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Saint Leo University

On what I'm sure was a beautiful day of June 4 of 1889 Saint Leo University commenced in education. A small quite town on the west coast of Florida and a place where everyone continues to boast about the quality and dedication of Saint Leo's instructors. Saint Leo is a genuine Roman Catholic University that was founded by the Benedictine Order in 1883 and received its charter by the State of Florida in 1889. The University was opened by the order of Pope Leo XIII, to ensure that students in Florida could obtain a traditional European and Roman Catholic education.

As the first Catholic college in Florida, Saint Leo engaged their students in the study of the basic curriculum, which included a mix of liberal arts and commercial courses leading to a Master of Accounts degree. On June 20, 1893, Saint Leo presented its first graduating class the first Master of Accounts degrees to five students.

Saint Leo demonstrated they were of the highest quality by changing with the times and in 1920, the College was phased out as the faculty decided to focus on becoming what Benedictine called "a serious English style prep school." A year later, in 1921, Saint Leo became accredited by the Southern Educational Association. After several name changes, the institution settled on Saint Leo College Preparatory School in 1929.

Realizing the potential of a larger mission was achievable Saint Leo opened again as a college in 1959 with associates degrees in various fields. Soon after that, four year bachelor's degree programs were added. On April 23, 1967, the first of bachelor's degree were presented to 51 men and 13 women. After receiving accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools on November 29, 1967, Saint Leo included the Bachelor of Arts class.

A few years later the Order of Saint Benedict of Florida transferred title and control to an independent board of trustees in 1969. Shortly after this reorganization, Saint Leo began to broaden its aim and echoed its short lived military past. In 1973, the College responded to requests from the military to offer degree programs on military bases. Small campuses were added to U.S. military bases across the country and by 1999 Saint Leo lay claim to being the sixth largest provider of higher education to military related personnel in the United States.

With total enrollment of more than 2,100 students on its main campus, potentially more than 7,600 students on their military bases in five states, and countless more students enrolled in their Online Learning College, they continue to demonstrate why their students and alumni continue to pride themselves regarding their beloved university and education.

See Saint Leo Distance Learning for Saint Leo's continued success.


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