St. Francis College Announces New Campus in the Heart of Brooklyn

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New Downtown Brooklyn Campus Is the Foundation of a Collegewide Initiative to Elevate and Transform St. Francis College’s Academic Programs and Student Experience

St. Francis College today announced its plan to move to a newly designed and fully customized campus in downtown Brooklyn.

St. Francis College’s relocation to The Wheeler building at 181 Livingston St. is the foundation of the 162-year-old private Franciscan institution’s transformative new initiative, SFC Forward, which it undertook in early 2021. The new campus will open its doors to students in September 2022.

“We are excited about SFC Forward and our relocation,” said Denis J. Salamone ’75, Chair of the St. Francis College Board of Trustees. “This initiative will make us more competitive and ensure future generations of Terriers receive life-changing academic and student experiences affording them increased social mobility.”

Along with the move, St. Francis College is introducing a new slate of academic programs, specifically in disciplines that springboard students into jobs in growing career fields, and is expanding opportunities for remote and online learning. SFC Forward also deepens the College’s commitment to champion a diverse and inclusive community throughout its curricula, programming, hiring and more.

“For more than 160 years, St. Francis College has demonstrated a commitment to providing an unmatched private education in the heart of New York City,” said Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D., President of St. Francis College. “This is a historic moment to completely re-envision our campus and meet the needs of our community, and we are thrilled to continue offering a first-rate, affordable education in a modern, flexible and welcoming learning space.”

MODERN FACILITIES CUSTOMIZED FOR COLLABORATION AND EXCELLENCE

St. Francis College is customizing a new campus in The Wheeler, inspired by community engagement and innovative design that will meet the needs of its changing student body.

The College, which previously grew from a small campus on Butler Street to a series of interconnected buildings on Remsen Street, welcomed more than 2,700 students in fall 2020, including its largest first-year class ever. It anticipates more than 3,500 enrolled students by 2026.

The contemporary facilities in The Wheeler were designed with input from faculty, staff, students and alumni to prioritize collaboration and community. They feature:

  • A dedicated, marked entrance on Livingston Street and lobby welcoming students and faculty to St. Francis College
  • Flexible labs and classrooms with built-in technology that accommodate a range of teaching styles and class structures
  • A 300-seat auditorium
  • A 260-seat cafeteria with servery and kitchen
  • A 32-seat tiered screening room
  • A 6,600-square-foot library with study and research spaces
  • A private outdoor terrace and access to a roof deck with views of the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, Lower Manhattan and New York Harbor
  • Two art gallery spaces
  • Gathering spaces for students to work together, study and relax

St. Francis College’s new campus will occupy about 255,000 square feet across the fifth, sixth and seventh floors at 181 Livingston St. and will include more than 2,600 square feet of programmable outdoor space.

The Wheeler is a recently completed 10-story tower above the landmark art deco Macy’s department store and located in one of New York City’s densest subway service areas, with 12 subway lines within a five-minute walk.

St. Francis College’s athletics program—with its 21 Division I teams—will continue without interruption and are a part of SFC Forward’s vision. While the new campus does not include a gym or pool on site, the College is developing partnerships with nearby institutions to share indoor spaces for practice sessions and competitions. St. Francis College will continue to use various off-site playing fields and other spaces for its outdoor sports.

NEW ACADEMIC STRUCTURE OFFERING FLEXIBILITY, NEW OPPORTUNITIES IN EMERGING FIELDS

The campus move complements the recent work to strengthen and expand St. Francis College’s educational programming that anticipates the 21st-century global job market.

“Our students deserve nothing less than an education that meets the demands of the 21st-century economy,” said Jennifer Lancaster, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean. “SFC Forward ensures that we are immersing our students in global perspectives and learning experiences, expanding into emerging fields, and reinforcing students as critical thinkers, leaders and lifelong learners.”

Under SFC Forward, the College is offering four new master of science degrees—in exercise & sport science, special education, sports management and public health—and will introduce new undergraduate programs offering global perspectives in disciplines that prepare students for burgeoning in-demand career fields.

Flexibility for students is also key to the College’s forward-thinking approach to its academics. St. Francis College is expanding opportunities for students to learn remotely, relying on the latest technology and online instruction techniques available to deliver an expanding roster of online classes and co-curricular events.

The new campus incorporates innovative technology into its facilities, and SFC’s Online Faculty Training Certification and newly launched Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (the CAFE) ensure faculty members master best practices to develop engaging course content and promote student and instructor interaction, in both online and face-to-face instruction.

AFFIRMING FRANCISCAN VALUES THAT DEEPEN SFC’S COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSIVITY

In keeping with the College’s foundational values, SFC Forward strives to be a beacon for all that lives up to its commitment of diversity, equity and inclusion.

“We are incredibly proud that the St. Francis College community increasingly reflects the rich diversity of this city and of our world,” said Monique Moore Pryor, Chief Engagement and External Affairs Officer. “Through an academic curriculum attuned to diverse voices, recruitment and retention of the very best employees of different backgrounds, and ongoing programming that promotes open dialogue, the College will continue to champion and grow our inclusivity with intent and thoughtfulness.”

In addition to its new academic program’s increased flexibility that acknowledges and adapts to nontraditional students, St. Francis College has increased its investment in initiatives that prepare students from historically underrepresented populations to support their social mobility.

Self-identified Black and Hispanic students continue to make up the majority of St. Francis College’s student body. In 2020, 24 percent of the student population identified as Black, and 28 percent as Hispanic. Ten percent of the student body consists of international students, with enrollees coming from Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Serbia, Albania, Spain and more than 70 other countries.

With a renewed focus on recruiting and supporting our increasingly diverse staff and faculty, the College is also currently developing a new strategic plan with leadership from both its Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer and its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Steering Committee.

SFC FORWARD AND THE COLLEGE’S NEW CAMPUS IS CELEBRATED BY COLLEGE, COMMUNITY AND BUSINESS LEADERS AND ELECTED OFFICIALS:

"I congratulate St. Francis College on its new home in Downtown Brooklyn. For years, SFC has provided top-notch educational opportunities to students from Brooklyn and beyond, helping to set them up for a lifetime of success. I am pleased to be able to commit funding to support the fit out of this new 21st century space, in order to allow the college's expanded academic offerings in a variety of burgeoning fields. This move underscores that the future of higher education in our borough and our city is bright.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

"For more than 160 years, St. Francis College has been committed to advancing knowledge and excellence in the Brooklyn community and educating young leaders to meet the challenges of the day. I look forward to welcoming the college into New York's 8th Congressional District."
United States Congress Member Hakeem Jeffries

“St. Francis College has propelled social mobility and created an excellent academic environment for students seeking to take advantage of all the opportunities New York City has to offer for more than 160 years. I am excited for all that is in store for the College and its future students at their new campus in Brooklyn.”
New York State Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon

“In the wake of a year of immense change, we celebrate St. Francis College for their forward-thinking and innovative endeavors to continue elevating their exceptional academic institution. Congratulations to St. Francis College on their new campus and to President Miguel Martinez-Saenz for his strategic vision for the future of the College.”
New York City Council Member Steve Levin

“As we look toward a robust recovery from the darkest days of the pandemic, we are pleased to welcome St. Francis College to their new campus in downtown Brooklyn, where they will continue to change students’ lives and foster critical thinking and commitment to community.”
Randy Peers, President of Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce

“The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership is thrilled to welcome St. Francis College to their new home in the heart of downtown Brooklyn. We are committed to elevating Brooklyn as a world-class business, cultural, educational, residential and retail destination, and St. Francis College’s new campus will stand out as an exceptional institution of higher education.”
Regina Myer, President of Downtown Brooklyn Partnership

“St. Francis is a long-time pillar of the Brooklyn community. We are thrilled to be their partner in this new chapter. With its seamless blend of old and new construction, The Wheeler speaks to both St. Francis' history in the neighborhood, as well as its commitment to modern education.”
Rob Speyer, CEO of Tishman Speyer

“We are delighted to have represented an institution so deeply rooted in Brooklyn like St. Francis College. This is such a significant moment in SFC’s history, and the transaction is also great for the Brooklyn real estate market as a whole. After an extensive process, our team was able to find a solution to meet the College’s financial, operational and qualitative needs, while achieving the appropriate balance between location, economics and timing. SFC’s new campus at The Wheeler will position them for continued success for generations to come.”
Patrick J. Dugan ‘01, Executive Director of Cushman & Wakefield

“St. Francis College’s new campus is an exciting and important next step for the College. Our new home is a prudent, long-term investment in the academic and financial future of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and surrounding community."
Maureen Lawrence, SFC Chief Financial Officer

“A new state-of-the-art campus assures that the College continues to provide a contemporary education, providing students world-class skills and competencies within the Franciscan tradition.”
Larry Marsiello ’72, Trustee and Chair of SFC Development and College Relations Committee

“We are extremely proud that St. Francis College will continue to support our robust 21 NCAA Division I athletic programs. The Athletics Department at St. Francis has been rooted deeply in the College's tradition and will continue to be a pillar of our institution and community through this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. St. Francis College is entering a new chapter, one that will meet the needs of our growing student body. The commitment to upgraded facilities and refreshed programming is a meaningful investment for our student-athletes and the entire College community. As an Athletics Department, we have and always will be stronger together. We are excited to display our storied history and tradition as we continue to represent St. Francis College and Brooklyn and collectively move SFC Forward.”
Irma Garcia '80, SFC Director of Athletics

“Our St. Francis College family has made Remsen Street a beloved home for 60 years. We carry our Franciscan traditions and values, and grow the legacy that the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn entrusted to us to our new home, where we will continue to recognize and celebrate all the women and men of St. Francis College who built and continue to build this institution, its mission and impact. We are all Driven by Dreams and inspired by the generosity of our believers.”
Thomas Flood, SFC Vice President for Advancement

“We applaud the College’s decision to deepen its commitment to the student body and create a new home for generations of Terriers to come. The legacy of St. Francis College and all of the experiences and opportunities it offered us will live on to foster our ever-growing community.”
Dyanne Rosado ’95, President of SFC Alumni Association

“I am energized by St. Francis College's exciting opportunity to move our home, which will uniquely position the College to continue serving a diverse population of students in an authentic way.”
Joe Acciarito ’12, Vice President of SFC Alumni Association

ABOUT ST. FRANCIS COLLEGE

St. Francis College, for more than 160 years, has provided a diverse student body, from Brooklyn and around the world, an affordable private college education rooted in Franciscan values of inclusivity and respect of all people. Located in the heart of Brooklyn – minutes from Wall Street, world-class cultural institutions and leading entrepreneurial hubs – St. Francis College offers more than 70 undergraduate majors and four master's degree programs that inspire lifelong learning and prepare students for fulfilling careers in the 21st-century global economy.

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Leah Schmerl
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