University of San Francisco

University of San Francisco
University of San Francisco
Motto Pro Urbe et Universitate (Latin)
Motto in English For City and University
Established October 15, 1855[1]
Type Private
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic (Jesuit)
Endowment US $165.4 million[2]
President Rev. Stephen A. Privett, SJ
Admin. staff 506
Students 8,772
Undergraduates 5,248
Postgraduates 3,199
Location San Francisco, California, United StatesCaliforniaUnited States
Campus Urban, 55 acres (22 ha)

Green and Gold

Athletics NCAA Division I
West Coast Conference
Mascot The Don

The University of San Francisco (USF), is a private, Jesuit/Catholic university located in San Francisco, California. Founded in 1855,[1] USF was established as the first university in San Francisco. It is the second oldest institution for higher learning in California and the tenth-oldest university of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. USF is the eighth largest Jesuit university in the United States.

USF's main campus is located on a 50-acre (20 ha) setting between the Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park. USF's nickname is "The Hilltop," appropriately named since the campus is located at the peak of one of San Francisco's major hills. USF's close historical ties with the City and County of San Francisco are reflected in the University's motto, Pro Urbe et Universitate (For the City and University).

USF's Jesuit-Catholic identity is rooted in the symbolic vision of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order. Jesuits are characterized by a dedication to both "the life of the mind and the encounter with the world," a mission distinguished by their intellectual and humanitarian activities — notably in the fields of higher education, human rights, and social justice.

USF's inclusive founding mission attracts students and faculty from diverse religious traditions and a broad range of convictions. However, the Jesuit call to justice is evident in work across religious boundaries in community service, reflection retreats, and immersion programs both on campus and abroad.

USF's 8,772-member student body is composed of students from seventy-five countries, all fifty states (including Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam), and is ranked in the top 15 national universities for student diversity and international student enrollment. The University is known for its public service efforts (McCarthy Center), its world-renowned Center for the Pacific Rim (Asian and American Studies) and its nationally recognized graduate programs in the fields of law, education, business, nursing, and environmental management.



Founded in 1855 as Saint Ignatius Academy by the Italian Jesuits Rev. Anthony Maraschi, Rev. Joseph Bixio, and Rev. Michael Accolti, USF started in a building along Market Street in what later became downtown San Francisco. St. Ignatius Academy received its charter on April 30, 1859 from the State of California signed by governor John B. Weller (the document survived the 1906 fire and earthquake) and changed its name to St. Ignatius College. The original curriculum included Greek, Spanish, Latin, English, French, Italian, algebra, arithmetic, history, geography, elocution, and bookkeeping. Father Maraschi was not only the college's first president, but also a professor, the college's treasurer, and first pastor of Saint Ignatius Church.[4]

Saint Ignatius Church, east side view.

A new building was constructed in 1862 to replace the first frame building. In June 1863, the university awarded its first bachelor of arts degree.

In 1880, the college moved from Market Street to a new site on the corner of Hayes Street and Van Ness Avenue (currently occupied by the Davies Symphony Hall). The third St. Ignatius College received little to moderate damage in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, but was completely destroyed in the ensuing fire. The campus moved west, to the corner of Hayes and Shrader Streets, close to Golden Gate Park, where it occupied a hastily constructed structure known as The Shirt Factory (for its resemblance to similar manufacturing buildings of the era) for the next 20+ years. The college moved to its present site on the south slope of Lone Mountain in 1927. The college was built on the site of the former Odd Fellows, Mount Olivet and Masonic Cemeteries. In 1913, the city enacted a law prohibiting more burials in the City and County of San Francisco. The remains were transferred to Colma, California

To celebrate its diamond jubilee in 1930, St. Ignatius College changed its name to the University of San Francisco. According to USF history professor Father John B. Mc Gloin, S.J., the change from college to university was sought by long-time San Francisco Mayor James Rolph Jr.. at the time, running for Governor of California.

A male-only school for most of its history, USF became fully coeducational in 1964. In 1969, the high school division, already wholly separate from the university, moved to the western part of San Francisco and became St. Ignatius College Preparatory. In 1978, the university acquired Lone Mountain College[5] Today USF is organized into five academic divisions with 8,772 students and 506 faculty members.

In the name of academic freedom the Jesuit university invites speakers who espouse views at odds with Catholic doctrine. Conservative Catholics sometimes criticize this practice. In 2004, Bishop Allen Henry Vigneron of the Diocese of Oakland forbade the Catholic Voice newspaper to print an advertisement for a seminar called "Imaging the Future Church," sponsored by a group of Catholic lay people who have called for church reforms.[6] Also in 2004, the Cardinal Newman Society protested the university's selection of Mayor Gavin Newsom as speaker for the business school's annual commencement ceremony, for his views on abortion and gay-rights.[7]

October 2005 marked the 150th anniversary of the university's founding.[8]


The view of USF from Twin Peaks
Satellite photo of the campus, with Malloy Hall under construction

Academic buildings

  • Professional Studies (PS) - Formerly Lincoln University, the University acquired the building in 1999 and houses the Professional Studies division of the School of Business and Professional Studies.
  • Cowell Hall (CO) - Named after San Francisco philanthropist Samuel Cowell, Cowell Hall houses offices and classrooms for the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and other departments. It's also home to the school's Learning and Writing Center.
  • Harney Science Center (HR) - Harney houses classrooms, the offices of the College of Arts and Sciences and the departmental and faculty offices of the Sciences department.
  • Kalmanovitz Hall (KA) - This building houses faculty offices, classrooms, conference rooms and writing, media, language and psychology laboratories. Once named Campion Hall after the English Jesuit martyr Saint Edmund Campion, the building undertook extensive renovation in the Summer of 2008. The renovation is now complete and the building is renamed Kalmanovitz Hall, named after brewing magnate Paul Kalmanovitz. Next to the hall is Ovila Amphitheater featuring a Renaissance-era church portal from Santa Maria de Ovila, a monastery in Spain.
  • Koret Law Center - Koret is home of USF's School of Law, containing both the Dorainne Zief Law Library (ZL) and Kendrick Hall (KN), the original law school building.
Lone Mountain campus
Gleeson Library / Geschke Learning Resource Center
Gleeson Library atrium.
  • Lone Mountain (LM) - Formerly San Francisco College for Women or Lone Mountain College, the Lone Mountain campus now houses faculty offices, classrooms, and housing for 180 students. It also houses the offices of the University President and Vice-Presidents.
  • McLaren Conference Center (MC) – Part of Phelan Hall's west wing, McLaren houses offices and classrooms for the School of Business and Professional Studies (BPS). McLaren Center also includes Malloy Hall (MH).
  • School of Education (ED) - The Education Building houses the administrative offices of the School of Education as well as classrooms and Presentation Theater (PT). It was formerly Presentation High School until it was purchased by USF.
  • University Center (UC) - The University Center houses departmental and faculty offices, as well as ASUSF offices and facilities like the Career Services Center and the main student cafeteria, and was completely renovated during the summer of 2010.
  • John Lo Schiavo, S.J., Center for Science and Innovation (CSI) - The 59,000-gross-square-foot project will create gathering and study space for the entire campus community, with particular aims to push the growing links between the sciences and other disciplines, from nursing and health promotion, to business and entrepreneurship. Ground was broken on December 10, 2010.[9]

Gleeson Library and the Geschke Learning Resource Center

The Richard A. Gleeson, S.J. Library is located in the center of the lower campus of University of San Francisco. As of 2005, the library held more than 680,000 books, 130,000 journals, 2,200 periodical subscriptions and 900,000 other materials including microforms, government documents, CD-ROMS, videos and audios.[10] The building includes the Geschke Learning Resource Center, the library, The Thacher Gallery, The Donohue Rare Book Room and the William Monihan, S.J. Atrium.

Construction on the building began on May 15, 1949 and was completed on December 3, 1950. At the dedication of the building, USF President William Dunne, S.J. delivered an address commemorating the building as the "first unit in the overall plan for a Greater University of San Francisco."[10] The Geschke Learning Resource Center addition was constructed in 1997. Named for USF Board of Trustees chairmen Charles and his wife Nancy Geschke, it was the first new building constructed on the campus since 1973.[11]

The William Monihan, S.J. Atrium, a 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) open-space study area open to students twenty four hours a day, was included in the addition. An inscription explains the dedication of the space to Fr. Monihan; “Reverend William J. Monihan, S.J. 1914-1996. Jesuit, University Librarian, Bibliophile, San Franciscan, Caring Friend to Many.”[11] Fr. Monihan also was key in the development of the Donohue Rare Book Room, which contains the university’s extraordinarily special collections including rare books, prints and literary and historical manuscripts.

This building houses the Thacher Gallery, a gift of Mary and Carter Thacher. Each year the gallery presents exhibitions diverse in subject and material, including an annual student showcase.”[12] The first exhibit was mounted in the winter of 1998 and the gallery continues to feature up to five exhibits a year with art from students as well as local and international artists.

Athletic facilities

Koret Health and Recreation Center (KO) - The Koret Health and Recreation Center (called "the Koret Center" by students and staff) is a full-service, state of the art athletic facility serving USF students, staff, and residents of the surrounding community. Construction on the Koret Center began in 1987 on the former site of Saint Ignatius High School. When Saint Ignatius High School departed in 1969; the University renamed the building Loyola Hall.[13] The Koret Center opened in 1989, with final construction costs totalling 22 million dollars.[13] Many colleges and universities across the nation have recently followed suit by building expensive, brand new athletic facilities to keep up with increasing demand for such facilities from incoming students and student-athletes.[14]

The Koret Center is named after Joseph and Susan Koret of the Koret Foundation, a San Francisco philanthropic group that was the primary donor to the construction of the center.[13][15] The Koret Center sports an Olympic-sized swimming pool, four basketball courts, seven volleyball courts, one racquetball courts, numerous cardiovascular machines, a 3,200-square-foot (300 m2) weight room with an array of high-performance resistance-training machines and free weights, dance studio, aerobics studio, combatives room, student lounge with a flatscreen plasma television and ping pong and billiards tables, equipment rental desk, and fully equipped men's and women's locker rooms.[16] There are many free weekly classes, such as spinning, yoga, pilates, "abs & glutes," and self-defense, and for extra fees, the Koret Center offers personal training, massages, CPR classes, and swimming lessons.[17] The Koret Center is also home to the USF intramural sports department, and hosts games for intramural basketball, volleyball, and indoor soccer. The building has photovoltaic panels that, along with the panels on other buildings around campus, contribute 16 percent of the lower campus' peak electricity needs.[18]

The Koret Center is regarded as one of the finest athletic training centers in San Francisco, and in 2001 it won the "Best Gym and Pool" award from SF Weekly magazine.[19] Besides serving the USF student and faculty communities, the Koret Center sells memberships to residents in surrounding neighborhoods. It also rents gym space to local youth and high school basketball and volleyball teams, and is willing to volunteer its space and services to some outside groups. For example, it hosted the swimming, basketball, and volleyball competitions for the 2008 International Children's Games that were held in San Francisco.[20]

  • Negoesco Stadium(NS) - Named after alumnus Steve Negoesco, who coached four championship men's soccer teams. It is USF's soccer stadium.
  • Ulrich Field (UL) - This athletic field was named in honor of Max Ulrich who left his estate to the school. It contains Dante Benedetti Diamond at Max Ulrich Field, home field for USF's baseball team.
  • War Memorial Gymnasium(MG) - Home court for the volleyball and men and women's basketball teams. Also houses the athletic department offices and training facilities. Dedicated to USF students and faculty killed in action in various wars.

Religious buildings

Evening view of Saint Ignatius Church, University of San Francisco
Side view of St. Ignatius Church
  • Loyola House (LH) - Residence for the 24 members of the USF Jesuit Community. It was completed in 1999 and is located on Lone Mountain. The house was named after Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits (the Society of Jesus).
  • Saint Ignatius Church (SI) - Often mistaken as San Francisco's Roman Catholic cathedral, was designed by architect Charles J. I. Devlin in 1909, as the fifth Saint Ignatius Church in San Francisco. When Saint Ignatius was completed in 1914, with its two towers visible from all parts of the city, it became not only a landmark to the University itself but also to the City of San Francisco. It is the University's spiritual home as well as a parish church for the surrounding community.[21]

Residence life

The University of San Francisco provides on-campus housing for freshmen and sophomores, with independent living options for upper-division students. All residence halls, except for Fulton House and Fulton House Cottage, are secured with a 24-hour front desk.

Residence halls

More Information

  • Fromm Hall (FR) - Xavier Hall, which was once the Jesuit residence on the University's main campus, was renamed on October 24, 2003 for the beneficiaries Alfred and Hanna Fromm as the Alfred and Hanna Fromm Lifelong Learning Center. The building now houses the Fromm Residence Hall. It is currently an all female residence hall.[22]
  • Gillson (GI) - Gillson Hall was built in 1965 with funding provided by George Gillson. It originally housed 325 men and women. It is now a co-ed residence hall, housing first-year students.[23]
  • Hayes-Healy (HH) - Hayes-Healy was constructed in 1966 as a memorial to the parents of John and Ramona Hayes-Healy. Located on the University of San Francisco's main campus, it was once a female-only residence hall, originally built to house 350 University of San Francisco women.[24]
  • Lone Mountain Hall (LM) -Lone Mountain Hall is located on the northern side of the Lone Mountain campus, which was once part of a 23-acre (9.3 ha) cemetery. The residence hall houses both male and female sophomore students.[25]
  • Pedro-Arrupe (PA)- Pedro Arrupe Hall, once a nurses' residence, was acquired by the university in 2000. It is located 0.5 miles (0.80 km) northwest of campus, housing upperclassmen and graduate students.[26]
  • Phelan Hall (PH) - Phelan Hall, dedicated to James Phelan on October 23, 1955, was the university's first student residence hall. The seven-story co-ed residence hall is located in the center of the university's main campus.[27]

Independent living

  • Fulton House (FH) - Fulton House, acquired by the university in the 1970s, is located behind Phelan Hall on the university's main campus. The residential facility consists of two buildings (Fulton House and Fulton House Cottage), which houses approximately 12 upper-division students.[28]
  • Loyola Village (LV) - The university once lacked sufficient housing units for faculty and staff, and therefore, opened Loyola Village in 2002, which currently houses upper-division students as well as staff. It is a 136-unit independent living residence, located on the northern outskirt of campus.[29]


Fueled by memories of the 1970s energy crisis,[30] the University of San Francisco has made an effort to encourage an environmentally conscious student body as well as making changes towards a more sustainable campus. Throughout the university’s campus, students and faculty are involved in multiple clubs and organizations that are dedicated to minimizing the campus’s environmental impact including The Green Team, Back to da Roots, Envision, The Garden Project and Trust the Tap. These groups have brought several changes to the campus including the consumption of fair trade coffee, the creation of organic gardens, composting and the encouragement of re-usable containers for tap water.[31]

In the Fall of 2007, the Garden Project (a Living Learning Community) was formed based around the creating and maintaining of the Campus’ first Organic Garden. Initially headed by Media Studies Professor, Filmmaker, and Organic Gardner Melinda Stone and Architecture Professor Seth Watchel, the Garden houses fruits, vegetables, and herbs with the help and continuous care provided by students and community members, alike.[32]

In 2005, USF installed approximately 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) of solar panels to the top of Gleeson Library.[33] In addition to energy-saving windows, high-efficiency lighting, energy efficient skylights, and insulated outer walls,[34] the University has spent $375,000 on solar panels for the recently renovated Kalmanovitz Hall. Combined with Cowell Hall, Gleeson Library, Koret Health and Recreation Center, and the University Center, the added solar panels to Kalmanovitz Hall has boosted USF’s energy production from 71 kilowatt hours to nearly 420 kilowatt hours. USF’s carbon footprint has subsequently been reduced by 330 tons a year, says Everette Ersery, the assistant director of facilities. Ersery was quoted in the USF Magazine saying “it has significantly reduced our carbon footprint and electrical bill, while reducing the amount of energy we and PG&E use.”[35] The solar panels produce 16 percent of the lower campus’s energy needs.[36] The assistant vice president of facilities management said that solar heated rooftop water pipes heat 50 percent of the water used in residence halls.[33]

University of San Francisco ranked fifth out of 200 schools in a nationwide recycling competition in the category of targeted material- Service Organics.[37] The University has also established a composting program that began in September 2008. The new program composts food waste from the kitchen and cafeteria. Through the composting program the University of San Francisco has managed to prevent about 36 tons of material per month from being thrown out.[38]

Organization and administration

Lone Mountain

University of San Francisco is chartered as a non-profit organization and is governed by a privately-appointed board of trustees, along with the University President, the University Chancellor, the University Provost and Vice-presidents, and the Deans. The board consists of a maximum of 45 voting members who serve three year terms and is currently chaired by Claudio M. Chiuchiarelli.[39] The trustees serve without compensation.[40] The board of trustees delegates its power by appointing a President to serve as the chief executive of the university. The current president (since 2000) is Rev. Stephen A. Privett, S. J.[41] The President, according to USF Bylaws, is specifically responsible for articulating and advancing the Jesuit Catholic character of the university.[40] USF possesses an endowment of $225 million (as of August 2008)[42]

USF's academics are organized into five schools which offer courses of study at the graduate and undergraduate level, with two more being primarily focused on graduate education, while offering select opportunities for undergraduate students. USF offers over 50 degrees in several departments.[43] The university also operates four regional campuses in Sacramento, San Ramon, Santa Rosa, and Cupertino.[44] USF is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and the School of Business and Professional Studies (BPS) is accredited by the AACSB.

Undergraduate tuition at USF is $37,040 for the 2011-2012 school year.[45] The University is organized as follows:

Undergraduate and Graduate Schools

  • School of Law (Founded in 1912)
  • College of Arts and Sciences (Originally the whole university; became a distinct entity in 1926, reorganized 1982)
  • School of Management (1947, reorganized 1999, 2009)
  • School of Nursing (1954)
  • School of Education (1972)


In 2010-11, U.S. News & World Report's College and University rankings scored USF as a top tier (Tier I), National University.[46] USF is known for its emphasis on service learning and its public service efforts through its Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good. These values are reflected in the university's core curriculum and various clubs and academic programs, such as the student-developed campaign funding site and USF's Performing Arts and Social Justice major, which is the only undergraduate program of its kind in the nation. The Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning offers noncredit courses with no assignments or grades for adults age 50 and over.


Washington Monthly's 2011 rankings put USF at 48th in the nation. In the 2011 edition of US News and World Report (USNWR), USF ranked 98th among national universities.[47] USF is ranked 15th in the Nation for Diverse Student Population, 11th in the nation for Best College Town.[48] and in the top 100 national universities by their benefit to society.[48] The Undergraduate Business Program is in the Top 100 nationwide. USF is deemed one of only 60 universities with the status of an “Engaged University”.[48] The University also received recognition for its community involvement when it was awarded the Fr. Alfred Boeddeker Award by the St. Anthony Foundation in 2007. The award was given in recognition of "the strong relationship" between USF and St. Anthony's as well as the active involvement of the USF Faculty and Students with several St. Anthony's projects[49]

University rankings (overall)
U.S. News & World Report[50] 98
Washington Monthly[51] 48

Academically, several of the University's programs have received notable rankings over the years. According to the Princeton Review, USF’s McLaren School of Business is a top 50 business school.[48] The USF MBA program is consistently ranked in the top ten in the nation for business schools with the greatest opportunities for minority students, and is currently ranked 6th.[52] In 2005, the MBA Entrepreneurship Program is ranked 25th in the nation.[53] In 2009, USNWR ranked USF's School of Nursing 54th in the country.

Student exchange programs

USF offers sponsored semester programs to Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, El Salvador, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Morocco, Mexico, Nicaragua, Philippines, Poland, Scotland, South Africa, Singapore, Spain, and Uruguay. Because USF has signed agreements with these overseas universities, students receive full transfer credit on their transcripts. There are also internship programs available in France, Ecuador, London, Australia, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scandinavia which integrate a working internship along with related course work at a university. [[54]

The School of Law maintains its own exchange programs with Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. Relevant international coursework includes the study of European Community Law, International Business Transactions, and European Constitutionalism. The latter has been taught by Vojtech Cepl, the principal drafter of the post-communist Constitution of the Czech Republic.

Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC)

USF has hosted an Army ROTC program and an Air Force ROTC program since 1936. ROTC is an elective curriculum taken along with the required college classes and can also pay for a cadet's college tuition.[55] ROTC currently operates on campus under the command of the Military Science Department.

Student clubs and organizations

The University of San Francisco is home to over 90 clubs and organizations.[56] The wide variety of clubs includes academic/professional, governance, cultural, service, social, political, athletic and special interest. The missions and goals of USF's student clubs and organizations are to provide programs and services that support students' leadership development and promote student engagement in co-curricular activities.[57]

Associated Students of the University of San Francisco (ASUSF) Senate is the student body governance organization responsible for organizing major campus events, voicing student concern and reviewing the ASUSF budget.[58]

USF's professional and academic organizations include chapters of many national and international groups including the Lambda Iota Tau English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta, Jesuit Honor Society Alpha Sigma Nu, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, National Political Science Honor Society Pi Sigma Alpha, Biological Honor Society Tri Beta, Accounting and Finance Honor Society Beta Alpha Psi and Psychology Honor Society Psi Chi. Professional organizations include the Family Business Association, USF Pre-Dental Society, Hospitality Management Association, the Nursing Students Association and the Entrepreneurship Club.

Religious and spiritual organizations on campus include the Muslim Student Union, the USF chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and the USF Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.

USF leisure and hobby organizations include a chapter of national organization Best Buddies as well as Outdoors and Environmental Education Club, USF Queer Alliance, San Quentin TRUST Alliance, Knitting for Neighbors, Back to the Roots, Surf and Skate Club, and the Animation Comics and Video Games (ACV) Club.

Cultural and multicultural organizations around campus serve international students, Indian students, Black students, Latin American students and Hawaiian Students. There are also groups specifically for women of color and Latina women.

Social justice clubs on campus include chapters of Amnesty International, School of the Americas Watch, Up 'til Dawn and Invisible Children. There is also a Politics Society, Philosophy Club, Women in Media Club and Women in Science Club.[59]

Student-produced media

The San Francisco Foghorn is the official student weekly newspaper of the University of San Francisco and is sponsored by the Associated Students of the University of San Francisco (ASUSF).[60] The Foghorn was founded in 1926, and was first called "The Ignatian". In the 1930s, members of The Ignation changed its name to "San Francisco Foghorn" to reflect the University's decision to change its name from St.Ignatius College to University of San Francisco. The Foghorn has played a significant role on campus throughout the years, and has some notable alumni—from the likes of Pierre Salinger, editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and Press Secretary for President John F. Kennedy,[61] to well known author and historian Kevin Starr, who was a one-time California Lieutenant Governor.[61] The Foghorn gained national recognition in 1961, when the American Newspaper Publishers Association awarded it with a "Pacemaker Award". The Foghorn has been honored by the Associated Collegiate Press which deemed it "College Paper of the Year" in 1998.[61]

USF has a radio station, KUSF which broadcasts online. The station had broadcasted on radio frequency 90.3 FM since 1977, until the station's license was sold by the University on January 18, 2011.[62] The University announced that they had sold KUSF's license to a Southern California based classical radio station for $3.75 million;[63] the next day, a protest was held by student and community DJs and supporters against the newly proposed online-only format. KUSF has garnered international attention for its diverse musical programming, which varies from rock to hip hop to world music.[64] KUSF is the recipient of numerous awards,[65] including many public service awards[66] for the station's long-running weekly community service series. USF's other radio station, KDNZ, is student-run and-programmed.[67]

The University of San Francisco has one television station, USFtv [2], which is broadcast on Channel 35 in the dormitories and around campus.[68] The station was founded in 2006,[69] and is entirely student-run. The station features a variety of content, including news, sports, cultural programming. In 2008 USFtv students collaborated with Wyclef Jean to create a music video for his song "If I Was President."[70]

The Ignatian is USF's annual "literary magazine" that is published every spring. It has traditionally printed a wide array of different content, running from philosophical pieces to personal essays, short fiction, poetry, and photography. Its most recent volume (volume 21) was released on May 2, 2009.[71]

Performing arts

USF has numerous student clubs for performing arts including a theater group (College Players), improvisational team (Awkward Silence), choir (ASUSF voices), contemporary mass ensemble and dance program that entails social justice.

The College Players, founded in 1863, is the oldest student-run theater group west of the Mississippi and the second oldest in the United States.[72] Their annual production of The Vagina Monologues, distributes 100 percent of the show's proceeds to women charities around the Bay Area.[73]

ASUSF voices is a collaboration between the associated students of USF and the Performing Arts Department. It contains a variety of choral ensembles including jazz and other popular vocal styles.[74]

The USF Contemporary Mass Ensemble is a group of collective USF alumni, either vocal or instrumental, that perform during Mass every Sunday in St. Ignatius Church.[75]

The USF dance program is affiliated with the Performing Arts and Social Justice Major. Students can enroll in tradition and modern dance classes. Students are allowed to participate in the USF Dance Ensemble, which provides the opportunity for students to work with professional and student choreographers.[76]

Greek life

There are currently thirteen fraternities on campus: Chi Upsilon Zeta (social justice fraternity), Alpha Epsilon Pi, Alpha Phi Omega, Alpha Sigma Nu, Beta Alpha Psi, Delta Lambda Phi Interest Group, Delta Sigma Pi, Lambda Theta Phi, Omicron Theta Chi, Psi Chi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Theta Alpha Kappa and Tri-Beta. USF also has four sororities: Delta Zeta, Lambda Sigma Gamma, Omicron Theta Chi, Delta Sigma Theta, Tri-Gamma and Kappa Alpha Theta .[77] All of the sororities and fraternities that wish to be recognized by the University must participate in Greek Council. The purpose of Greek Council is to aid in the development of the university’s recognized Greek organizations and their individual members.[78] Every year chapters participate in some of the same activities such as; mixers and socials, Thanksgiving potluck, Christmas clothing drive, Homecoming, USF Idol, and Greek Games.[79]


  • Chi Upsilon Zeta (XYZ): was founded at the University of San Francisco to enrich the lives of men of all creeds through an understanding of social justice and multiculturalism based on mind, body and soul.
  • Alpha Phi Omega: a national coeducational service fraternity founded on the cardinal principles of leadership, friendship and service[80]
  • Beta Alpha Psi: encourages professional excellence in accounting, finance, or information systems[81]
  • Beta Beta Beta: biological honor society, functions as a support group for students majoring in biological sciences[82]
  • Delta Lambda Phi Interest Group: creates a brotherhood of gay and gay-friendly men to help establish new friendships[83]
  • Delta Sigma Pi: professional fraternity that promotes closer affiliation between commercial world and students of commerce[84]
  • Omicron Theta Chi: organized to stimulate higherintellectual achievement as well as offering a socially active environment[85]
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon: offers an exciting social life with many socials and theme parties throughout the year[86]


  • Delta Zeta:founded on the principle of learning and participating in philanthropy benefitting the speech and hearing impaired[87]
  • Gamma Gamma Gamma: USF's first organization for women and a nursing sorority[88]
  • Lambda Sigma Gamma: mulicultural sorority that encourages diverse cultures, majors, and beliefs[89]
  • Omicron Theta Chi: pre-professional honor society with sisters preparing for a career as a health professional[90]
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Tau Tau Chapter was charted on March 19, 2005. This organization is dedicated to promote academic excellence; to provide scholarships; to provide support to the underserved; educate and stimulate participation in the establishment of positive public policy; and to highlight issues and provide solutions for problems in their communities.

Student body

Demographics of student body[91][92]
Undergraduate Total California U.S. Census
Asian American and Pacific Islander 23.6% 19.5% 12.3% 4.3%
African American 4.8% 5.5% 6.2% 12.1%
Hispanic American 13.3% 11.6% 35.9% 14.5%
Native American 0.8% 0.7% 0.7% 0.9%
Caucasian 38.3% 39.7% 59.8% 65.8%
International student 7.5% 9.0% N/A N/A
Multiracial 3.1% 2.6% 5% 2.4%

The University of San Francisco enrolled 5,278 undergraduates, 2,518 graduate students, and 738 law students in Fall 2007.[91] Women made up 61.9% of the student body and students originated from all fifty states and sixty-nine foreign countries. 43.5% of students are Roman Catholic, 6.8% are Protestant, 6.3% are irreligious, 2.2% are Jewish, 2.1% are Buddhist, and 0.8% are Hindu and Muslim respectively.[91] 82.4% of students matriculated after their first year, the 4-year graduation rate is 49%, and the 6-year graduation rate is 65%.[93]

In the 1800s, USF's diversity (then St. Ignatius College) was mostly a reflection of the diversity inherent in San Francisco. For example, when German and French migrants came to San Francisco, the population of European students in USF increased as well.[94] USF's student population diversity has increased throughout the last century. Filipinos started attending the university in the 1920s, after the United State's annexation of Philippines. In 1960s, Mexicans, African Americans, Chinese , Norwegians came to USF. The 1970s marked the start of students from Hong Kong, Japan and Indonesia, coming to USF.[95] In 1964, 473 women enrolled as full-time undergraduates marking the first time women attended USF.

A school census of Fall 1993 undergraduate freshmen indicated 42.66% Whites, 23% Asian Americans, 11% International students, 10% Hispanic/Latinos. 5% African Americans, 0.34% Native Americans and 8% of students in the census chose not to specify. Enrollment in Fall 1993 was a total of 7,662 students, 62.5% of whom were undergraduates.[96] In 2002, a plan was developed by the university to increase the diversity of the USF student population.[97] This plan was enacted by university officials, who also enlisted the help of USF alumni to "assemble a mix of students that will help USF achieve its vision: to educate leaders who will fashion a more humane and just world." In 2002, 64.4% of undergraduates were female and 35.6% were male. The plan sought to address concerns of the gender ratio and increase the percentage of international students at USF from 9.4% to around 15%. A statement made by USF President, Stephen A. Privett, S.J. (2000 to present) in an interview by USF Magazine highlighted the importance the university placed on the diversity of its student population. The USF President also clarified the scope of diversity to include "ethnicity, gender and life experiences." In December 2006, USF was awarded a $500,000 grant by the Lumina Foundation for Education to examine "how best to recruit and retain low-income, first-generation, and ethnic minority students at Jesuit universities."[98]

Surveys show that USF students consistently value diversity at USF. A survey conducted for graduating students on 24 May 2007 by USF's Office of Student Enrichment Programs indicated that 86% felt that individual ethnicity, religion, race and other differences were valued at USF. The same survey records that 70% of the graduating students agreed that their appreciation of those differences increased while they were at USF.[99] The result was consistent with past surveys conducted on graduating students, where over the period from May 1997 to December 1999, the result ranged from 78% to 84% for students valued the mentioned differences and 63% to 72% for those who "felt their appreciation of differences increased while at USF."[100] In 2004, a survey by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute indicated that 80% of USF students "considered it essential or very important that their undergraduate experience" developed their personal values. This statistic was higher than the national average sampling of 67%.[99]

The University of San Francisco actively recruits[101] and enrolls over 700 international students from over 70 countries, including: Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, India, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, France, Norway, Austria, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand, among others. USF also hosts J-1 exchange and Intensive English Program student participants.

The University of San Francisco attracted 783 international students (9.0% of the student body) in 2007.[91] International students have a dedicated orientation period[102] and a variety of internationally-oriented student groups like the International Student Association, Global Living Community,[103] an International Advisory Council, and an International Network Program.[104] USF sponsors an annual International Education Week with an international fair featuring consulates in the San Francisco area, storytelling opportunities, educational speakers, and a performance event called Culturescape.[105]


According to U.S. News & World Report, USF is classified as a more selective university.[47] As of 2006, nine admissions counselors were in charge of selecting students for entry. In an article published in a Fall 2006 issue of the USF Magazine, Sandoval, an admissions counselor revealed certain factors that the university used to filter its applicants. The factors mentioned were: high school GPAs, involvement in extra curricular activities, languages spoken, "first in family to go to college", letters of recommendation, test scores and in particular, the students' essays. Sandoval also mentioned in the article that the best essays were "specific, genuine, honest, and personal.[106] "

In Fall 2008, 67% of freshman undergraduates who applied were admitted.[107] USF enrolled 4,869 undergraduate students.[48] The admitted freshman class had an average combined SAT score of 1270, an average composite ACT score of 25, and an average high school GPA of 3.5.[48]

  • Of the freshmen admitted in 2007, 47% came from public high schools, 34% came from Catholic/parochial high schools, 9% came from non-parochial private high schools, and 10% were not identified with any of the above categories.[48] 29% of the freshman class are from out-of-state and 6% are international students.[107]
  • The average age of freshman undergraduate is 18 years old and the average age of all undergraduates is 21 years old.[108]
  • The most popular majors and the percentage of undergrads in each major are: business/marketing 29%, communication/journalism 7%, computer/info sciences 6%, health sciences 8%, psychology 8%, social sciences 14%, visual/performing arts 6%.[107]
  • To apply students must take either the SAT or the ACT, have a minimum of 20 units based on high school courses, write and admissions essay, and have a minimum GPA of 3.0.[108]
  • As of 2008, USF has about 8,772 undergraduate and graduate students, representing nearly every state and over 80 countries.[109]
  • Other schools with the greatest overlap of applicants are San Francisco State University, Santa Clara University, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and UC Santa Cruz.[110]
  • In an average class 1% graduate in three years or less, 45% graduate in four years or less, 62% graduate in five years or less, 65% graduate in 6 years or less.[111]

Financial aid

For the 2006-2007 academic year, 66.0% of USF's undergraduates received some form of financial aid, 52.6% received institutional aid/grants, and 21.0% received federal Pell Grant support. For the same year, 64.2% of graduate students received some form of financial aid.[91][92]

The increase of financial aid given by the university to students have generally exceed the rate of growth of USF's tuition fees. Over 10 years from 1993 to 2003, annual tuition fees grew by 65% but financial aid experienced 160% growth. Annual tuition in '93/94 was $13,200 and total financial aid was $12.9 million. By '02/03, annual tuition had increased to $21,700 but financial aid experienced a larger increase to $33.6 million.[115] However, in a USF student guide published by The College Prowler[116] in 2006 , USF students rated high tuition fees as one of "the ten worst things about USF."[117]

Campus dining

USF's dining options span multiple locations around the campus:

  • Market Café - The Market Café, the main campus' cafeteria, is located on the second floor of the University Center.
  • Crossroads Café - Crossroads Café is a student-run dining facility, located on the first floor of the University Center building.[118] The café originally started as a commuter students' lounge in the basement of the former Campion Hall, now Kalmanovitz Hall, in 1931.[119] The lounge was moved to the University Center Building when it was constructed in the Fall of 1966.[120] At the time, it was called the Green and Gold Room.[121] Today, Crossroads is a popular spot for dining and socializing.[122] It also hosts live entertainment events, such as open mike nights, games, performances, and crafts.[123] Office hours are often held in Crossroads, where students can consult and get advice from their teachers.
  • Outtakes Café - The Outtakes Café, also known as the Wolf and Kettle, is located on USF's Lone Mountain campus. Outtakes has two sections: a dining center, similar to a smaller cafeteria structure of tables, booths and chairs, and a “small retail convenience store, offering a wide variety of grocery items, fresh food and produce, and all the essentials."[118]
  • Kendrick Café - The Kendrick Café is located on the School of Law Campus.[124]
  • Club Ed Café - The Club Ed Café is located on the bottom floor of USF's School of Education building.[125]
  • Outtahere - The newest addition to the campus' dining facilities, replacing Jamba Juice. Similar to Outtakes, it provides a small dining area that serves breakfast all day and a small convenience store that sells primarily organic foods. This facility is open until 2 A.M. to students of USF.


San Francisco Dons logo

USF competes in the NCAA's Division I and is a charter member of the West Coast Conference, along with local rivals Santa Clara University and Saint Mary's College of California. Sports offered are men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, track and field, as well as men’s baseball and women's volleyball. USF has won 12 NCAA championships, 1 NIT championships, and 42 WCC championships.[126] USF’s mascot is the Don and its colors are green and gold.


Athletics at USF dates back to its founding in 1855, when founder Anthony Maraschi, S.J. organized ball games as recreation for the first students. However, intercollegiate competition only dates back to 1907, when then-St. Ignatius College began playing organized baseball, basketball, and rugby against other local colleges and high schools. Rivalries with neighboring Santa Clara University and Saint Mary's College of California have their origins in this early period.

1951 USF Dons Football Team

The 1951 University of San Francisco Dons football team,coached by Joe Kuharich, went undefeated, with a record of 9-0, and the team produced ten future NFL players (Ollie Matson, Gino Marchetti, Bob St. Clair, Dick Stanfel, Ed Brown, Lou Stephens, Burl Toler, Joe Scudero, Roy Barni, Mike Mergen, Merrill Peacock, and Ralph Thomas). Five became NFL Pro-Bowlers, and Gino Marchetti, Ollie Matson, and Bob St. Clair later were inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame—a record for one college team. The team also had another first; Burl Toler became the first African American official in the NFL.[127] Even the future NFL Commissioner, Pete Rozelle, played a role as the Dons' Athletic Publicist. At the height of their success, the team experienced one of the greatest snubs in college football history. Due to the team having two African-American star players, Ollie Matson and Burl Toler, they were not invited to play in any of the college football bowl games hosted by the SEC (Southern Conference).[128] This resulted in the team being invited to the Orange Bowl without Toler and Matson. Outraged, the team refused the invitation saying, “ ‘No, we’re not going to leave ‘em at home,’ said guard Dick Columbini. ‘We’re going to play with ‘em or we’re not going to play’”.[127] As a result of the team's refusal to play in the Orange Bowl, the USF Athletic Department was forced to drop its football program in 1952, due to a deficit in department funds.


War Memorial Gym interior

USF is best known for its men's basketball program. The men's team won three national championships: the 1949 NIT Championship, with Don Lofgran as MVP, and the 1955 and 1956 NCAA National Championships, going undefeated in the 1956 season. Led by NBA Hall of Famers Bill Russell and K.C. Jones, the 1956 Dons became the first undefeated team to win a national championship, winning a then-record 60 games in a row from 1954 to 1956 before losing an exhibition game to the USA Men's Olympic Basketball team. Also of note, the 1954-1955 USF basketball teams became the first major college or university basketball team to win a national title with three African American starters (Russell, Jones, and Hal Perry).[10]

On December 26, 2007, the university hired 798-win coach Eddie Sutton to replace Jessie Evans. Sutton got his 800th career win as a college basketball head coach when the Dons beat Pepperdine, 85-82.

On April 18, 2008, USF announced the hiring of Rex Walters, former coach of Florida Atlantic University, as the new men's basketball coach, succeeding Eddie Sutton.[129] Walters is an NBA veteran, originally the 16th overall pick by the New Jersey Nets in the 1993 NBA Draft.[129]


The soccer program began at USF in 1931, from the beginning it has been a successful program, winning five titles from 1932–1936, much of this was because of the All-American team captain Gus Donoghue who later returned to the University as the head coach in 1946, he won several titles, including a co-championship with Penn State in 1949. After his retirement in 1960 the programs successes went on under alumnus, All American and Holocaust survivor Stephen Negoesco, who played under Donoghue in the 50's. He coached the team from 1962 to 2000 and led the team to 540 wins and four national championships (1966, 1975, 1976, 1980). Negoesco was later inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2003 after having won more victories with his team than any other coach in the history of intercollegiate soccer competition in the United States. Under Negoesco's successor, alumnus Erik Visser, the men's team earned the 2004, 2005 and 2008 WCC titles.[130]

Notable alumni and faculty

Notable alumni include Gordon Bowker, cofounder of Starbucks, philanthropist Gordon Getty, President and CEO of Intel Paul S. Otellini, former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle, Pierre Salinger, a United States senator and press secretary for President John F. Kennedy, and Alejandro Toledo, the 46th president of Peru.

Notable faculty members include Academy Award nominee Sam Green, director of The Weather Underground and Biology professor Paul Chien, known for his research in physiology and ecology. Also, the University has awarded a number of people with honorary degrees. Some of the recipients include the 14th Dalai Lama, former South Korean president Kim Dae-Jung, former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi, and President of Ireland Mary McAleese.

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  • Downs, Tom. (2007). Walking San Francisco: 30 Savvy Tours Exploring Steep Streets, Grand Hotels, Dive Bars, and Waterfront Parks. Berkeley: Wilderness Press.
  • Ganz, Liz and Rick Newby. (1999). Walking San Francisco. Montana: Morris Book Publishing, LLC.
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  • Pollack, Chris. (2001) San Francisco's Golden Gate Park: A Thousand and 17 acres (6.9 ha) of Stories. Portland, Oregon: WestWinds Press.
  • The University of San Francisco General Catalog 2003-2005.
  • Ziajka, Alan. (2005). Legacy & Promise: 150 years of Jesuit education at the University of San Francisco. San Francisco: University of San Francisco, Association of Jesuit University Presses.

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