CLAYTON, Mo. — Fontbonne University in Clayton, MO., announced on Monday, March 11, 2024, that it plans to close after the 2025 summer season.

The decision comes after years of dwindling enrollments. Washington University has agreed to purchase the 16-acre campus within the next two months.

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Fontbonne University President Dr. Nancy Blattner made this statement to students: “This difficult decision was not made lightly. Despite the best efforts of faculty, staff, administration and our faithful supporters, we have faced challenges, including more than 15 years of enrollment decline heading into the enrollment cliff, the impact of COVID, and many other financial struggles impacting small, private institutions like ours across the nation."

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet made this statement about the university closing:

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“Fontbonne’s steps during the closure process further demonstrate the values of the Sisters of St. Joseph. We are deeply grateful for the manner in which Fontbonne leadership, faculty and staff are working diligently to enable students to complete their degree requirements as the University prepares for closure.

"The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet know that the impacts of Fontbonne on the greater St. Louis area will continue to live on through each graduate, staff and faculty member and how each of them continues to live out the CSJ charism to serve the dear neighbor without distinction. We continue to offer prayers, support and our gratitude to the Fontbonne community as they navigate the next step.”

The school said it will not be admitting freshmen in the fall of 2024 but there will be classes through 2025.

All undergraduate students will get scholarships to cover tuition for the summers of 2024 and 2025, the school said.

The school plans to assist as many current students as possible to complete their degrees and graduate. Staff and faculty will remain employed until the university closes, the school said today.

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