University of San Francisco

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Template:Infobox University2

The University of San Francisco (often abbreviated USF) is a private, coeducational Roman Catholic university in the United States. Located in San Francisco, California, it was founded by the Society of Jesus. Today, the university is one of 28 member schools of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. One of the oldest institutions of higher learning in California, the university is known for its high standard and serious academic rigor.



Founded as Saint Ignatius Academy by the Italian Jesuits Anthony Maraschi, Joseph Bixio and Michael Accolti in 1855, USF began life in a wood frame building along Market Street in what later became downtown San Francisco. A charter from the state of California in 1859 changed the school's name to Saint Ignatius College and granted it the power to confer degrees. The original curriculum included Greek, Spanish, Latin, English, French, Italian, algebra, arithmetic, history, geography, elocution, and bookkeeping.

A new building was constructed in 1862 to replace the first frame building and the first degree was awarded a year later. In 1880, the college moved from Market Street to a new site on the corner of Hayes Street and Van Ness Avenue (currently occupied by the Davies Symphony Hall). The third Saint Ignatius College was destroyed in the earthquake and fire of 1906 and the campus moved further westward to the corner of Hayes and Shrader Streets, close to Golden Gate Park. The college moved to its present site on the south slope of Lone Mountain, in 1927.

To celebrate its diamond jubilee in 1930, Saint Ignatius College changed its name to the University of San Francisco. A male-only school for most of its history, USF became fully coeducational in 1964. In 1969, the high school division became wholly separate from the university and became St. Ignatius College Preparatory.

Today USF is organized into six academic divisions, with 7,487 students and 506 faculty members. The university also operates five regional campuses around northern California. USF is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Structure and degrees

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The second Saint Ignatius Church and College on Market Street.

The university's academic divisions (with dates of establishment):

  • College of Arts and Sciences (Originally the whole university; became a distinct entity in 1926, reorganized 1982)
  • College of Professional Studies (1981)
  • School of Business and Management (1947, reorganized 1999)
  • School of Education (1972)
  • School of Law (1912)
  • School of Nursing (1954)

The university offers the following degrees:

USF is governed by a Board of Trustees along with the University President, the University Chancellor, the University Provost and Vice-presidents, and the Deans. The current president (since 2000) is the Reverend Stephen Privett, S.J.

The campus

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Students enjoy a sunny day in Harney Plaza. In the background is the Harney Science Center.

USF's main campus occupies 51 acres immediately north of the Golden Gate Park Panhandle, on the southern slope of Lone Mountain. It lies on the boundaries of three San Francisco neighborhoods: Haight-Ashbury, the Western Addition, and the Richmond District.

  • Campion Hall - Currently houses classrooms, the offices of Admissions, Financial Aid, Registrar, Academic Support Services, Academic Services, Business and Finance, Bursar, Personnel Services, several liberal arts departments, and Public Safety. It is named after the English martyr Edmund Campion, S.J.
  • College of Professional Studies - Formerly Lincoln University, the University acquired the building in 1999 and made it the new home of the College of Professional Studies.
  • Cowell Hall - Named after San Francisco philanthropist Samuel Cowell, Cowell Hall houses offices and classrooms for the School of Nursing and other departments.
  • Gillson Hall - Named after University benefactor George Gillson, Gillson Hall provides housing for 325 students.
  • Gleeson Library and Geschke Learning Resouce Center - The university library, named for former university professor and prefect, Richard Gleeson, S.J. It contains a learning and research center named for Charles Geschke, university benefactor and co-founder of Adobe Systems, and his wife Nancy.
  • Harney Science Center - Houses classrooms, the offices of the College of Arts and Sciences and the departmental and faculty offices of the Sciences departments.
  • Hayes-Healy Hall - Was built through donations given by Ramona Hayes Healy and John F. Healy in honor of their parents. Originally housing only females, it now is a coed dorm for 350 students.
  • Koret Health and Recreation Center - Built on the site of the old Saint Ignatius High School, this is USF's main student gym, containing exercise and recreation facilties, including an Olympic-sized pool.
  • Koret Law Center - Home of USF's School of Law, containing both the Dorainne Zief Law Library and Kendrick Hall, the original law school building.
  • Lone Mountain - Formerly the San Francisco College for Women, Lone Mountain now houses faculty offices, classrooms, and housing for 180 students. It also houses the offices of the Universty President and Vice-Presidents.
  • Loyola House - Residence for the 24 members of the USF Jesuit Community.
  • Loyola Village - Built in 2002, this residential complex of 136 units for faculty, staff, and students.
  • McLaren Center - Formed from Phelan Hall's west wing, McLaren houses offices and classrooms for the School of Business and Management (SOBAM). McLaren Center includes Malloy Hall, USF's newest addition.
  • Negoesco Stadium - Named after alumnus Steve Negoesco, who coached four championship men's soccer teams. It is used as USF's soccer stadium.
  • Pedro Arrupe Hall - Originally a nurses' residence for the old French Hospital, USF acquired and renovated the building in 2000. It now currently a residence for 110 students. Named for Pedro Arrupe, S.J., former Superior General of the Society of Jesus, it is located a few blocks west of campus.
  • Phelan Hall - Named after USF alumnus James D. Phelan, former U.S. Senator from California and mayor of San Francisco. It provides housing for 450 students as well as the school radio stations KDNS (AM radio) and KUSF (FM radio), the University bookstore, the San Francisco Foghorn, and the University Ministry Office. There is currently (as of 2005) a student campaign to rename the building.
  • School of Education - Houses the administrative offices of the School of Education as well as classrooms and Presentation Theater. Formerly Presentation High School until it was purchased by USF.
  • Saint Ignatius Church - Often mistaken as San Francisco's Roman Catholic cathedral, Saint Ignatius was built in 1912 and is the University's spiritual home as well as a parish church for the surrounding community.
  • Ulrich Field - This athletic field was named in honor of Max Ulrich who left his estate to the school. It contains Benedetti Diamond, home field for USF's baseball team.
  • Underhill Building - Located between Lone Mountain and the School of Education, Underhill houses offices and training facilities for USF's Army ROTC unit.
  • University Hall - Houses departmental and faculty offices, as well as ASUSF offices and facilties and the main student cafeteria.
  • Xavier Hall - Provides housing for 175 female students and is named after Francis Xavier, S.J.
  • War Memorial Gym - Home court for the volleyball and men and women's basketball teams. Also houses the athletic department offices and training facilities. Named for USF students killed in action in various wars.


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Bill Russell being carried off the court after leading USF to its first NCAA basketball tournament title in 1955.

The university mascot is the Don (a honorific for Spanish nobility) and USF's athletic teams compete in NCAA Division I with the West Coast Conference. USF is one of the charter members of the WCC, along with Santa Clara University and Saint Mary's College of California. USF's athletic teams were previously known as the Gray Fog.


USF is best known for its basketball program. The men's basketball team have won three national titles: the 1949 NIT under Pete Newell, and the 1955 and 1956 NCAA championship under Phil Woolpert. After shutting down briefly from 1982 to 1985, the program has steadily progressed, returning to the NCAA tournament in 1998 under Phil Mathews and earning a 2005 NIT berth under present coach Jessie Evans.

Women's basketball also experienced recent successes, including appearances in the NCAA women's tournament in 1995, 1996, and 1997 and a WNIT berth in 2002. The 1996 season represented their best ever, as the women's team made it into the tournament's Sweet Sixteen. The team is currently coached by former star and alumna Mary Hile-Nepfel.

Men's Soccer

Men's soccer is USF's most successful program, earning five national titles, including a co-championship with Penn State in 1949. The program's successes came under alumnus Steve Negoesco, who coached from 1962 to 2000 and led the team to 540 wins and four national championships (1966, 1975, 1976, 1980). Under Negoesco's successor, alumnus Erik Visser, the men's team earned the 2004 WCC title and their first NCAA berth in a decade.

Alejandro Toledo, the current president of Peru, played for USF on a partial scholarship.


  • The 1951 USF football team has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the few undefeated college teams in history not to be invited to a postseason bowl game, because USF included African-American players on their team in a time when this was not a widely accepted practice in college football. The school dropped football soon thereafter.
  • The women's volleyball team earned its first NCAA tournament berth in 2003, under coach Jeff Nelson. Women's volleyball finished the season with a 23-7 record and placed four players in the all-conference team.
  • 2005 was a banner year for the baseball program, as it finished with a 38-18 record (the best in team history), placed eight players in the all-conference team and earned Nino Giarrantano coach of the year honors.
  • USF also won the 1949 NCAA Men's Tennis Championship, led by Harry Likas and Harry Roche.


Missing image
The first flash mob computer, April 7, 2004, University of San Francisco gymnasium. Note the temporary location, variety of individual computers and central switch. Click to enlarge.

Notable alumni

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Alejandro Toledo, president of Peru.


  • John B. McGloin, S.J. (1972) Jesuits by the Golden Gate: The Society of Jesus in San Francisco, 1849-1969. San Francisco: University of San Francisco Press.
  • The University of San Francisco General Catalog 2003-2005.

External links

Template:West Coast Conference


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