Rockhurst University Alma Mater

Rockhurst is our Alma Mater
"Home of wisdom" Heart so true,

"Loyal friends are here together"
'Neath your colors white and blue.

Guide us with your truth and honor
Keep us strong in unity,
On this "Rock" we build our future
Rockhurst University


Historical Highlights

1908
Bishop John J. Hogan approved purchase of land for Jesuit college.

1909
Rev. Michael Dowling, S.J., bought 25 acres at 53rd and Troost for $50,000.

1910
Charter for awarding degrees was granted to Rockhurst by state of Missouri

1914
Academic life began with opening of high school in Sedgwick Hall.

1917
First college classes began with Rev. Alphonse Schwitalla, S.J., as the only faculty member.

1921
First class was graduated. First honorary degree was awarded to Marshall Ferdinand Foch.

1922
Dowling Hall, the first college building, was completed.

1933
Evening Division of College was established.

1937
Conway Hall classroom building was completed.

1938
Mason-Halpin Fieldhouse was dedicated to former Hawk coaches.

1939
North Central Association granted accreditation to Rockhurst College.

1940
First resident students were housed in Dowling Hall.

1946
Division of Business Administration was organized.

1954
Jesuit faculty residence was dedicated.

1955
Board of Regents was established.

1956
Visiting Scholar Lecture Series was initiated.

1957
Massman Hall and Xavier-Loyola Hall, student residence, were dedicated.

1959
Fourth floor was added to Conway Hall.

1962
Honors program was initiated. Corcoran Hall, student residence, was completed. Rockhurst High School moved to Greenlease Memorial Campus.

1964
Hawks won N.A.I.A. basketball championship.

1965
Cooperative Education Program was established.

1966
McGee Hall, student residence, was dedicated. Junior Year Abroad program was introduced.

1967
Greenlease Library was dedicated.

1969
College became coeducational in all divisions.

1973
Physical Education and Convocation Center was completed.

1975
Van Ackeren Gallery of Religious Art opened. Graduate business courses initiated.

1976
Master of Business Administration degree program initiated. Jesuit residence named Van Ackeren Hall in honor of Father Van Ackeren's 25th year as president.

1977
Lay members added to Board of Trustees; the Rev. Maurice E. Van Ackeren, S.J., appointed chancellor; the Rev. Robert F. Weiss, S.J., inaugurated as 10th president. Season of the Arts program was established.

1978
Executive Fellows Program began.

1979
Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program was approved in conjunction with Research College of Nursing.

1980
Major renovation of Conway and Sedgwick Halls were completed. Mabee Theater and campus entryway were dedicated.

1982
Corcoran Hall and Massman Hall Rock Room were renovated. First annual Rockhurst Week was held.

1983
School of Management was established to operate alongside the College of Arts and Sciences.

1984
Conference Center addition to Massman Hall was completed. Mabee Chapel was dedicated.

1985
75th anniversary of the Rockhurst College charter was celebrated. Harry B. Kies Award was established to honor exemplary members of the college community.

1986
First endowed academic chairs was established - the Joseph M. Freeman, S.J., Chair in Philosophy and the George and Gladys Miller Chair in Business Administration. Thomas F. Eagleton Visiting Professorship was established.

1987
Research College of Nursing received North Central Association accreditation. Jesuits established a scholarship for minority and needy students.

1988
Rev. Thomas J. Savage, S.J., was inaugurated as 11th president. Research College of Nursing received National League for Nursing Accreditation. Global Studies offered.

1989
Master's programs in Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy established. Center for Arts and Letters was established.

1991
Rockhurst College Continuing Education Center, Inc., was established. RCCEC acquired National Seminars, Inc. A new Jesuit residence was built and renovation of Van Ackeren Hall for academic use initiated.

1992
The $35 million "Renewing Commitments" Campaign for Rockhurst was announced.

1993
Rockhurst joined Saint Louis University in opening Ignatius Center, the south campus location, one block south of I-435 at 106th and Wornall Road.

1994
Construction began on the Science Center. Town House Village opened. Sacred Encounters: Father DeSmet and the Indians of the Rocky Mountain West, a major exhibit, opened at Ignatius Center. A new core curriculum was implemented, organized around the seven classical modes of inquiry.

1995
Rockhurst approved a new five-year strategic plan. The Rev. Thomas J. Savage, S.J. announced a search process for his successor after leading the College to eight years of growth in students, in the size of the campus and in national recognition.

1996
Rockhurst completed the "Renewing Commitments" Campaign with the first Rockhurst Gala. The campaign raised $41.4 million for new and renovated facilities, scholarships, faculty chairs and other projects. The College also opened the $7 million Science Center. The Rev. Peter B. Ely, S.J. was inaugurated as 12th president.

1997
Rockhurst opened a new School of Professional Studies, offering baccalaureate degrees in organizational leadership, organizational communication and computer technology.

1998
Rev. E. Edward Kinerk, S.J., '64, became the 13th president of Rockhurst College. A campus-wide technology plan was approved by the Board of Trustees. A new Communication Sciences and Disorders bachelor's degree program was offered in partnership with Saint Louis University.

1999
Rockhurst College officially changed its name to Rockhurst University. A new master of science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders was launched. A campus beautification plan was implemented, changing the main entrance of the campus from 53rd to 54 Street, and expanding the green quadrangle on campus.

2000
Belltower, pergola and fountain were completed and dedicated as part of expanded quadrangle project. The Greenlease Gallery was constructed to hold both temporary exhibits and the university's Van Ackeren collection of religious art. The Catholic Studies Center was launched.

2001
Conway Hall was renovated, and the School of Management was renamed Helzberg School of Management in honor of Shirley and Barnett Helzberg. The master of education degree program was launched. Visitors to campus include Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire; Pulitzer Prize winner Maxine Kumin; and University of Nebraska's Thomas Gouttierre, one of the foremost authorities on Afghanistan.

2002
The Community Center created to serve the unmet needs of neighborhood residents. Visitors to campus included Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes, the worldwide leader of the Jesuits, the Very Rev. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., and renowned journalist Peter Jennings.

2003
Rockhurst Day was revived as a daylong, campus-wide celebration. The Rock Room was renovated with a new look. It features a convenience store, coffee shop, big screen television, computer stations and foosball and pool table. Commencement returned to the Rockhurst campus for the first time in more than 20 years. The Carnegie Foundation designated Rockhurst as a national leadership site for the scholarship of teaching and learning. Visitors to campus included Corey Flintoff, newscaster for National Public Radio and Nobel peace laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel.

2004
Rockhurst launched a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. Softball was inaugurated as the 11th varsity sport on campus.

2005
The University completed installation of the first campuswide wireless network of any university in the Kansas City area.

2006
Rev. Thomas B. Curran, O.S.F.S., became the 14th president of the University. Rockhurst named the campus quadrangle the Kinerk Commons in honor of the Rev. Edward Kinerk, S.J., 13th president of the University. The campus welcomed the second largest freshman class in University history, with 396 students.

2007
The Board of Trustees approved a five-year strategic plan, which was developed with broad input from the University community. Rockhurst established a bachelor’s degree in sports science.

2009
The University welcomed the largest freshman class in its history – 417 students.

2010
Rockhurst celebrates the centennial anniversary of its charter with the theme “Learn, Lead, Serve, Celebrate!” A criminal justice degree program is established.

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