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THIS IS USD
The University of San Diego is a young institution. It was founded in 1949 when Most Reverend Charles Francis Buddy, the first Bishop of San Diego, and Reverend Mother Rosalie Hill, Religious of the Sacred Heart, obtained charters from the State of California for San Diego University and San Diego College for Women respectively. Since classes began in 1952, the institution has consciously fashioned for itself an image both intellectually challenging for its educational mission and aesthetically attractive.
The physical beauty of the University of San Diego campus, known as Alcalá Park, reaches beyond the "eye of the beholder." Mother Hill, founder of the San Diego College for Women, believed in the enhancement of learning through beauty and harmony. Hence, for the University, beauty is a transcendental quality imparted to students as part of their education to truth and goodness - a simple but profound educational philosophy. The University's site on a prominent mesa in the center of the nation's sixth largest city blends graceful architecture, at once stylistically and historically unified in its appearance, with stunning views of the ocean and bay and of the rugged canyons that drop away from the mesa.
Those who are fortunate to study, work, and live amidst the beauty of the campus seek to understand the University's mind and heart. A Carnegie study has noted that those universities which have a well-defined and broadly implemented sense of their own identity will survive and thrive. The distinctive character and educational objectives which flow from USD's identity should be widely understood and shared by members of the University community.
The University and its patron, San Diego de Alcala, trace their origins to fifteenth century Spain. Diego, born in the Province of Seville circa 1400, became a Franciscan brother and served as a missionary in the Canary Islands. He later was infirmarian at the Franciscan Monastery at Alcala de Henares near Madrid where he died in 1463. The University of Alcala, founded by Cardinal Cisneros in 1499, opened for teaching in 1508. Its Spanish Renaissance architecture and general setting inspired the design of the University of San Diego.
The Catholic university which, like our city, is named for San Diego de Alcala, was founded in 1949 by Most Reverend Charles Francis Buddy, D.D., who was also the founding Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego. In establishing the University, he invited the Society of the Sacred Heart under the leadership of Reverend Mother Rosalie Hill, R.S.C.J. to found the San Diego College for Women. St. Madeleine Sophie Barat founded the Society of the Sacred Heart in France in 1800. It was brought to America by St. Philippine Duchesne in 1818. Today it has schools and colleges in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the two Americas. The San Diego College for Women began classes in February, 1952.
The College for Men and the School of Law, the first professional division of the University, both began classes in 1954. Originally sponsored by the Diocese of San Diego, USD became the twelfth diocesan institution of higher education in the United States. It soon became clear that distinct educational advantages would accrue to students if the curricula of these institutions were shared. In July, 1972, the two colleges and the School of Law merged, forming a single, co-educational Catholic university. The governance of the University was transferred from the Diocese to an independent Board of Trustees.
In 1994, USD was reclassified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a "Doctoral University II" institution. This reclassification recognized the strides the University had made in graduate studies and research. In addition, USD became the center of national attention on October 16, 1996, when it hosted the United States Presidential Debate.
Today the University of San Diego includes the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business Administration, School of Education, School of Law, and Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science. Contiguous to the campus is St. Francis Seminary for undergraduate men aspiring to the Roman Catholic priesthood, who take their academic work at the University.
The young men and women who share the life of the University of San Diego and contribute to its growth are a multi-talented group who have many options in their life's choices. Students have chosen USD for various reasons: they would like to acquire the power to think clearly and independently, to form sound and discriminating judgments, to satisfy a developing intellectual curiosity, and to accept as their own the values of authentic freedom, openness to change, and responsibility to serve the society in which they live. They attend a Catholic university, and many of them are Catholics who share certain commitments and wish to explore vital religious questions in a free, yet informed way. But a high percentage of faculty, staff, and students of other faiths insures the presentation of a diversity of views, so characteristic of the pluralistic American society.
A friendly campus atmosphere, rigorous intellectual challenges and opportunity for stimulating intellectual exchange between professors and students, class sizes which facilitate personal attention and instructor accessibility, concern for broad professional and personal development of students and employees, emphasis on the role of values and ethics in academic and non-academic programs - such are the elements creating the educational environment at the University of San Diego.
As it completes the first quarter century in its present configuration, the young University of San Diego is poised to foster its goals and objectives as expressed in its strategic long-range plan.