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Diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 1960, Bishop Joseph McShea began to plan for a Catholic college. Allentown, located between the Philadelphia metropolitan area and for- mer coal towns of northeastern Pennsylvania, was one of the few growing cities in the state.
The responsibility for developing this vision fell to the Oblates of Saint Francis de Sales, and Allentown College of St. Francis
de Sales welcomed its \ue000rst students in 1965. Graduate programs were o\ue002ered in the 1980s and, re\ue001ecting its expanding role, the insti-
the emphasis from a well-known locality, Al- lentown, to its Catholic roots, DeSales, un- derscores its ongoing commitment to the spiritual identity that was its foundation two generations ago.
The campus is located on 450 acres in Center Valley, near the city Allentown, and closer still to the old steel city of Bethlehem. The area, known as the Lehigh Valley, has an industrial heritage and a working-class aura.
Founded:19 6 5
Type of institution: Medium-size university
Undergraduate enrollment: 1,561 (2008\u201309
traditional areas, students can focus on foren- sics, pharmaceutical marketing and two of the university\u2019s standout majors, performing arts and the physician assistant program.
Undergraduates can choose up to 16 courses in a core program, which includes: Basic Requirements\u2014two communications
Among recent graduate school devel- opments, DeSales began an M.B.A. program with the Romanian-American University at Bucharest in 2007.
Pennsylvania has numerous private col- leges and universities, but DeSales\u2019 tuition tracks well below the state average. The total cost for tuition, room and board in 2009-10 was $35,750. About 90 percent of DeSales stu-
The 35 members of the board of trustees in- clude 11 Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, includ- ing the president, Father Bernard O\u2019Connor, O.S.F.S. Previous presidents have been Ob- lates, as is the senior vice president.
Father John Harvey, O.S.F.S., founder of Courage, the Church\u2019s primary outreach to faithful and chaste homosexual Catholics, is a life member of the board and resides at De- Sales.
Father O\u2019Connor, who assumed the presidency in 1999, has been a faculty mem- ber or administrator at DeSales for 35 years. He has served in the roles of chairman of the theology and philosophy departments, aca- demic dean and vice president for academic
\u201cPresidential Scholarships: Full-tuition scholarships that are awarded on a highly competitive basis. Minimum criteria for consideration are those who rank in the top 5 percent of their high school gradu- ating class, score at least 1300 on the SAT
\u201cTrustee Scholarships: $6,000 to $10,000 per year scholarship for those who rank in the top 15 percent of their graduating class, score at least 1200 on the SAT and have demonstrated leadership.
\u201cDeSales Scholarships: A $4,000 per year scholarship for those who rank in the top 25 percent of their graduating class, score at least 1100 on the SAT and have demon- strated leadership.
\u201cDepartmental Scholarships: Academic departments at DeSales University spon- sor competitions in December and Janu- ary. You must have a B average in high school to be eligible to compete. Awards for high school teaching are also avail- able.
According to the students and faculty whom we interviewed, the consensus is that not so long ago DeSales was in the middle of the road regarding its Catholic identity, but today that identity is strong.
In 2007, a faculty mem- ber told us that the Catholic emphasis \u201chas become no- ticeably stronger during the seven or eight years that I\u2019ve
When we again inter- viewed faculty in 2009, they said that DeSales remains on the same track. One faculty member said that the Catho- lic identity has strengthened further over the last few years, even as the univer- sity expanded. Another gave credit to Father O\u2019Connor, who\u2014together with the pro-
Father O\u2019Connor asked faculty and trustees to watch the video of Pope Benedict\u2019s April 2008 address to Catholic educators at The Catholic University of America. He asked for discussion on the Holy Father\u2019s vision and how it can be applied at DeSales.
leadership positions and university depart- ments. Further supporting the Catholic iden- tity are strong theology and philosophy de- partments.
The university website has a page dedi- cated to its Catholic identity and includes a quote and support for Ex corde Ecclesiae. In discussing its Faith and Reason Honors Program, the website prominently features a quote from Pope John Paul II\u2019s encyclicalFi -
DeSales sponsors an annual Heritage Week that commemorates its patron, St. Francis de Sales, each January. In 2009, EWTN personality Raymond Ar- royo, distinguished profes- sor of political science Dr. Peter Lawler, and Mount St. Mary\u2019s University vice pres- ident Msgr. Stuart Swetland were among featured speak- ers.
Faith and Culture promotes the congregation\u2019s mission through research, dialogue on a number of vital issues and sev- eral university-community partnerships. Ini- tiatives include the Baranzano Society, which provides a forum on bioethics; the DeSales Leadership Institute; and a monthly Bulldog Breakfast (with prayer service) for DeSales student athletes.
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