|St. Bonaventure's College|
|Catholic Church (Franciscan)|
|Endowment||$74.4 million (2019)|
|President||Dennis R. DePerro|
|Undergraduates||1850 [note 1]|
|Campus||Small town/rural, 500 acres (2 km²)|
|Colors||Brown and white|
|Athletics||NCAA Division I - Atlantic 10|
|Sports||17 varsity teams|
(9 men's & 8 women's)
|Mascot||The Bona Wolf|
St. Bonaventure University is a private Franciscan university in Allegany, New York. It has 2,381 undergraduate and graduate students. The Franciscan Brothers established the university in 1858.
In athletics, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies play National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I sports in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Students and alumni often refer to the university as Bona's, derived from the school's original name, St. Bonaventure's College.
The college was founded by Utica, New York, financier Nicholas Devereux, one of the first to gain land grants in newly surveyed Cattaraugus County from the Holland Land Company. Devereux founded the town of Allegany on the grant, hoping to build a new city. Devereux approached John Timon, the bishop of Buffalo, for assistance. The two invited the Franciscan order to Western New York, and a small group under Pamfilo da Magliano arrived in 1856. The school graduated its first class in 1858. St. Bonaventure's College was granted university status by New York State in 1950. The largest residence hall on campus, Devereux Hall, is named for the founder.
Thomas Merton, the religious writer, taught English at St. Bonaventure for a year just at the start of World War II, living on campus on the second floor of Devereux Hall. It was at this school that Merton finally gave into his vocation and decided to join the Trappists. He entered the monastery in Kentucky in 1941. A heart-shaped clearing on a mountain in view of campus is linked to Merton in campus myth. Some students call it "Merton's Heart" and claim that Merton visited the place often and that the trees fell when he died. In reality, the hillside had been cleared for oil drilling in the 1920s and trees have since regrown, leaving the bald patch.
On the U.S. News & World Report's 2019 list of best regional university values, St. Bonaventure University was ranked No. 1 for value in New York state and No. 2 in the North.
The campus sits on 500 acres (2.0 km2) in the town of Allegany, just over the line from the city of Olean (total pop.: 15,000), at Exit 24 of Interstate 86. The university has its own US Post Office and is listed as a separate census-designated place by the Census Bureau. The university's postal address is Saint Bonaventure, NY 14778.
Most campus buildings are designed in red brick with Italianate roofs, to reflect the architecture of St. Francis' native Italy. The campus proper has several residence halls, townhouses/apartments and academic buildings.
Starting in the mid-2000s, the campus has seen several campus improvements, including a new recreation center, a coffee café, and renovated dining hall and residence halls. The William F. Walsh Science Center (2008) and William E. and Ann L. Swan Business Center (2013) are the newest academic facilities. The McGinley-Carney Center for Franciscan Ministry opened in 2017, and historic Francis Hall, which was a seminary in the 1950s and 1960s, is being renovated to house the university's new School of Health Professions.
About 25 miles (40 km) from the main campus, the university also offers the opportunity to experience the Franciscan eremitical tradition in the Allegheny Mountain foothills in western Clarksville, New York, at a community called Mount Irenaeus. "The Mountain", as it is referred to by students, faculty and alumni, provides a retreat for students. While not owned by the university, Mount Irenaeus has a shared mission with the university and primarily serves its population.
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The university is named after Bonaventure (1221-1274), born John of Fidenza, who became a cardinal and Doctor of the Church. A theologian and contemporary of Thomas Aquinas at the University of Paris, he became head of the Franciscan order and did much to institutionalize that order. His most famous work is Itinerarium mentis in deum, or The Soul's Journey to God. Bonaventure was canonized in 1482 by Sixtus IV. The Franciscan friars at the St. Bonaventure Friary belong to the Holy Name Province and are members of the Order of Friars Minor, one of the orders of Franciscans.
The Bonaventure friars are involved in a number of activities in the greater Olean community, besides ministry on campus. They administer St. Bonaventure's Parish in Allegany, called "Little Bona's". There is a Franciscan presence at Olean General Hospital, and the university operates the Warming House, an area soup kitchen. Also adjacent to campus is the Motherhouse of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, a group of Franciscan religious sisters.
The university is also home to the Franciscan Institute. Founded in 1939 by Thomas Plassmann, then president of St. Bonaventure's College, and led by its first Director, Philotheus Boehner.
The school's journalism programs have produced six Pulitzer Prize-winning writers. The university has more than 50 academic programs. These include combined degree health care programs guarantee admission to medical school for more than 30 students annually, preparing students for careers in medicine, dentistry, physical therapy or pharmacy. St. Bonaventure is accredited by the Middle States Association, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
St. Bonaventure is home to the Jandoli School of Communication, formerly the Russell J. Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Its campus newspaper, The Bona Venture, has been published continuously since 1926. Known on campus as The BV, the newspaper has earned The Pacemaker Award numerous times from the Associated Collegiate Press, the last time in 1994. The school's student radio station, WSBU 88.3 The Buzz, is ranked No. 2 nationally by The Princeton Review. In 2019, the Jandoli School of Communication's student-produced newscast, "SBU-TV", became available to television viewers across Western New York.
The Center for the Study of Attention, Learning & Memory, a joint initiative between the School of Education and the School of Arts and Sciences, promotes interdisciplinary research and increases awareness of the importance of attention and learning in education.
The school has many student organizations including Mountain Community Leaders, which holds retreats for students at the Franciscan Mountain Retreat Centre at Mount Irenaeus. Other on-campus organizations include BonaResponds--which sent nearly 300 people to the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and continues to perform relief work at home and across the county--and SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise), which has established successful business and education programs in the Bahamas.
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St. Bonaventure is a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference and offers 17 varsity athletic programs. The school's programs are known as the Bonnies, and colors are brown and white. The men reached the NCAA Final Four in 1970, won the NIT in 1977, and won their first Atlantic 10 tournament title in 2012. The men's team has reached the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament a total of 7 times, most recently in the 2017-2018 season. Men's rugby plays at the highest level in the nation, competing in Rugby East, while the women play in Division II in the Upstate New York Collegiate Rugby Conference.
At St. Bonaventure, several Division I, club and intramural sports are offered for students' participation.
Five Members of the United States Congress attended St. Bonaventure.