Sacred Heart University says
Sacred Heart University was founded in 1963 by the Most Reverend Walter W. Curtis, Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport. It was established to provide the community with an affordable, quality education for both men and women at a local Catholic university. From its outset, the University bore the mark of innovation. Charting a new direction within American Catholicism, the University was to be led and staffed by lay people, independent and locally oriented, serving the needs of the diocese and of southwestern Connecticut.
Signs of the University's growth and vibrancy are evident. Enrollment has risen from the original class of 173 to more than 6,000 full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students, and the faculty has increased from nine to 222 full-time professors and over 400 part-time professors.
The University has enhanced the undergraduate student experience in many notable ways. In 1990, it accepted for the first time students who wanted the residential experience. It now has 10 residential buildings, with 70 percent of the full-time undergraduates residing in University housing.
New degree programs and majors in relevant disciplines are regularly added to our curriculum, and the University now boasts doctoral programs in both Physical Therapy and Nursing Practice. The University offers Division I athletics with 31 varsity teams. The $17.5 million William H. Pitt Health and Recreation Center is available to all students and to the community at large, and the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, dedicated in September 2009, has drawn international attention for its magnificent artwork. Recognizing the importance of technology, Sacred Heart University has a Mobile Computing Program and is a wireless environment.
The University consists of five colleges: the College of Arts & Sciences, the AACSB-accredited John F. Welch College of Business, the College of Health Professions, the Isabelle Farrington School of Education and University College, which is committed to the adult learner, and whose evening, weekend and accelerated courses earn praise for their diversity and relevance to changing lifestyles.
An ever-widening outreach to the community balances the University's commitment to academic excellence. For instance, the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding (CCJU), which has earned the personal endorsement of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, has become a global leader in fostering interreligious dialogue. And closer to home, more than 1,500 students, faculty and staff members volunteer in excess of 35,000 hours to community service each year.