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Our Foundation: Then and Now

Preserving our faith-based legacy is a high priority. To do that, we must define that legacy, tend to it, and extend it throughout its facilities. This is necessary to remain faithful to the founding principles.

  

June 16, 1819 -Jean Marie de la Mennais, vicar of Saint-Brieuc, and Gabriel Deshayes, pastor at Auray and vicar general of Vannes, formed the Brothers of Christian Instruction by signing a treaty uniting their efforts to educate the working class in impoverished France. They vowed to carry the message of the gospel and the rudiments of knowledge to every child in need throughout the region and received Catholic papal approval in 1890. The congregation of the Brothers of Christian Instruction grew rapidly, soon extending their mission into Bulgaria, Turkey, Egypt, Spain, England, Canada, and The United States. When the policies of the French government resulted in the Brothers' expulsion, their apostolic zeal led them to Canada in 1886.

1886 - When the policies of the French government resulted in the Brothers' expulsion, their apostolic zeal led them to Canada.

1890 - The Brothers received papal approval and vowed to carry the message of the gospel and the rudiments of knowledge to every child in need throughout the region. The congregation of the Brothers of Christian Instruction grew rapidly, soon extending their mission into Bulgaria, Turkey, Egypt, Spain, England, Canada, and the United States.

1951 -The Brothers of Christian Instruction established La Mennais College in Alfred, Maine, with the purpose of instructing young men to become brothers and teachers. Brother Thomas Farrell is appointed the new president of the college.

1957 -Brother Francoeur, who was the academic dean of La Mennais College to Monsignor William Hughes, principal of Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, commented at a summer course at Notre Dame that the Brothers were looking for a new location for La Mennais. Hughes mentioned the Youngstown Diocese as a possible location.

1958 - The Brothers of Christian Instruction obtained from His Excellency, the Most Reverend Emmet Walsh, Bishop of Youngstown, permission to open a liberal arts college for men in the Canton area, and is affiliated with Catholic University of America. Walsh invited the Brothers to settle in the Youngstown Diocese. When the Brothers found that the name they had chosen for their new college, Canton College, was already in use, they decided to name their new college for the man who gave them assistance in settling in this community. The bishop gave the brothers a gift of $350,000 toward the construction of the new college.

November 17, 1960 -The Brothers open their new college in North Canton, Ohio. La Mennais College in Alfred, Maine, became Walsh College in North Canton, Ohio. Sixty-seven gentlemen were admitted to the school.

1961 - First issue of Walsh's student newspaper is released and called "The Spectator." The paper lives on today.

1962 - Women attend Walsh under a program operated by the Diocese to train lay teachers for elementary schools of the diocese - taught by the Ursuline sisters and Walsh faculty. By 1967, Walsh officially becomes co-ed. The college announces the start of intercollegiate sports programs. "Cavaliers" is accepted as the official nickname of Walsh athletics teams.

1964 - The first commencement is held with 47 graduates. Most Reverend Emmet W. Walsh, Bishop of Youngstown Diocese receives honorary degree. New Walsh College Alumni Association forms.

1965 - Ground is broken on the first residence hall (Menard Hall), which will house 208 residents.

1967 -Walsh College officially becomes a co-ed institution. The Rannou Campus Center opens, named for Elisee Rannou, superior general of the Brothers of Christian Instruction.

1968 -Alexis Hall opens to students living on campus. It was named for founding Walsh faculty member Brother Alexis Guilbault.

1969 - Enrollment surpasses 1,000 for the first time.

1970 - Walsh is granted full 10-year accreditation by North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. Thirty women become residents of Menard Hall - the first female students allowed to live on campus.

1971 - The PE Building is completed, offering athletic facilities for Walsh students.

1972 -The science building (Don and Ida Betzler Social and Behavioral Science Center) is completed.

1981 - The first graduate program is established offering an M.A. in counseling.

1987 -The Brother Edmond Drouin Library is completed.

1990 -The Hannon Child Development Center is completed.

1995 -Walsh opens a satellite campus in Akron for its IDEAL Program, an accelerated degree program for working adults (currently known as the SPS - School for Professional Studies). That same year, Lemmon Hall is completed, becoming Walsh's third dormitory.

1998 -Walsh Women's Basketball wins the NAIA National Championship.

1999 -SPS Medina Campus opens, as does Brauchler Hall, Walsh's first apartment-style residence hall.

2000 -Meier Hall opens, becoming the second apartment-style residence hall. The Aultman Health Center opens housing for the Division of Nursing.

2001 - The Paul and Carol David Family Campus Center is completed providing students with a bookstore, cafeteria, coffee shop and recreation center.

2002 - Stein Hall opens, becoming the third apartment-style facility comprising the University Apartments.

2004 -Wilkof Towers opens becoming the seventh residence hall. Walsh also opens an SPS campus in Canfield, Ohio.

2005 -The Timken Natural Sciences Center opens on the east quad to house the Division of Math & Sciences. The Men's Basketball team wins the NAIA National Championship. Walsh acquires Hoover Park and the Hoover Historical Center, adding 30 acres of grounds, gathering space, five buildings and tennis courts to campus.

2006 - The first freestanding chapel, Our Lady of Perpetual Help opens, named after the patroness of the Brothers of Christian Instruction. Walsh launches its first doctorate program - a Doctorate of Physical Therapy.

2007 -Walsh celebrates its eighth straight record-setting enrollment, bringing total enrollment to more than 2,500. Walsh's eighth residence hall, Fred Olivieri Family Towers, opens adjacent to Wilkof Towers. The University launches two global learning programs - in Uganda and Italy - and opens a campus in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, near Rome. A new Museum Studies program is also launched, the only program of its kind in the Midwest.

2008 -Walsh announces its first School of Business. The University also formally dedicates the Gaetano M. Cecchini Health and Wellness Complex, which includes the new Klekotka Tennis Complex, Milazo Soccer Field and track, and VascoSports Athletic Field located on the north quad.

2009 -Walsh opens a new campus sports center adjacent to the Cecchini Health and Wellness Complex.

2010 -The School of Business is formally dedicated as The DeVille School of Business.

2011 - Walsh launches two graduate nursing programs - a Master of Science in Nursing and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. The Division of Nursing is developed into the School of Nursing, becoming the University's second comprehensive school.

2012- The Birk Center for the Arts opens, providing additional classroom and office space as well as a rehearsal hall for the choir and band, additional storage space for instruments, and a visual arts studio.

 

Symbolism

Brothers of Christian Instruction Coat-of-Arms

  • The upper half features a cross, bracketed by the initials D and S, which constitutes the traditional emblem of the Congregation. The D.S. stands for "Dieu Seul", in English "For God Alone."
  • Above the cross, a radiant star symbolizes the Brothers' mission to spread the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ. The bottom half recalls the origins of the Congregation.
  • The section with the golden chevron, the ears of wheat and the silver anchor refers to the la Mennais family. Pierre Louis Robert, a ship owner and importer, had generously supplied wheat and other cereals to the people of Brittany at a time of near-famine, thus earning letters of nobility entitling him to add the title de la Mennais to his surname.
  • A silver field dotted with ermines, is taken from the emblem of Brittany, where the Congregation was founded.
  • Encompassing the escutcheon is a rosary, which signifies the devotion of the Brothers to Mary, their Mother, and patroness of the Congregation. The official title of the Congregation is given on the border between the rosary and the cartouche.
  • The olive branches suggest the spirit of peace and charity animating the Brothers in their mutual relations and in their dealings with others, especially their students. Below the armorial display is the Divine Master's admonition to his disciples, Let the Children Come to Me.

 

Walsh University Crest

  • Large W for Walsh University.
  • A cross, bracketed by the initials D and S, constitutes the traditional emblem of the Brothers of Christian Instruction.
  • The crest is a Roman lamp with a red Chi-Rho indicating that each graduate is called by Christ to be a light of the world.
  • The Motto "Sed Deus Dat Incrementum" is from 1 Corinthians 3:7. The full text reads "Therefore, neither he that plants is anything, nor he that waters; but God that gives the increase." This expresses the thought that, although the faculty give all they can to educate, they know that the flowering of their seed is from the Almighty God.
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