St. Bonaventure University". collegexpress. Carnegie Dartlet. 2019. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  3. ^ "Primary logo colors" (PDF). St. Bonaventure University Brand Guide. September 30, 2020. Retrieved March 14, 2021.
  4. ^ "The Symbols of St. Bonaventure University — The Bona Wolf".
  5. ^ a b "St. Bonaventure University". US News & World Report. US News & World Report L.P. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  6. ^ "University Mission". St. Bonaventure University. St. Bonaventure University. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Kernan, Thomas. "Nicholas Devereux." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 16 (Index). New York: The Encyclopedia Press, 1914. 24 July 2019Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  8. ^ Demetreu, Danielle. "Nicholas Devereux", St. Bonaventure University Archives
  9. ^ a b c "The Order of Friars Minor Province of the Immaculate Conception". Our Province. Friars Minor of the Order of Saint Francis. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
  10. ^ "Beginnings of St. Bonaventure University". St. Bonaventure University Archives. 2006.
  11. ^ "Jandoli name change sparks debate". September 8, 2016. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  12. ^ "St. Bonaventure to open new research center focused on attention and learning". St. Bonaventure University. St. Bonaventure University Press. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  13. ^ "US News St. Bonaventure University". US News & World Report. US News & World Report.
  14. ^ "SBU-TV to air on Spectrum network in Western New York". St. Bonaventure University. St. Bonaventure University Press. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  15. ^
  16. ^ Merton's heart, St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, NY, Undated, Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  17. ^ "March Madness 2021 Bracket - NCAA Basketball Tournament". CBS Sports. CBS. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  18. ^ "About the Jandoli School of Communication". St. Bonaventure University. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  19. ^ "The 2000 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Breaking News Reporting". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  20. ^ a b Kathy, Kellogg (April 29, 2000). "Globe Editor Bemoans Decline in Journalism". The Buffalo News. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  21. ^ "2020 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award Winners Announced: Public Media Garners Top Wins | Columbia Journalism School".
  22. ^ Walsh, James T., Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, Washington, DC, Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  23. ^ Jim Walsh remembered: Herald American profile from 1988, The Post-Standard, Syracuse, New York: Syracuse Media Group, Repost 21 January 2008 by Carlic, S., Original 30 October 1988 by Kane, D., & Bramstedt, C., Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  24. ^ Biographical profile for James T. Walsh, Vote NY, Reston, VA: Vote USA, Undated, Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  25. ^ Walsh, William Francis, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, Washington, DC: US Congress, Undated, Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  26. ^ William F. Walsh, former Syracuse mayor and congressman, dies at 98, The Post-Standard, Syracuse, New York: Syracuse Media Group, 8 January 2011, Weiner, M., Retrieved 21 January 2014.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°04′41″N 78°28′53″W / 42.078094°N 78.481307°W / 42.078094; -78.481307