DeSales Closes 50th Anniversary Year; Recruits Largest Freshman Class in History

by Tom McNamara | Jun 14, 2016

DeSales Campus Mall

DeSales Campus Mall 

As DeSales University closes its 50th Anniversary year, highlighted by special celebrations, including a lecture from Timothy Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York, another milestone was reached.

To date, DeSales has received 508 deposits for its 2016-17 freshman class, a 12 percent increase over the University’s previous record of 448 deposits.

The number does not include transfer students, which brings the total of new students to 560 for the upcoming academic year.

University administration credit a number of reasons for the record number, including faculty involvement in the recruitment and yield process, capital improvements, including new athletic fields and a new laboratory for criminal justice and psychology, creation of the Exploratory Studies program for undeclared students, and an expansion of marketing into previously untapped locations and media.

“It’s a lot of different things,” says Dr. Gerard Joyce, vice president of student life. “The enrollment staff engaged students to look further into being a member of the DSU community, and the student development staff introduced a tangible out-of-the classroom experience. Also, the facilities staff makes sure that the campus looks great everyday for visitors.”

Overall applications to the University increased 5 percent to more than 2,800.

When the school opened in 1965, 165 male students began classes that September and 9 majors were offered. Today, total enrollment, including ACCESS, the undergraduate adult evening program, and 8 graduate programs, is more than 3,100 students.

“When I think back to our humble beginnings—the open land where for the first few years only two buildings stood—I realize how far we’ve come with the support of all of our students, alumni, parents and the people of the Lehigh Valley,” said Fr. Bernard F. O’Connor, OSFS, president of DeSales University. “Five hundred students in our 50th year. God is good.”


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Tom McNamara
Executive Director of Communications
DeSales University
2255 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034

610.282.1100 x1219
Tom.McNamara@desales.edu