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St. Gregory's University to suspend operations following fall semester

(KOKH/FILE)

St. Gregory's University will suspend operations following the end of the fall semester due to financial difficulties.

The university board of directors announced Nov. 8 that operations will be suspended at the end of the semester after the university was denied a loan application from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Fr. Don Wolf, chairman of the board, said the university is working to explore possible partnerships.

“Our main concern at this moment is for our students, staff, and faculty who will be profoundly impacted by this decision. The University is working with several colleges to facilitate student transfers in an attempt to minimize disruption in our students’ lives. Please keep them in your prayers,” Wolf said.

The university was established in 1875 and is based in Shawnee. The university says they are working to develop a plan for teach-out agreements and transfer opportunities. Dr. Michael Scaperlanda, president of the university, said his heart breaks for the students, staff and faculty.

"We will do everything possible to ease the transition as we work with other colleges to place our students. My heart also breaks at the suspension of Catholic liberal arts education in Oklahoma,” Scaperlanda said.

The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City released the following statement on the university's closure:

“Saint Gregory’s University has contributed to the Catholic community and to the people of Oklahoma for more than 100 years, providing our young people with a rich Catholic liberal arts education. It is a terrible loss to lose such an exceptional institution. My heart goes out to all of the students, faculty, staff and administration at such a time. I am thankful for the effort of President Michael Scaperlanda, the board of directors and university leaders for trying to bolster the university’s financial situation. As the administration works to assist students and their families, I hope these young men and women do not become discouraged as they seek to further their education. The entire Saint Gregory’s University community is in my prayers.”

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