Xavier's Mission

In the Beginning 1831 to 1910

The Athenaeum

Bishop Edward Fenwick of Cincinnati founded the Athenaeum, a college dedicated to religion and liberal arts, on October 17, 1831. It was the first Catholic institution of higher learning in Ohio and in the Northwest Territory.

John A. Elet, First Jesuit President

The Jesuits assumed responsibility for the College in 1840 and renamed it St. Xavier College in honor of St. Francis Xavier, one of the 10 original members of the Society of Jesus. John A. Elet, S.J. (1840-47) was named the college's first Jesuit president. The school was renovated and opened on November 3, 1840. Tuition for day students enrolled in the classical course was $40 per year. For students in the Mercantile program, tuition was $24.

College on the Brink

Visiting the College in 1852, the Jesuit Superiors wrote: "The day-college and the boarding school are going down right before one's eyes. This institution has never been flourishing in the true sense of the word. This could not last. To begin with, a boarding-school is entirely out of place there; the premises anything but suitable, somber looking dormitories under the roof, poorly lighted and sunken class-rooms. Our poor scholastics find themselves imprisoned as it were with some 60 pupils."

First College Newspaper, April 1887

The Collegian, official voice of Xavier students, was short-lived only five issues were published. On December 1915, The Xaverian News was introduced and published every two weeks until 1925, when it became a weekly newspaper. Today, the weekly student paper is published under the name Xavier Newswire.