USF opens 2019-20 academic year with Founders Day Mass and convocation

August 28, 2019

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The University of Saint Francis celebrated the start of its academic year with a Mass, a convocation address by President Sister M. Elise Kriss, OSF, and a complimentary lunch at the Founders Day event on Wednesday, Aug. 28 at the Hutzell Athletic Center.

The Most Rev. Kevin C. Rhoades, Bishop of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Catholic Diocese, officiated at the Mass.

Sister Elise spoke about the university’s Franciscan value for 2019-20, which is “Respect creation.” She quoted from “Laudato Si’,” subtitled “On Care for Our Common Home,” a letter to the world by Pope Francis, written in 2015. She discussed St. Francis and his concern for God’s creation and the poor and outcast.

“In the words of Pope Francis, St. Francis shows us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace,” she said.

In highlighting news on campus, Sister Elise reported an increase in enrollment at USF from 2,199 students in 2018 to 2,299 students on the first day of fall classes on Monday. Enrollment also increased at USF Crown Point and in the St. Elizabeth School of Nursing in Lafayette, Ind.

The annual Founders Day celebration highlighted new and returning students, as well as employees, and honored the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration who have sponsored the university since its founding in 1890.

Founded in 1890 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, the University of Saint Francis offers more than 70 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs through the School of Health Sciences, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership and School of Creative Arts. In addition to its traditional programs, USF designs focused curricula for working adults in Fort Wayne, Crown Point and online. USF Downtown houses the university’s business and music technology programs while offering enhanced internship and networking opportunities for students. The University of Saint Francis campus experience includes 18 athletic programs boasting two individual and four team NAIA national championships and is recognized as an NAIA Five-Star Champion of Character institution. Approximately 2,200 students from a broad geographic region attend USF.