Reprinted with permission of the Delaware County Daily Times
By Joseph Batory, Times Columnist
More than 400 years ago in France, a Catholic priest, Jean Baptiste de La Salle, was appalled that education was only for the aristocrats. So Jean Baptiste de La Salle founded the Christian Brothers, dedicated to quality teaching for all students from all backgrounds. These followers of La Salle began teaching students off the streets of Paris and eventually spread their “quality teaching for all” to high schools and universities worldwide.
Today, the vast Christian Brother network of educational institutions exists in 80 countries and provides quality education to nearly one million students.
Among these Lasallian schools internationally is a Philadelphia gemstone, La Salle University.
Now in its 154th year in Philly, La Salle is “bigger, better and bolder than ever.”
So what makes La Salle stand out these days?
• Speaking of enrollment: La Salle’s incoming freshman class is one of its largest ever, the most talented academically, and the most diverse. And true to its mission, 33 percent of these La Salle newcomers are the first in their families to pursue higher education.
• Going beyond the major: Every La Salle undergraduate must take core courses, regardless of his or her major, focused on the ability to solve significant problems, understand diverse perspectives, deeply engage with others, integrate prior learning, and read and think critically.
• Once upon a time an all-male institution: La Salle now has a 65 percent female population … and a dynamic female president.
• Lasallian caring beyond the classroom: La Salle students donate more than 60,000 hours of community and humanitarian service each year.
• Serving its community: La Salle’s Neighborhood Nursing Center received the 2017 Public Health Recognition Award from Philadelphia’s College of Physicians for their substantial contributions to the health community. Operated for more than 25 years by LaSalle’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences, it is one of the oldest nurse-led community wellness centers in the country and cares for at-risk families through screenings, immunization programs, disease-prevention services, and specialist referrals.
• Median Income of graduates: In 2017, The New York Times, recognized La Salle grads in the top 6 percent for median income of graduates at age 34.
• Value for the college experience: In 2016, Forbes magazine listed La Salle among its “Best Value Colleges” in America. Colleges that add the most value: In 2016, Money magazine, ranked La Salle fifth on the list of USA colleges adding the most value to the lives of their graduates.
· A highly-rated Business School: For the first time in the university’s history, La Salle’s School of Business was included in The Princeton Review’s Best Business Schools listing. The Princeton Review – well-known for its college rankings in dozens of categories – surveyed 25,000 students nationwide.
• Success of MBA Grads: The Master of Business Administration program at La Salle University’s School of Business has the fourth highest employment rate in the nation, according to a new report from U.S. News and World Report. Among the 131 MBA university programs considered for the study, La Salle’s employment rate for graduates three months after graduation is 96.4 percent.
• Student-Athletes excelling in the classroom: La Salle has 25 NCAA Division I sports and its student athletes have an 88 percent graduation rate, which is well above the national average. In the spring semester of 2017, 124 La Salle student athletes were named as Atlantic Conference scholars (having a 3.5 or better academic index out of a possible 4.0).
The legacy of Jean Baptiste de La Salle (proclaimed as the patron saint of all teachers worldwide by the Catholic Church in 1950) continues to shine brightly worldwide and at Philadelphia’s La Salle University, which with 57,000 graduates, including the mayor of Philadelphia, reflects the Lasallian dream so very well.