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Re-Imagining Duquesne’s Spiritan Legacy For A New Era


One hundred forty years ago a small band of visionary priests traveled from Europe to Pittsburgh on a mission - to found a small Catholic college to educate the families of recent immigrants working in the steel mills. Holding classes in rented space above a bakery on Wylie Avenue, the six Holy Ghost priests believed that a rigorous values-base education would provide otherwise unobtainable opportunities for their first group of 40 students. Over time, the priests built a world-class institution of higher education that grew in size and stature to become Duquesne University, educating the doctors, judges, financiers, journalists and other professionals who contributed to the rich tapestry of life in the Pittsburgh area and beyond.

We remain in awe of the Founders' commitment and perseverance. In recalling those modest beginnings, we need to consider what those Spiritan Founders would think of the institution to which they gave birth.

Ken Gormley, Duquesne's new president, poses this question: In what ways can Duquesne's strategic priorities reflect the spirit (and the Spirit) that animated founder Fr. Joseph Strub and his colleagues for a new era?

In this document, we set forth five strategic imperatives that align squarely with our heritage yet embrace the challenges of our ever-evolving world. In pursuing these strategic imperatives, Duquesne will advance for an exciting new era its historic mission of providing an education for the mind, the heart and the spirit.

Duquesne will identify bold pathways to offer students the knowledge and skills they will need for productive and fulfilling lives and careers in the 21st century

Five Strategic Imperatives

  1. Re-Imagine the Student Experience for 21st Century Success
  2. Become Flagship for Community Engagement
  3. Transcend Traditional Academic Boundaries
  4. Create a Vibrant Campus Community
  5. Encourage Entrepreneurial Spirit