Siena Heights University

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Siena Heights University
Siena Seal BW.png
Seal of Siena Heights University
Former names
St. Joseph's College (1919–1939)
Siena Heights College (1939–1998)
MottoCompetent, Purposeful, and Ethical
TypePrivate university
Established1919; 103 years ago (1919)
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic (Adrian Dominican Sisters)
Endowment$8.1 million[1]
PresidentSister Peg Albert, OP, PhD [1]
Academic staff
80+ full-time
Administrative staff
70+ full-time
UndergraduatesApprox. 2,200 (About 1,000 on the Adrian Campus)
PostgraduatesApprox. 250
Location, ,
United States
ColorsBlue and Yellow    
Sporting affiliations
MascotHalo the Husky Dog
Siena Heights University logo.png

Siena Heights University (SHU) is a private Roman Catholic university in Adrian, Michigan.


The institution was founded in 1919 as St. Joseph's College by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. In 1939, it was renamed as Siena Heights College, after Saint Catherine of Siena. In 1969, it became coeducational. In 1998, it was renamed Siena Heights University. The sisters minister in 29 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and in seven countries outside the United States. Responsive to the "signs of the times", they strive to address the needs of the world, to serve where they are called to go.[4]


Siena Heights University campus

The main campus has 55 acres with 17 buildings in Adrian, Michigan. SHU is across town from Adrian College. The main campus has the distinction of being the first all wireless college or university in the state of Michigan. There are satellite campuses in Southfield, Dearborn, Benton Harbor, Monroe, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Jackson, and online.[5]


Siena Heights is affiliated with and sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan, and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.[5]

The college seal uses the Dominican Shield of the International Order of Preachers, consisting of four white and four black gyrons or triangles. These symbolize the unity of a body of people working together for the common good. The "cross fleury" (or cross with a fleur de lis at each end) superimposed on the gyrons, signifies victory, duty and self-sacrifice. The sable (or black of the shield) symbolizes wisdom, silence, fortitude and penance. The light color signifies peace, purity, charity and sincerity. The motto surrounding the shield, "Laudare, Benedicere, Praedicare," means "to praise God, to bless His people and to preach His gospel." The shield may also be surrounded by the six- or eight-pointed star that is the distinguishing symbol of St. Dominic.[6]


The university has more than 40 academic programs of study[7] between the College of Arts and Sciences, the College for Professional Studies and the Graduate College.[8] The undergraduate college is further divided into seven academic divisions: Business & Management; Computing, Mathematics & the Sciences; Humanities; Nursing; Social & Behavioral Science; Visual/Performing Arts & Teacher Education.

Siena Heights also provides classes for high school students through dual enrollment. This gives juniors and seniors who meet certain criteria to get college credit and experience while still in high school, getting students a step closer to going to college and learning about college life and class work. The student-to-faculty ratio is 12:1.[5]


Siena Heights teams are known as the Saints.[9] The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Wolverine–Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC), while its football team joined the Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) in 2012.[10] Prior to the addition of women's lacrosse by the WHAC, the women's lacrosse team competed in the National Women's Lacrosse League (NWLL),[11] Men's sports include baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, track & field and volleyball; while women's sports include basketball, bowling, cheerleading, cross country, dance, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, track & field, volleyball, and wrestling.[5]

The mascot of the Saints is "Halo the Husky", created by former student, Matt Larson. Recently, the Saints baseball team won the WHAC tournament in 2012 to earn a bid to the regional site in Daytona Beach, FL. Siena Heights University is a five-star member of the NAIA's Champions of Character program.

Student housing[edit]

Siena Heights offers a variety of housing options for students. Students are required to live on campus, but are exempted from this requirement if they live with family within 35 driving miles to campus, are 21 or older, have 88+ completed hours, are married, have dependent children, or are veterans.

Ledwidge Hall and Archangelus Hall are the traditional residence halls on campus. St. Catherine Hall was completed in fall 2015. Three residence halls accommodate a total of approximately 500 students, all of which are required to carry a university meal plan used in the Dining Hall and SHU Shop convenience store located in the McLaughlin University Center. The residence halls have a variety of room types, including private rooms, shared suites and standard rooms with community bathrooms.

Campus Village Apartments, located on the western edge of campus, is a privately owned modern apartment building that is managed by the University. A total of 154 students live in Campus Village.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Siena Heights University Retrieved 4 October 2021
  2. ^ "List of member institutions (2015)" (PDF). Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-12-22.
  3. ^ NAICU – Member Directory Archived 2015-11-09 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 2010-02-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ a b c d Siena Heights: Facts
  6. ^ "Saints Guide Student Code of Conduct 2008-2009" (PDF). Siena Heights University Doug Goodnough. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-05-27. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
  7. ^ "Programs for Online Education and On-Campus - Catholic College - Siena Heights University". Archived from the original on 27 October 2007. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Catholic College in Michigan - Siena Heights University - Academics". Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  9. ^ SHU Saints Archived 2009-01-16 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Saints Football Accepted Into MSFA". Siena Heights University. May 9, 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "NWLL announces addition of three new members". NWLL. April 26, 2011. Archived from the original on March 16, 2012. Retrieved July 4, 2011.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°54′20.4″N 84°00′56.5″W / 41.905667°N 84.015694°W / 41.905667; -84.015694