Cheers to 100: Fontbonne University

In 1923, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet established Fontbonne College, a women’s college with a dedication to encouraging learning and a commitment to service. Now 100 years later, Fontbonne University is continuing that mission. The Catholic university has grown to reach more students, opening its doors to people of all backgrounds. The university provides a transformative education that inspires students to become global citizens with the knowledge, skills and motivation necessary to build a more equitable world. Fontbonne is excited to celebrate its centennial anniversary with St. Louis.

While the university remains dedicated to its foundational mission of service, it continues to grow its offerings to better serve students. In 2022, the College of Education and Allied Health Professions added a four-year nursing degree. Later this fall, the university will welcome students into its new criminal justice program. “Fontbonne is dedicated to preparing students for real-life careers,” says board chair and alumna Karen Gedera. “Our singular purpose is to develop future leaders to serve a world in need and be successful in life. Fontbonne’s fundamental role in higher education is more important now than ever before in its history.”

The university is celebrating its anniversary in many ways. Throughout the year, faculty and special guests are offering lectures, including one from astrophysicist Anton Koekemoer, Ph.D., of the Hubble Space Telescope at the Space Telescope Science Institute on April 28. Fontbonne also is looking forward to projects like the development of a new living-learning community. The initiative will create renovated housing options with co-curricular community spaces on campus. These multi-purpose accommodations will be a stimulating environment in which students will experience enhanced professional development and knowledge building.

Fontbonne’s largest celebration will be its Centennial Gala on May 13 at The
Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis. The honorary event chairs are Pierce Powers of Powers Insurance and Risk Management and his wife, Sue. “Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Fontbonne University reaffirms the original commitment of the Sisters of St. Joseph to serve all peoples,” they say. “Fontbonne is a precious jewel that radiates peace, love and social justice in these troubled times. Please join us in supporting the university so it will continue to thrive and grow in its mission to provide transformative education for the young people of our region.”

The gala will celebrate the university’s past while also highlighting what the future holds for Fontbonne and its students. Guests can look forward to a special unveiling on the night of the event, and the funds raised will support the university’s advancement campaign. “Fontbonne’s centennial is more than a celebration of our Catholic identity and the relationship we share with our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet,” explains Nancy Blattner, Ph.D., president of the university. “It is an occasion to recognize all of the ways we are creating exceptional opportunities for students, especially those who benefit most from our student-centered academic environment, where everyone is known by name and one-on-one counseling and advising helps them identify their individual interests, passion and career goals.”

Fontbonne University is celebrating 100 years of its mission to inspire students to think critically and create a more just world. Its Centennial Gala is May 13 at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis. Pictured on the cover: Jenna Voss, Ph.D.; Pierce and Sue Powers; Pat Coleman; Dr. Benjamin Voss; Harold Coleman. For more information, 314.889.1447 or visit

Cover design by Julie Streiler
Cover Photo courtesy of Fontbonne University

Pictured at top: Associate professor Jenna Voss, PH.D., and board of directors member Pat Coleman.
Photo courtesy of Fontbonne University

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