Stephen A. Douglas Symposium

About SXU and the Stephen A. Douglas Association

Saint Xavier University was founded in Chicago by the Sisters of Mercy in 1846. The city's oldest Catholic University, it now serves approximately 4,300 students on the southwest side of the greater Chicago metropolitan area, offering 43 undergraduate majors and several dozen graduate programs. Its schools of nursing and education are among the five largest in Illinois, and about 175,000 school children each day are taught by Saint Xavier University graduates. The University is committed to serving a diverse range of first-generation college students and lower income populations. Almost 70% of its students are first-generation, over 41% come from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds, and more than 51% have a high financial need. Inspired by its Catholic identity and Mercy heritage, it educates students to search for truth, think critically, communicate effectively, and serve wisely and compassionately in support of human dignity and the common good.

The Stephen A. Douglas Association was founded on April 23, 1975, by Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley and his friend Ralph Newman, president of the Chicago Library Board of Directors. Newman became the Association's first president, and Daley became its first member. Since that time, the organization has commemorated the life and legacy of Stephen Arnold Douglas, who was a resident of Chicago for 14 years and is buried at the eastern edge of 35th Street in the soil of his former estate, Oakenwald. The organization holds an annual luncheon on the anniversary of Douglas' death, maintains a website that contributes to knowledge of Douglas, conducts an annual essay contest for high school students, supports maintenance of the tomb site, and works with other organizations to promote knowledge of local, state and national history.