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 for Women (1919–1939)
Siena Heights College (1939–1998)
Motto Competent, Purposeful, and Ethical
Type Private
Established 1919
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic
(Adrian Dominican Sisters)
Endowment $8.1 million[1]
President Sister Peg Albert, OP, PhD [2]
Academic staff
80+ full-time
Administrative staff
70+ full-time
Undergraduates Approx. 2,400 (half on the Adrian Campus)
Postgraduates Approx. 250
Location Adrian, MI, USA
Campus Rural
Colors Blue and Gold          
Athletics NAIAWHAC
Nickname Saints
Mascot Halo the Husky Dog
Affiliations ACCU[2]

Siena Heights University (SHU) is a Roman Catholic postsecondary institution with its main campus located in Adrian, Michigan.


The institution was founded in 1919 as St. Joseph's College for Women by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. In 1939, it was renamed as Siena Heights College after Saint Catherine of Siena. In 1969, it became coeducational. Having expanded departments and added graduate degree-granting programs, in 1998, it was renamed as Siena Heights University.

Adrian Dominican Sisters[edit]

The sisters minister in 29 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and in seven countries outside the United States: Canada, the Dominican Republic, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, and Taiwan. 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 16 buildings in Adrian, Michigan. 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, Lansing, Jackson, and online.[5]


Siena Heights is affiliated with and sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan, accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS).[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 undergraduate, graduate and professional studies colleges.[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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11] 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),[12] 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 and volleyball.[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 life[edit]

There are many clubs and organizations, including:[13]


Alpha Phi Omega (co-ed service fraternity)

Alpha Psi Omega (theatre honor society)

Beta Beta Beta (biology honor society)

•College Life

•A Greek system,[5] which consist of chapters from the fraternity, Pi Lambda Phi, and the sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma

•Green Light Environmental Club

•Habitat for Humanity

•International Club

•Math Club

•Meaning in Colors

•Photography Club


•Psychology Club


•SHU Gamers Guild

•Siena Heights Student Veterans

•Siena Student Nurse Association

•Social Work Association



•Sports Management Association

•Student Athletics Advisory Board

•Student Senate


•Tennis Club

•Thinking Hard Club

Siena Heights also has a university student news organization called the Spectra, which transitioned to an online news publication in Fall 2012. Spectra now publishes daily news online at[14] In addition, the university has a biannual literary magazine called Eclipse. The alumni publication is Reflections Magazine and is available online at[15]

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. The two residence halls accommodate a total of 460 students, all of which are required to carry a university meal plan used in the newly opened Dining Hall and SHU Shop convenience store located in the McLaughlin University Center. There is also St. Catherine Hall which was schooled to open in August 2015. 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.

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]