Spring Hill College

Spring Hill College

Infobox University
name = Spring Hill College

motto = 'In Colle Exaltatus Fons Sapientae ""'
"A spring of wisdom is he who was lifted up on the hill"
president = Rev. Gregory F. Lucey, S.J.
type = Private
affiliation = Roman Catholic (Jesuit)
established = 1830
city = Mobile, Alabama
country = USA
campus = Urban, 400 acres, 18-hole golf course, 23 buildings
undergrad = ~1,100
postgrad = ~400
faculty = 80 full-time
|mascot = Badger|
colors = Purple and White
website = http://www.shc.edu/

Spring Hill College is a private, co-educational Roman Catholic Jesuit college in the United States. It was founded in 1830 on the Gulf Coast in Mobile, Alabama, by Most Rev. Michael Portier, Archbishop of Mobile, Alabama. It was the first Catholic college in the South, fifth oldest Catholic college in the United States, and third oldest of the 28 member Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. It is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In 2008, US News & World Report reported that Spring Hill College ranked 13th among the top colleges in the South offering both bachelor's and master's level degrees. Fact|date=August 2007

The Spring Hill academic calendar is divided into two semesters, a fall semester of 15 weeks beginning at the end of August and ending before Christmas, and a spring semester of 15 weeks beginning in early January and ending in early May. There are May and June mini-sessions, and summer school is during June and July.


Spring Hill College was founded by the first bishop of Mobile, Michael Portier. After purchasing a site for the College on a hill near Mobile, Bishop Portier went to France to find teachers and funds for the new college. Portier recruited two priests and four seminarians from France to staff the school. The bishop himself taught theology to the ecclesiastical students, who numbered six the first year. Upon his return he rented a hotel next to the college grounds and started the first semester on May 1, 1830, with an enrollment of thirty students, making Spring Hill the oldest institution of higher education in Alabama. ["As the oldest college in Alabama, the first Catholic college in the Southeast, and the third oldest Jesuit college in the United States, Spring Hill's heritage remains vital, its mission constant: to educate students to become responsible leaders in service to others." - Mission Statement of SHC (http://www.shc.edu/about-shc/employment/hiring/the-mission-statement-of-spring-hill-college/)] On July 4 of the same year the bishop laid the cornerstone of the first permanent building. It stood on the site of the present Administration Building and opened for classes in November 1831. Spring Hill thus takes its place among the oldest colleges in the South. It is the third oldest Jesuit college in the United States.

In 1836 the governor of Alabama, Clement C. Clay, signed a legislative act which chartered the College and gave it "full power to grant or confer such degree or degrees in the arts and sciences, or in any art or science as are usually granted or conferred by other seminaries of learning in the United States." This power was used in the following year, 1837, when four graduates received their degrees. The first two presidents of the College were called away to be bishops, one to Dubuque, Iowa (Bishop Mathias Loras), the other to Vincennes, Indiana (Bishop John Stephen Bazin), and the third, Father Mauvernay, died after a brief term of office. Bishop Portier then found it necessary to transfer the College, first to the French Fathers of Mercy, and next to the Society of Jesus and Mary, both of whom lacked teaching and administrative experience. He then persuaded the Fathers of the Lyonnais Province of the Society of Jesus to take possession of the College. The new regime was inaugurated with Father Francis Gautrelet, S.J., as president in September 1847. Since that time the institution has continued under Jesuit direction.

During the Civil War, the college rolls swelled with names like Semmes, Maury, Taylor, Beauregard, and Bullock, as high officers of the Confederacy tried to shelter their sons approaching draft age.Boys sent to Spring Hill were often separated from their families for the war's duration. Unrest among those who wanted to be part of the war effort was formidable, and eventually the college formed two military companies. Many Jesuit Fathers became chaplains for the Confederacy, and a recruiter tried to conscript all forty of the Jesuit brothers at Spring Hill into the Confederate Army. However, College President Francis Gautrelet, S. J., dispatched an urgent message to the assistant secretary of war in Richmond, who granted a temporary reprieve of the brothers' conscription. In 1869 a fire destroyed the main building and required the removal of students and faculty to St. Charles College, Grand Coteau, Louisiana. Bishop John Quinlan and other benefactors assisted in rebuilding the College, which reopened at Spring Hill before the year's end.

As the enrollment increased, Quinlan Hall, the College Chapel, the Thomas Byrne Memorial Library, and Mobile Hall were erected. In 1935, the high school, which had been a unit distinct from the College since 1923, was discontinued. In the space vacated by the high school, the Jesuit House of Studies was opened in 1937, and the Scholasticate of the Sacred Heart opened on a site adjoining the College a few years later. After World War II, a great influx of veterans taxed the facilities of the College, requiring the erection of a number of temporary buildings on the campus. At the request of Archbishop Thomas Joseph Toolen of Mobile, the College became co-educational in 1952. At present the ratio of male to female students is approximately 1:2. Black students were accepted into all departments of the College for the first time in 1954, before desegregation was mandated by the United States government. Mrs. Fannie E. Motley was the first black graduate from the institution in 1956.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed most of the surrounding region, but Spring Hill College luckily survived with minor damage. Nearby Loyola University in New Orleans, a brother Jesuit institute, did not fare so well, and Spring Hill College took on some of Loyola's students for the remainder of the year.

Spring Hill College has a number of structures that have been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. They include the Sodality Chapel, the Spring Hill College Quadrangle, and Stewartfield.


More than 1400 students study at Spring Hill College each year of which over 70% are from outside the Alabama state limits.Student statistics is 38% are male and 62% are female. 90% of the freshman class and 75% of the total student body live on campus. The student-faculty ratio is 13:1, and the average class size is 17. Of faculty members, 87% hold doctorates or the highest degrees in their fields. More than one-third of graduating students continue their education at graduate or professional school.

Facts about Spring Hill College

The campus rests on a 450 acre (1.8 km²) site, is naturally landscaped and features huge live oaks, palm trees, azalea-lined walkways, and an 18-hole golf course. There are 32 buildings, several of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

On the night of January 21, 1957, a dozen or more darkened cars eased down the main avenue of the college. Several members of the KKK attempted to set up a kerosene-soaked cross outside Mobile Hall, a dormitory. The Klan made a tactical blunder, however, in visiting the campus during finals week. Most of the white, male residents were still awake, studying for exams, and several heard the hammering. Once alerted, students streamed from both ends of the building carrying whatever items were handy -- golf clubs, tennis rackets, bricks, a softball bat -- and put the panicked Klansmen to flight. To save face, the KKK returned the next night and succeeded in burning a cross at the gate of the College before students reacted. The following day, however, a group of students -- male and female -- hanged a Klansman in effigy at the College gate, with a sign reading, "KKKers ARE CHICKEN."

On July 27, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald gave a speech at Spring Hill about life in the Soviet Union [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/parnell/ce2649.htm] , just months before assassinating President John F. Kennedy.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. mentions Spring Hill in his 1963 "Letter from Birmingham Jail," citing the College as one of the first Southern schools to integrate.


Spring Hill College competes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference as the Spring Hill College Badgers. Men and women Spring Hill College Badgers field teams in baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.

Spring Hill College has maintained a baseball team for much of its storied history. Currently, the Spring Hill College baseball team plays its home games at Stan Galle Field ("The Pit"), the oldest continually used college baseball field in the country, first intercollegiate play was in 1889. Stan Galle Field has played host to a plethora of former major league players, including such legends as Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. Notable baseball alumni include Blake Stein (former pitcher for the Kansas City Royals) and Jim Hendry (general manager of the Chicago Cubs).

In 1900, the Spring Hill football team began play for the first time. In 1908, the team held its opponents scoreless in every game. The team was disbanded in 1941, so it is commonly said on campus that the Spring Hill College Football Team has been undefeated since 1941.

Intramural sports

Spring Hill College has a student-run intramural program.The following sports are offered:
* Sand volleyball (4-on-4 Co-Rec, up to 8 on team)
* Softball (9-on-9, 4 women, 4 men/team, up to 12 on team)
* Flag football (7-on-7)
* Basketball (5-on-5)
* Basketball (3-on-3, up to 4 on team)
* Racquetball
* Wallyball (3-on-3 Co-Rec)
* Soccer (6-on-6, including the goalie, up to 10 on team)
* Golf Tournament*
* Tennis*
* Card Tournament*

Tennis, Golf, and Card Tournaments are tentative.

Famous graduates and faculty

*Edward Troye is a famous mid-19th century artist. He taught French and drawing at the college from 1849 to 1855.

*Paul Morphy graduated in the Spring of 1855 at 18 years of age. He was generally considered to have been the strongest chess master of his time, as well as the first recorded chess prodigy in history.
In 1957, a centennial monument dedicated to Morphy's 1857 victory in the First American Chess Conference was erected behind Mobile Hall. It was presented by the "Log Cabin National Chess Affiliation" (now defunct).

*Stephen Mallory, Secretary of the Navy for the Confederate States of America (1861-1865).

*Arthur C. Watson was a Natchitoches, Louisiana, lawyer, civic leader, politician, and philanthropist who succeeded despite the loss of the use of both legs from polio. He graduated from Spring Hill College in 1930.

*Joseph Canizaro, real estate mogul and philanthropist.

*D.H. 'Buck' Long was president and general manager of WKRG-TV, Inc. in Mobile. He graduated from Spring Hill in 1950.

*Joe Langan is a former Alabama state senator and mayor of Mobile, Alabama, and is credited with having maintained the peace during the racial turmoil of the 1960s, when many other major cities in the Southeast were attracting national attention because of their racism. He graduated from the college in 1951.

*Jeremiah Denton was one of the most famous American POWs during the Vietnam War. A pilot during the war, he was shot down on July 18, 1965 while flying a combat mission. He was subsequently captured and tortured for seven years. He is perhaps most famous for a TV interview he gave during his time as a prisoner of war, in which he blinked the word "torture" in morse code during what was supposed to be a North-Vietnamese propaganda piece on the "humane" treatment of detainees. He is the author of the book, "When Hell was in Session", which details his experiences as a prisoner of war.

*Alexis Herman, U.S. Secretary of Labor, 1997-2001.

*Robert McCown, S.J. is a Jesuit artist and literatus. In 1979, he filmed the award-winning documentary "República Jesuítica del Paraguay", which depicts the efforts of Jesuits in the 17th and 18th centuries in Paraguay. He taught at Spring Hill in 1968.

*John T. Schuessler was is Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, and President of Wendy's International, Inc. from 2000-2006.

*Brian D. Melton is president of the Dallas Bar Association. He graduated from the college in 1980 .

*Patricia Krenwinkel was a student at the college. She eventually dropped out and joined "The Family", the followers of the murderer Charles Manson.

*Joe Miller is a research biologist who helped discover that IRDS (infant respiratory distress syndrome) was due to a lack of surfactants. This research led to the discovery of a treatment for infants with this condition.

*Blake Stein was a baseball pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League. He graduated from Spring Hill in 2005.

*John Patrick McGraw was a journalist for "The Denver Post" for twenty years. He taught journalism and headed the "SpringHillian" during his time at the college from 1993 to 2003.

*James Andrews (businessman), family owner, Andrews McMeel Universal.

*Jim Hendry, Vice President/General Manager of the Chicago Cubs. Former baseball player at Spring Hill.

*Walter J. Maughn, Senior Industrial Engineer Executive, United Parcel Service.

*Colman McCarthy, leading peace educator, founder of the Center for Teaching Peace, and former columnist at "The Washington Post".

*Michael R. Augustus, President/ Advancing Student Leadership, scholar, Department of Labor. He graduated in 2004.

Presidents of the college

*Bishop Michael Portier, D.D., first bishop of Mobile, founded Spring Hill College on May 1, 1830.
*Bishop Mathias Loras, D.D. 1830-1832
*Bishop John Stephen Bazin, D.D. 1832-1836
*Peter Mauvernay 1836-1839
*Bishop John Stephen Bazin, D.D. 1839-1840
*Dominic F. Bach, S.P.M. 1840-1842
*Bishop John Stephen Bazin, D.D. 1842-1844
*J. P. Bellier, C.J.M. 1844-1845
*A. Desgaultieres 1845
*Claude Rampoon 1845-1846
*Bishop John Stephen Bazin, D.D. 1846-1847
*Thomas Rapier 1847
*Francis de S. Gautrelet, S.J. 1847-1859
*Anthony Jourdant, S.J. 1859-1862
*Francis de S. Gautrelet, S.J. 1863-1865
*Aloysius Curioz, S.J. 1865-1868
*John Montillot, S.J. 1868-1875
*Dominic Beaudequin, S.J. 1875-1880
*John Downey, S.J. 1880-1883
*David McKiniry, S.J. 1883-1887
*James Lonegan, S.J. 1887-1896
*Michael S. Moynihan, S.J. 1896-1899
*William Tyrrell, S.J. 1899-1907
*Francis X. Twellmeyer, S.J. 1907-1913
*Edward Cummings, S.J. 1913-1919
*Joseph C. Kearns, S.J. 1919-1922
*Michael McNally, S.J. 1922-1925
*Joseph M. Walsh, S.J. 1925-1931
*John J. Druhan, S.J. 1931-1938
*W. Doris O'Leary, S.J. 1938-1946
*W. Patrick Donnelly, S.J. 1946-1952
*Andrew C. Smith, S.J. 1952-1959
*A. William Crandell, S.J. 1959-1966
*William J. Rimes, S.J. 1966-1972
*Paul Smallwood Tipton, S.J. 1972-1989
*Donald I. MacLean, S.J. 1989
*William J. Rewak, S.J. 1989-1997
*Gregory F. Lucey, S.J. 1997-Present


External links

* [http://www.shc.edu/ Official website]
* [http://athletics.shc.edu/ Official Athletics website]

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