Seton Hill University

Seton Hill University
Motto Hazard Yet Forward
Type Private liberal arts university
Established 1885
Affiliation Catholic Church (Sisters of Charity)
Endowment $80 Million[1]
President Mary Finger
Undergraduates 2,500
Location Greensburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Campus Suburban
Colors Crimson and Gold          
Athletics NCAA Division IIPSAC
Nickname Griffins
Affiliations ACCU
Mascot Griffin

Seton Hill University is a Catholic liberal arts university of about 2,500 students[2] in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. Formerly a women's college, it became a coeducational university in 2002. Recently, Seton Hill received attention for being the first university to provide iPads to all students.[3]


The school was founded in 1885 by the Sisters of Charity.[4] It is named for Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774–1821), who founded the Sisters of Charity and who, after her death, was canonized as the United States' first native-born saint.[5] (Seton Hall University and the College of Saint Elizabeth in New Jersey are also named after Elizabeth Ann Seton.)

In 1914, Seton Hill Junior college was opened by the Sisters of Charity. With the approval of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Seton Hill College was created four years later.[4]

In 1946, 40 male World War II veterans were accepted as students at Seton Hill.[6] During the 1980s, men were regularly admitted to many programs at Seton Hill College, including music and theater. In 2002, Seton Hill was officially granted university status by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[7] After president JoAnne Boyle formalized the school's new status as a university, the teams' nickname was changed from "Spirits" to "Griffins," and several men's athletics teams were added, including football. In 2006, Seton Hill announced it was transferring to NCAA Division II and joining the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC). They had belonged to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). In 2012, Seton Hill announced its move to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).[8]

Seton Hill University received widespread public attention[9][10][11] after announcing a technology plan that includes providing an iPad to all full-time students, as well a 13" MacBook to all incoming freshmen, and a plan to upgrade the student machines after two years. Upon graduation, students keep both machines.[12] Beginning in the fall of 2013, new full-time students will receive an iPad Mini and new full-time freshmen will be provided with a MacBook Air.[13]


  • E-Magnify (formerly the National Education Center for Women in Business)
  • National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education
  • Child Development Center
  • Center for Family Therapy
  • SHU Center for Orthodontics
  • The Wukich Center for Entrepreneurial Opportunities
  • Performing Arts Center
  • Dance and Visual Arts Center

Undergraduate programs

As of the 2012–2013 academic year, Seton Hill divides its undergraduate programs into six divisions: Social Sciences, Natural and Health Sciences, Humanities, Education, Business, and the Visual and Performing Arts, which includes art, music and theater. In addition to their major, all students take liberal arts core classes in arts, mathematics, sciences, culture, history, and writing.

Graduate programs

As of the 2012–2013 academic year, Seton Hill offers twelve graduate programs. Subjects include art, writing, education, therapy, business, orthodontics, and physician assistant studies.


Seton Hill athletics, known as the Griffins, compete in Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). During the 2012–2013 academic year, Seton Hill was a member of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC). As of July 1, 2013, following the breakup of the WVIAC, along with the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, also from the WVIAC, Seton Hill is a member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).[14]

Seton Hill varsity men's and women's sports include football, men's & women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's wrestling, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's track and field, softball, baseball, women's cheerleading, women's field hockey, women's equestrian, men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball, women's golf, and women's tennis.

In 2005, 60% of the entering class was male, due to an influx of male students who were interested in new sports programs such as football. In 2008, the football team had a 10-3 record. The football team and the men's soccer team each won the inaugural West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's team sportsmanship award in 2008.[15]

In 2006, the baseball team received a berth to the NAIA World Series in the program's third year of existence.

In 2014, the baseball team had its most successful season; winning the PSAC, the Atlantic Regional, and advancing to the College World Series. The team ended up finishing top six in the country.

Campus life

In 2003, the school conferred an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree upon Steve Forbes, president and CEO of Forbes, Inc. In 2006, the convocation speaker was U.S. Representative John Murtha (D-Pa).

Seton Hill has a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1.[16] The typical class size for courses in the major is about 20-25. Liberal arts core classes tend to be larger, at 30-45 students.

Recent changes on campus include the addition of a site of Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), and two arts facilities in downtown Greensburg: a visual arts center and a new performing arts building (devoted to music, theater, and dance). In early 2013, the university received a $7 million grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation.[17] The grant is the largest in Seton Hill's history and is a component of the university’s $75 million plan for campus expansion and renewal.

Active clubs representing the diverse cultural and student interests include the Chemistry Club, Biology Club, Forensic Science Club, Math Club, Griffin Pride Alliance, Student Theatre Activities Council, Project H.O.P.E.,Respect Life Club, Students in Free Enterprise, and the Griffins @ Work club.

Notable alumni

  • Justice Maureen O'Connor, alumna of 1973 and sixth woman to have served as an Ohio Supreme Court justice.
  • Admiral Ronne Froman, who graduated from Seton Hill College in 1969, served 31 years in the United States Navy, retiring as a rear admiral, and was the first female US Navy admiral to be "in charge of naval bases and stations around the world".[18] She then filled several high-profile civilian positions in San Diego, California.
  • Dr. Patricia A. Gabow, alumna of 1965, CEO of Denver Health from 1992–2012
  • Michele Moore Ridge, alumna of 1969, former First Lady of Pennsylvania (1995–2001).
  • Nalo Hopkinson, writer
  • Cydra Vaux, sculptor


  1. "Seton Hill receives $3.5M in bequest". Tribune Review. February 25, 2009. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  2. "About Seton Hill University". Seton Hill University. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  3. "Seton Hill University hands out iPads to students". Retrieved 29 November 2012.
  4. 1 2 "Seton Hill University - A Leading Catholic Liberal Arts University in Greensburg Pennsylvania". Archived from the original on 2012-06-24. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
  5. Knight, Kevin. "St. Elizabeth Ann Seton". Catholic Encyclopedia. New Advent. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  6. "Seton Hill University, Then & Now". Seton Hill University. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 26, 2002. Retrieved June 1, 2012.
  8. "Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Expands". Seton Hill University. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  9. Sande, Steve (March 30, 2010). "And so it begins... Seton Hill University to give all students an iPad". TUAW (or The Unofficial Apple Weblog). Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  10. "Seton Hill University hands out iPads to students". 2010-03-30. Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  11. Carr, David (March 31, 2010). "And an iPad in Every Backpack". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  12. "iPad for Everyone!". The Griffin Technology Advantage. Seton Hill University. Archived from the original on 12 May 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  13. "Mobile Learning @ the Hill · Seton Hill University". Retrieved 2016-03-26.
  14. "Media Relations · Seton Hill University". Retrieved 2016-03-26.
  15. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 12, 2009. Retrieved February 18, 2009.
  16. "Seton Hill University - Admissions". Retrieved 2012-08-12.
  17. "Richard King Mellon Foundation Awards $7 Million to Seton Hill University". 2013-04-04. Retrieved 2013-04-15.
  18. "News · Seton Hill University". Retrieved 2016-04-01.

Coordinates: 40°18′32″N 79°33′22″W / 40.309°N 79.556°W / 40.309; -79.556

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