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Saint Xavier University (pronounced ZAY-vier) was founded in Chicago by the Sisters of Mercy in 1846, holding the distinctions of being Chicago's first Catholic university as well as the first Mercy institution of higher learning in the United States. Initially serving as a higher education institution for women and the poor, today the four-year, private Catholic institution serves a diverse population of persons who seek a Mercy education that prepares them to become successful, productive and compassionate members of society.

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 SXU Nursing Student



Mission and Values

Saint Xavier University, a Catholic institution inspired by the heritage of the Sisters of Mercy, educates persons to search for truth, to think critically, to communicate effectively and to serve wisely and compassionately in support of human dignity and the common good.

  • Mission Statement
  • Philosophy Statement
  • Core Values

    Quick Facts

    • affordability graphic 
      Most Affordable

      Catholic University in Illinois

      Net Cost of Attendance
      Federal Website:

    • TOP
      The Best for Diversity

      Crain's Chicago Business
      (May 2016)

      Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs

      U.S. News & World Report (2020)

    • 100%
      Employed Full-Time or Enrolled

      One hundred percent of our nursing grads are employed full-time or enrolled in graduate school


    Laurie M. Joyner, Ph.D., President

    Laurie M. Joyner, Ph.D., President

    Leadership and Vision

    Saint Xavier University embraces a shared leadership vision of faculty, staff and student empowerment. Shaped by the Office of the President and guided by the Board of Trustees, leadership is a collaborative effort.

    The faculty, staff and students also have opportunities to make their voices known in campus matters. Alumni are invited to share their views through the Alumni Board.


    History and Tradition

    Saint Xavier's heritage is rich in history and tradition that is grounded in Mercy spirit, with decades of achievements, accolades, mission-oriented service and community-centered stories.