Saint Joseph's College (Indiana)

For other schools of the same name, see Saint Joseph's College (disambiguation).
Saint Joseph's College
Motto Religio Moralitas Scientia
Motto in English
Divinity, Morality, Knowledge
Type Private, liberal arts college
Established 1889
Affiliation Catholic Church (Missionaries of the Precious Blood)
President Robert Pastoor
Academic staff
Students 1,900
Location Rensselaer, IN, United States
40°55′11″N 87°09′21″W / 40.919611°N 87.155955°W / 40.919611; -87.155955Coordinates: 40°55′11″N 87°09′21″W / 40.919611°N 87.155955°W / 40.919611; -87.155955
Campus 180 acres (72.8 ha) rural
Colors Purple and Cardinal
Athletics 18 NCAA Division II teams
Nickname Pumas
Website Official Website

Saint Joseph's College (SJC; colloquially, Saint Joe) is a coeducational, private, Catholic liberal arts college located in Rensselaer, Indiana, United States. Around 2,000 students currently attend the College. Saint Joseph's College is ranked as a "Best Midwestern College" by The Princeton Review[1] and U.S. News.


The Chapel is one of the oldest buildings on campus, and is where regular religious events are held.

The College was founded in 1889 by Father Joseph A. Stephan, a missionary from Germany as a secondary school to educate Native Americans. In 1962, President Eisenhower dedicated the Halleck Center (named after Republican representative Charles Halleck).[2]

From 1944 to 1974, the Chicago Bears held their training camp at Saint Joseph's College.[3] The 1971 film Brian's Songabout Brian Piccolo, a Chicago Bears running back who died from carcinoma in the 1970swas filmed on campus.[4] And a charity game for Joy Piccolo, the Bears vs college all-stars, was played on July 23, 1971. During training camp one year, Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus was reportedly seen out on a tractor in the cornfield adjacent to the campus. The College football all-star game was played at the College's football stadium, Alumni Stadium, for many years.

The main academic building burned to the ground in a disastrous fire in February 3, 1973.[5] At the time, many thought the fire would close the school, but the school recovered.

Aerial view of the campus.


The campus has several distinctive features. The Romanesque-style Chapel and the reflecting pond in front of the Chapel are the most recognized features of campus. Drexel Hall was one of the first buildings on campus, and is distinctive for its unique atrium. Drexel has been renovated and restored to its historical appearance. The campus also includes a private recreational lake which is an old stone quarry.

Organization and administration

The school is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE),[6] the National League for Nursing (NLN), the Board of Commissioners of the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education (IACBE),[7] the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC),[8] and the State of Indiana Professional Standards Board for the Training of Elementary Teachers.

The Core building, one of the academic buildings on campus.

Academic profile

Saint Joseph's College is known for its nationally recognized Core Program under which students learn the basics of history, political science, natural science, literature and philosophy in integrated "core classes". This departs from the cafeteria-style approach to general education used by most colleges and universities in which students take discrete lower division classes in these subjects.

Saint Joseph's College has a student-faculty ratio of 14:1.[9] 69% of full-time faculty at Saint Joseph's have their doctorates or terminal degree. SJC offers 75 major, minor, and pre-professional programs, along with the nationally acclaimed Core Curriculum, which provides a solid liberal arts education and a distinct career advantage.

Historically, 97% of graduating seniors are employed or in graduate school within a year of graduation.

Student life

Like most other Indiana colleges, SJC holds an annual "Little 500" race. Unlike the bed or bicycle races held elsewhere, Saint Joseph's College stages a go-kart race in the same manner as Purdue University's Grand Prix, albeit on a much smaller scale. The event remains popular and brings alumni back to the school every year.[10]

While alcohol is still not permitted in student residence halls, students of legal age can now drink in on-campus apartments. During certain events, such as Little 500 and Homecoming, there will be locations set up on campus that will serve alcohol to those of legal age.


Official athletics logo.

SJC competes in NCAA Division II athletics and is a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The school mascot is the Puma. It is the only post-secondary institution in the United States with the Puma as its mascot, although several have mountain lions, which is a different name for the same species.

In 1956, the SJC football team won a share of the NAIA national football championship, playing Montana State to a 0-0 tie in the Aluminum Bowl at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Arkansas, .[11]

The school's baseball team was runner-up to the Division II National Championship in 1996.[12] The same year, the women's soccer team was the runner-up to the Division II National Championship. The school's women's tennis team captured 6 GLVC conference titles since 1985; including 3 undefeated seasons. The Pumas football team has been dominant in their conference in recent years, winning the Great Lakes Football Conference Championship in the 2005, 2006, and 2009 seasons. In 2010, the Men's Basketball team led by Coach Richard Davis put together a remarkable string of 3 wins in the National Tournament to reach the Elite Eight for the second time in school history.

Notable people


  1. "Saint Joseph's College (IN) | Admissions, Average Test Scores & Tuition". The Princeton Review. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  2. "SJC to celebrate Halleck Center's 50th". Rensselaer Republican. 2012-09-09. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  3. "Happy Birthday George Halas". Chicago Bears. January 31, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  4. "Brian's Song (1971 TV Movie) Filming Locations". Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  5. "February 5, 1973 - Newsmakers | Chicago Tribune Archive". 1973-02-05. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  6. "Accredited Institutions by State". Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  7. "International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education : Directory of Accredited Programs by Institution" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  8. "Higher Learning Commission". Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  9. "St. Joseph's College (Indiana) | Best College | US News". Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  10. "50 years later, 'Little 500' keeps buzzing along (April 29, 2012)". Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  11. "Aluminum Bowl". Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  12. "Baseball DII". Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  14. "McDonalds – Executive Team". 2014-09-30. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  15. "The Sherwin-Williams Company Appoints John Morikis as President and Chief Operating Officer". 2006-10-19. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  16. J. Patrick Lewis interviewed by Sylvia Vardell. "J. Patrick Lewis". The Poetry Foundation. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
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