Sacred Heart University
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|Motto||Inspiring Minds, Unleashing Hearts.|
|President||John J. Petillo|
|802 (full-time and part-time)|
|Location||Fairfield, Connecticut, U.S.|
|Campus||Suburban 300+ acres|
|Colors||Red and Grey
|Athletics||NCAA Division I – NEC, CAA, ECAC, AHA, EIVA|
|Mascot||"Big Red" the Pioneer|
Sacred Heart University is a private Roman Catholic university located in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States. Sacred Heart was founded in 1963 by the Most Reverend Walter W. Curtis, Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Sacred Heart was the first Catholic university in the United States to be staffed by the laity. Dr. John J. Petillo is the current president.
Sacred Heart is the second largest Catholic university in New England, behind Boston College, and offers more than 70 degree programs to over 8,500 students at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels.
Undergraduate students study at Sacred Heart's international campuses in Dingle, Ireland and Luxembourg, including freshmen participating in pre-fall and Freshman Fall Abroad programs. On the main campus, state-of-the-art academic facilities include the Frank and Marisa Martire Business & Communications Center and the Center for Healthcare Education.
The University continues to experience dramatic growth in campus facilities and enrollment and has garnered recognition such as The Princeton Review's Best 381 Colleges 2017, the Best 294 Business Schools 2017, as well as U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges in the North and Bloomberg's Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2016.
- 1 History
- 2 Academics
- 3 Campus
- 4 Student life
- 5 Honors
- 6 Notable alumni
- 7 Notable members of the Board of Trustees
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Sacred Heart University was founded in 1963 by the Most Reverend Walter W. Curtis, Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport. The University was to be led and staffed by the laity independent and locally oriented. Former American ambassador and Diplomat Thomas Patrick Melady served as President of the University from 1976 to 1986.
Enrollment has risen from the original class of 173 to over 8,500 full and part-time undergraduate and graduate students, and the faculty has increased from 9 to 281 full-time professors and over 520 adjunct professors since 1963.
Sacred Heart has enhanced the undergraduate student experience in several notable ways. The first dorms, Scholars Commons (previously known as J-Hill), were built 1991 giving the university the ability to accept students who wanted the residential experience. It now has 10 residential buildings with 50 percent of the full-time undergraduates residing in university housing.
The University offers Division I athletics with 32 varsity teams. The $17.5 million The William H. Pitt Health and Recreation Center is available to all students.
The University established a relationship with Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, and named its College of Business after him.
In 2012, the University opened a new student commons building dedicated as the Linda E. McMahon Student Commons after McMahon donated $5 million to the University. The new Commons includes dining facilities, lounge space, meeting rooms and several other amenities.
Also in 2012, the University approved construction of a new building for the Jack Welch College of Business and the School of Communication & Media Arts, called the Frank and Marisa Martire Center for Business & Communications. The building was designed by the Watertown, MA firm of Sasaki Associates (who also designed The Chapel of the Holy Spirit and the Linda E. McMahon Student Commons).
In 2013, Sacred Heart opened its new Health and Wellness Center. The two-story, colonial-style, 5,800-square-foot building, situated on Park Avenue across from the main campus, serves as a place for acute health and medical needs and offers students counseling and therapeutic services.
In the summer of 2014, Sacred Heart broke ground for a new learning center, called the Student Success Center. The center provides educational support for students at the university and from the surrounding region. In the summer of 2015, the University started construction of the Center for Healthcare Education.
In 2015, Sacred Heart again broke ground on a new residence hall called Bergoglio Hall, named after Pope Francis, whose birth name is Jorge Bergoglio. The building includes a CrossFit fitness facility and a video game classroom for video game majors and members of the video game club.
In November 2016, Sacred Heart acquired the former GE corporate headquarters located near its main campus.
Sacred Heart University believes that inquiry, pursuing knowledge and intelligent reflection – both inside and outside the classroom – create greater opportunities and choices. The University challenges its students to be fearless in their curiosity and courageous in their service to others. Sacred Heart is dedicated to the holistic development of its students through active, engaged learning including research, internships, clinical placements, independent study, service learning, work-study and study abroad programs.
Sacred Heart’s consistently evolving curriculum is an academically rigorous, multidisciplinary centerpiece known as The Common Core: The Human Journey. The innovative qualities of this Core resulted in the University’s invitation to become a member of the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) Core Commitments Leadership Consortium. Comprising just 23 institutions nationally, the Consortium provides leadership in making personal and social responsibility a central part of a high-quality undergraduate education for all students.
The University consists of five colleges: College of Arts & Sciences, which includes the School of Communication & Media Arts and the School of Computing; Jack Welch College of Business; College of Health Professions; College of Nursing and the Isabelle Farrington College of Education.
Sacred Heart University offers more than 70 bachelors, masters and doctorate programs in a variety of topics such as accounting, biology, clinical nurse leader, communication, criminal justice, cybersecurity, digital marking, educational leadership, exercise science, film and TV production, family nurse practitioner, game design  and development, healthcare informatics, health science, illustration, journalism, media arts, nursing, occupational therapy, performing arts, speech-language pathology and women’s studies. Sacred Heart also offers qualified undergraduates the opportunity to complete an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree with five to six years depending on the degree program.
- Cambridge Campus (Trumbull, CT)
- Oakview Campus (Trumbull, CT)
- Stamford Campus (Stamford, CT)
- Griswold Campus (Griswold, CT)
- Luxembourg Campus (Luxembourg)
- Dingle, County Kerry Campus (Ireland)
Theatre Arts Program
The Theatre Arts Program began in 2009 with the premiere of Sacred Heart University's first musical production: Rent. Other productions include Little Shop of Horrors in spring 2011, Spring Awakening in the spring of 2012, Nunsense in spring 2013, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee also in spring 2013, Boeing Boeing, Edges, and The Playboy of the Western World in the fall of 2013, Chicago and You're a Good Man Charlie Brown in spring 2014, Almost Maine" "Dogfight, and I Remember Mama in fall 2014, and Wait Until Dark, The Fantasticks, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in spring 2015. The Theatre Arts Program also features a student-produced, student-written, and student-performed festival called "Theatrefest", spanning through both the fall and spring semesters and is the home of Sacred Heart's own improv team: The Pioneer Players. In 2016, the program began its own rep program, Sacred Heart Rep. It is one of the largest student groups on campus. Sacred Heart recently expanded its Theatre Arts Program by launching its National Playwriting Competition & Intern Program.
The Student Government consists of nearly 75 student leaders from all four class years. All full-time undergraduate students have the opportunity to be elected or appointed to a position. There is a Student Government President, four Class Presidents, a Vice President of Finance, a Vice President of Student Events Team, a Vice President of Judicial Affairs, a Vice President of Senate, a Vice President of Campus Clubs & Organizations, a Vice President of Public Affairs, and an Executive Board Secretary. Each Class Board has a class president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, four senators, a community service chair, a fundraising chair, and an advertising chair. These students act as a direct liaison between the student body and the administration. They actively address student issues and concerns, promote campus and class unity and plan various campus wide events.
The Spectrum is a student-run newspaper printed and distributed to students each Wednesday and made available online.
More than 1,200 students and members of the faculty and staff volunteer in excess of 31,000 hours each year largely within the City of Bridgeport, but also regionally, nationally, and internationally. The work of the Office of Volunteer Programs & Service Learning is at the heart of the overall mission of the University. The programs offered allow students to engage in the local community and in communities around the world. Nearly all of the programs are organized by student leaders who grow their leadership and professional skills as they work with community partners. There are weekly volunteer opportunities to local schools, soup kitchens and food banks, and senior centers. Students interested in a long-term weekly volunteer commitment can participate in a mentoring program, where SHU students work one-on-one with local Bridgeport students. The office also provides immersion programs and experiences.
SHU has the only American-accredited MBA program in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and a residential study-abroad program in the Irish-speaking community of Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland. International experiences are available to SHU students worldwide through study abroad programs located at The American University of Rome, in Italy, the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle, Australia, and the University of Granada, in Spain, as well as programs in Bermuda and the Bahamas.
SHU allows students to participate in CCIS programs, programs affiliated with other schools across the U.S. These programs include, but are not limited to: France, Argentina, Germany, Belgium, and Japan.
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The Pioneers compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the Northeast Conference (NEC), Atlantic Hockey, Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA), and the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA). The NEC is the school's primary conference.
Nearly 800 students participate in the university's 32 athletic teams (18 female teams and 14 male teams) along with more than 500 students who participate in 23 Club Sports.
In March 2009, the Women's Basketball team won the NEC Title and earned their second trip to the NCAA Tournament in the last four years. The team faced the Ohio State Buckeyes in the first round of the tournament on March 21, 2009, and lost, 77–63. The Sacred Heart Pioneers women's ice hockey program competes as an independent in NCAA Division I women's ice hockey.
The men's golf team won the NEC Title in May 2008, 2009 and 2011.
The SHU Baseball Team has appeared in the NEC Championship game the past 4 seasons (2009–2012) and won the past 2 Northeast Conference Titles. These wins have earned SHU back to back NCAA tournament bids.
The SHU Men's Fencing Team won the Northeast Fencing Conference Championship title five years in a row (2010–2014) and was ranked #9 in 2011.
Men's Varsity Athletic Teams:
- Cross Country
- Ice Hockey
- Track & Field
Women's Varsity Athletic Teams:
- Cross Country
- Field Hockey
- Ice Hockey
- Track & Field
Currently there are twenty-four club sports active on campus. The active clubs are:
- Men's Basketball
- Women's Basketball
- Dance Team
- Field Hockey
- Figure Skating
- Men's Football
- Men's Ice Hockey
- Men's Lacrosse
- Women's Lacrosse
- Men's Rugby
- Women's Rugby
- Men's Soccer
- Women's Soccer
- Men's Swimming
- Ultimate Frisbee
- Men's Volleyball
- Women's Volleyball
Sacred Heart is home to seven national sororities, five national fraternities and one local fraternity. Greek Life is one of the largest and fastest growing organizations on campus. Greek Life at SHU is home to a chapter of Order of Omega, a national Greek academic honor society.
- Alpha Delta Pi (Theta Rho chapter)
- Chi Omega (Kappa Mu chapter)
- Delta Zeta (Pi Tau chapter)
- Kappa Delta (Eta Nu chapter)
- Phi Sigma Sigma (Iota Nu chapter)
- Theta Phi Alpha (Gamma Rho chapter)
- Zeta Tau Alpha (Lambda Alpha chapter)
- Delta Tau Delta (Iota Tau chapter)
- Iota Phi Theta (Theta Sigma chapter)
- Kappa Sigma (Pi Omega chapter)
- Pi Kappa Phi (Iota Alpha chapter)
- Omega Phi Kappa
Sacred Heart started out with several local Sororities and Fraternities; among them were Nu Epsilon Omega, Beta Delta Phi, Gamma Chi Zeta and Sigma Tau.
- Princeton Review’s The Best 381 Colleges 2017 edition
- Princeton Review’s The Best 294 Business Schools 2017 edition
- U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges in the North 2016
- Princeton Review’s Top Schools to Study Game Design 2016
- Bloomberg’s Best Undergraduate Business School 2016
- Kevin Nealon – Saturday Night Live cast member
- John Ratzenberger – actor
- Lydia Hearst-Shaw – American model and actress 
- Jon Corto – former linebacker for Buffalo Bills
- Carl Higbie – dropped out after September 11 to join the Navy SEALs.
- Romeo Roselli – professional wrestler and actor
- Jeff LeBlanc – singer/songwriter from the class of 2008
- Matt Jones – professional soccer player
Notable members of the Board of Trustees
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