Then and Now

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 on March 13, 1891.  

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

1891 - Received canonical approval from Pope Leo XIII, March 13, 1891 , 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.

1957 -Brother Francoeur, who was the academic dean of La Mennais College remarks to Monsignor William Hughes, principal of Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, 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, 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 $304,000 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. Walsh officially becomes co-ed.

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. Brother Thomas Farrell ends tenure as Walsh’s first President from 1960-1970.

1971 - The PE Building is completed, offering athletic facilities for Walsh students. Brother Robert Francoeur is named Walsh’s second President, serving until 1977.

1978 – Walsh appoints Br. Francis Blouin it’s third President, a position he will hold until 1992.

1980s – By invitation of Br. Francis, Walsh hosts five Nobel Peace Prize Laureates from 1982-1987 with Willy Brandt (1983), Adolpho Perez Esquival (1986), Elie Wiesel (1987), Coretta Scott King representing  her husband Martin Luther King, Jr., (1987) and a future saint, Mother Teresa (St. Teresa of Calcutta in 1982).

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.

1990s - In the early 1990s the Brothers of Christian Instruction relinquish control of the presidency, but retain leadership of the Board. Rev. Richard Mucowski serves as Walsh’s fourth President from 1992-1996.

1993 - Walsh College officially becomes Walsh University. The request was originally approved by trustees in October 1992 and implemented January 1, 1993. Walsh Cavalier athletic program expands to include football.

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. Walsh appoints Dr. Kenneth Hamilton as its fifth President from 1997-2001.

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- Richard Jusseaume '67 is named Walsh University’s sixth President, a position he will hold until 2019.

2002 - Stein Hall opens, becoming the third apartment-style facility comprising the University Apartments.The Paul and Carol David Family Campus Center opens in February 2002 providing students with a bookstore, cafeteria, coffee shop and recreation center.

2004 -Wilkof Towers opens becoming the seventh residence hall. Walsh also opens an SPS campus in Canfield, Ohio, in spring 2004. Walsh acquires Hoover Park and the Hoover Historical Center, adding 30 acres of grounds, gathering space, five buildings and tennis courts to campus in April 2004.

2005 -The Timken Natural Sciences Center opens in January on the east quad to house the Division of Math & Sciences. The Men's Basketball team wins the NAIA National Championship. Barrette Business and Community Center opens fall 2005.

2006 - The first freestanding chapel, Our Lady of Perpetual Help opens, named after the patroness of the Brothers of Christian Instruction. Walsh announces its first doctorate program for fall 2007 - 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 announces two global learning programs - in Uganda and Italy - and opens a campus in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, near Rome in May 2007. 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. The Father Matthew Herttna Counseling Center is dedicated in May 2009. 

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. On November 19, 2012, Walsh launches We Believe: The Campaign for Walsh University, a five-year comprehensive campaign designed to sustain Walsh’s founding mission and ensure the University’s relevance for generations to come.

2013- The Cavaliers become a full NCAA Division II member. Dedication of the Gary and Linda Byers School of Nursing. Pope Francis accepts card from Walsh students studying in Rome, Italy, in Dec. 

2014- Walsh establishes the new School of Arts and Sciences and new Division of Health Sciences.

2015- St. John Paul II Center for Science Innovation opens in January 2015. Dedication of the Biery Baseball Stadium and Tim Mead Field in May 2015.

2016 - Walsh launches a Master of Occupational Therapy program. Construction begins on the newest academic building, the Global Learning Center.

2017 - We Believe, the largest capital campaign in Walsh history, exceeds all goals and surpasses $30M Goal with the conclusion of five-year campaign.

2018 - The Marlene and Joe Toot Global Learning Center officially opens for classes on January 22, 2018, with a formal dedication for the community on February 9, 2018.  The University celebrates the Consecration of the GLC's Saint Teresa of Calcutta Chapel on February 2. 

2019 – Walsh names Dr. Tim Collins as the seventh President of the University in July 2019.

2020 - November 16, 2020, the University formally dedicates the new Founders Plaza in honor of the Brothers of Christian Instruction. Walsh University celebrates the Installation of its Seventh President Dr. Tim Collins on November 17, 2020.  

2020 - Due to the Order's dwindling number of vocations to the Congregation, the Brothers of Christian Instruction officially notified the Walsh Board of Directors that the F.I.C. will no longer maintain a presence on campus and sponsor Walsh University.

2021 - Effective February 3, 2021, Walsh University becomes an independent, Catholic University operating under the approval of the Local Ordinary for Youngstown, Ohio. Although no longer sponsors of the University, the F.I.C. intend to continue to inspire a growing spirit of their charism. Grounded in a shared Catholic faith, The Brothers of Christian Instruction remain an important part of the history and mission of Walsh University.



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.