University of San Diego

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University of San Diego
University of San Diego seal.svg
Motto Emitte Spiritum Tuum (Latin)
Motto in English
Send Forth Thy Spirit
Type Private
Established 1949
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic
Academic affiliations
Endowment $450.3 million (2016)[1]
President James T. Harris III [2]
Academic staff
Undergraduates 5,741
Postgraduates 1,773
Other students
Location San Diego, California, U.S.
32°46′16″N 117°11′15″W / 32.77111°N 117.18750°W / 32.77111; -117.18750Coordinates: 32°46′16″N 117°11′15″W / 32.77111°N 117.18750°W / 32.77111; -117.18750
Campus Urban
Colors Blue and white[3]
Nickname Toreros
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IWCC, Pioneer Football League
Mascot Diego Torero
University of San Diego logo.svg

The University of San Diego (USD) is a private Roman Catholic university in San Diego, California, United States. The university offers 42 baccalaureate degrees, and several degrees in law, nursing, (master's, PhD, and DNP), and other doctorate programs. The university comprises seven different academic colleges.[4]


Immaculata Parish Church at USD showing the architectural style of the campus

Chartered in 1949, the university opened its doors to its first class of students in 1952 as the San Diego College for Women. Reverend Charles F. Buddy, D.D., then bishop of the Diocese of San Diego and Reverend Mother Rosalie Hill, RSCJ, a Superior Vicaress of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, chartered the institution from resources drawn from their respective organizations on a stretch of land known as "Alcalá Park," named for San Diego de Alcalá. In September 1954, the San Diego College for Men and the School of Law opened. These two schools originally occupied Bogue Hall on the same site of University High School, which would later become the home of the University of San Diego High School. Starting in 1954, Alcalá Park also served as the diocesan chancery office and housed the episcopal offices, until the diocese moved to a vacated Benedictine convent that was converted to a pastoral center. In 1957, Immaculate Heart Major Seminary and St. Francis Minor Seminary were moved into their newly completed facility, now known as Maher Hall. The Immaculata Chapel, now no longer affiliated with USD, also opened that year as part of the seminary facilities. For nearly two decades, these schools co-existed on Alcalá Park. Immaculate Heart closed at the end of 1968, when its building was renamed De Sales Hall; St. Francis remained open until 1970, when it was transferred to another location on campus, leaving all of the newly named Bishop Leo T. Maher Hall to the newly merged co-educational University of San Diego in 1972. Since then, the university has grown quickly and has been able to increase its assets and academic programs. The student body, the local community, patrons, alumni, and many organizations have been integral to the university's development.

The Universidad de Alcalá in Spain, inspiration for Mother Hill's USD

Significant periods of expansion of the university, since the 1972 merger, occurred in the mid-1980s, as well as in 1998, when Joan B. Kroc, philanthropist and wife of McDonald's financier Ray Kroc, endowed USD with a gift of $25 million for the construction of the Institute for Peace & Justice. Another significant donation to the college came in the form of multimillion-dollar gifts from weight-loss tycoon Jenny Craig, inventor Donald Shiley, investment banker and alumnus Bert Degheri, and an additional gift of $50 million Mrs. Kroc left the School of Peace Studies upon her death. These gifts helped make possible, respectively, the Jenny Craig Pavilion (an athletic arena), the Donald P. Shiley Center for Science and Technology, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Degheri Alumni Center. As a result, USD has been able to host the West Coast Conference (WCC) basketball tournament in 2002, 2003 and 2008, and hosted international functions such as the Kyoto Laureate Symposium at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice and at USD's Shiley Theatre. Shiley's gift has provided the university with some additional, and more advanced, teaching laboratories than it had previously. In 2005, the university expanded the Colachis Plaza from the Immaculata along Marian Way to the east end of Hall, which effectively closed the east end of the campus to vehicular traffic. That same year, the student body approved plans for a renovation and expansion of the Hahn University Center which began at the end of 2007. The new Student Life Pavilion (SLP) opened in 2009 and hosts the university's new student dining area(s), offices for student organizations and event spaces. The Hahn University Center is now home to administrative offices, meeting and event spaces, and a restaurant and wine bar, La Gran Terazza.

As of the fall of 2012, USD's total enrollment was 8,105 undergraduate, graduate, and law students.[5]

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights opened an investigation into the university because it allegedly “failed to provide a prompt and equitable resolution to a sexual assault complaint".[6] The complaint was made by a female law student against two other male law students. The 29-year-old woman, whose name was not disclosed, said she was raped in a bathroom during an off-campus party in May 2013. The party was for students to celebrate the completion of their first year of law school. The woman also filed a civil suit against the alleged perpetrators and the school. In her suit, the student claims that University of San Diego officials also discouraged her from "pursuing any action against her rapists" and said that if she did, her name could become public.[7]

Environment and location

View of Mission Bay and SeaWorld from campus

Alcalá Park sits atop the edge of a mesa overlooking Mission Bay and other parts of San Diego. The philosophy of USD's founder and her fellow religious relied on the belief that studying in beautiful surroundings could improve the educational experience of students. Thus, the university's buildings are designed in a 16th-century Spanish Renaissance architectural style, paying homage to both San Diego's Catholic heritage[clarification needed] and the Universidad de Alcalá in Spain. In September 2011, Travel+Leisure named it as one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States.[8]

The campus is located approximately two miles north of downtown San Diego, on the north crest of Mission Valley in the community of Linda Vista. From the westernmost edges of Alcalá Park the communities of Mission Hills, Old Town, Point Loma, Ocean Beach, Bay Park, Mission Beach and Pacific Beach can be seen. Also, the Pacific Ocean, San Diego Harbor, the Coronado Islands and La Jolla are visible from the campus.


Though a Catholic university, the school is no longer governed directly by the Diocese of San Diego. Today, a lay board of trustees governs the university's operations. However, the Bishop of San Diego, Robert W. McElroy, retains a seat as a permanent member and retains control of the school's designation of "Catholic."


The Donald P. Shiley Center for Science and Technology, opened in 2003

USD offers more than 60 degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. USD is divided into six schools and colleges. The College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Law are the oldest academic divisions at USD; the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies is the university's newest school. USD offers an honors program at the undergraduate level, with approximately 300 students enrolled annually.


USD's undergraduate programs have been recognized by multiple publications including PayScale, U.S. News & World Report, Princeton Review, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Forbes. In 2017, USD ranked 86th among national universities by U.S. News & World Report[9] and 188th by Forbes' and Washington Monthly.[10]

In 2012, Princeton Review included USD in its annual guidebook of the 376 best universities. The Princeton Review ranked the school 2nd for Best Campus Environment[11] and 39th for Most Beautiful Campus.[12] Travel & Leisure and Newsweek have also recognized USD's campus as one of the most beautiful in the United States.[13]

QS Global 200 Business Schools Report ranked USD's MBA program 59th in North America.[14] The MBA program is also ranked 39th in the world for social responsibility in the Beyond Grey Pinstripes Global 100 list, and is the highest ranking program on that measure in Southern California.[15]

In 2014, University of San Diego was ranked the 482nd top college in the United States by Payscale and CollegeNet's Social Mobility Index college rankings.[16]

According to the Institute of International Education, USD ranked first in undergraduate participation.[17]

In 2016, the MBA program in the University of San Diego School of Business was ranked 28th in the United States (33rd in 2015) and 59th in the world (66th in 2015) in the 2016 Financial Times Top 100 MBA rankings.[18] In July 2015, Financial Times ranked the University of San Diego’s School of Business MBA third in the world for entrepreneurship.[19][20] In August 2016, CEOWORLD Magazine Global Business Schools rankings for executives and entrepreneurs ranked San Diego’s School of Business 66th in the world.[21]

Campus Traditions and Lore

A particularly unique tradition takes place before the beginning of final exams every semester--it's a student favorite. At midnight before the first day of final exams, students gather around the pair of larger-than-life adirondack chairs in Colachis Plaza, playfully nicknamed Rose and Buddy, and belt out a scream. The community scream promises good luck and passing grades to those who participate.

Notable people


Husband to Nicole LaBonte. Father of Kyle LaBonte, Ian LaBonte, Daniella LaBonte.



  1. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "President-Elect Dr. James T. Harris III Named Fourth President of the University of San Diego". University of San Diego. Retrieved February 25, 2015. 
  3. ^ University of San Diego Brand Standards and Guidelines (PDF). 2017-03-01. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  4. ^ Edward Fiske, The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 (2013) pp 627-9
  5. ^ President Mary E. Lyons, PhD. "About the University of San Diego - University of San Diego". Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  6. ^ Warth, Gary. "Feds investigating USD for complaint". The San Diego Union Tribune. San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved February 6, 2015. 
  7. ^ Perry, Tony. "Student sues University of San Diego over handling of rape allegation". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  8. ^ "America's Most Beautiful College Campuses", Travel+Leisure (September 2011)
  9. ^ National University Rankings<>
  10. ^ Caroline Howard 7.30.14 (2014-07-30). "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  11. ^ Princeton Review,, 2011.
  12. ^ Franek, Robert. The Best 376 Colleges, 2012 Edition. The Princeton Review. Print.
  13. ^ Newsweek<>
  14. ^ [1] Archived June 26, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ Beyond Grey Pinstripes, Global 100, 2011.
  16. ^ "Social Mobility Index". Social Mobility Index. CollegeNet and PayScale. 2014. Retrieved June 5, 2015. 
  17. ^ Institute of International Education<>
  18. ^ "Business school rankings from the Financial Times -". Retrieved 2016-05-26. 
  19. ^ Ortmans, Laurent. "MBA by numbers: Top programmes for entrepreneurship". Financial Times. ISSN 0307-1766. Retrieved 2016-05-26. 
  20. ^ "Top 10 MBA programmes for entrepreneurship" (PDF). 
  21. ^ "CEOWORLD Magazine". School of Business. CEOWORLD Magazine. 2016. Retrieved August 5, 2016. 
  22. ^ "USD Magazine / SUMMER 2013". UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO. 
  23. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ "New Tijuana mayor brings binational credentials Page 1 of 2". 2010-11-27. Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  25. ^ Cordileone, Salvatore. "Archbishop". Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
  26. ^ Dolan, John. "Bishop". Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
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  28. ^ "Verizon communications inc". BusinessWeek. 
  29. ^ "Lowell McAdam Wall Street Journal".  External link in |journal= (help)
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  31. ^ Knufken, Kelly (2006). "Townsend: The Tough Cookie" (PDF). USD Magazine. San Diego, CA: University of San Diego (Summer)): 25. 
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  34. ^ NHL Colorado Avalanche
  35. ^ Yanoria, Luigene (2013-05-15). "Migz Villafuerte, the youngest governor in Camarines Sur's history - Yahoo News Philippines". Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  36. ^ Real Time Ranking. "Lorenzo Fertitta". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
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  41. ^ [Dansby, Andrew (September 10, 2009), "Jim Parsons find smart comedy role", Houston Chronicle]
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Further reading

  • Boudoin. Burt J. (2001). Fortress on the Hill: Founding the University of San Diego and the San Diego College for Women, 1942-1963 Mission Hills, CA: Saint Francis Historical Society, ISBN 0967847737 OCLC 46882831
  • Engstrand, Iris H. Wilson; White, Clare (1989). The First Forty Years: A History of the University of San Diego 1949–1989. San Diego, CA: University of San Diego. p. 121.  OCLC 22975773, 20464871

External links

  • Official website
  • University of San Diego athletics website
  • U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: The University of San Diego Immaculata Church
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