St. Edward’s University (SEU) is a private university in Austin, Texas. The university was founded by Reverend Edward Sorin in 1878. It is named after patron saint Edward the Confessor and King. The university is affiliated with the Congregation of Holy Cross in Austin.
The campus is located on a hill just south of Lady Bird Lake within the Austin city limits. It is known for its white limestone buildings built in the Gothic Revival style. The university also has a satellite campus in Angers, France, in conjunction with the Catholic University of the West. Today, more than 5,300 students attend SEU.
SEU has been recognized for academic excellence by both US News and World Report and Forbes.
Students may choose from over 50 study tracks in five schools, including Education, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Management and Business. There are also 11 master’s degree programs available. Some of the newer programs include forensic chemistry, bioinformatics, criminology, computer information systems, and project management.
Most Popular Fields of Study
SEU is remarkable for its contract with the Actors’ Equity Association, allowing students in the Theater Arts program to join the Association after completing the requirements of a membership candidate program.
Admissions to SEU are competitive. In addition to students with strong academic credentials, the admissions team looks for candidates who are a good personal fit for the institution and are enthusiastic about collaborative learning. The average SAT score for incoming students is around 1125 and the average ACT score is 24.
In addition to the wide range of state and federal financial aid options available to college and university students in Texas, SEU offers several of its own need- and merit-based scholarships. Students with strong test scores and GPAs qualify for the Guaranteed President’s Excellence Scholarship. Full tuition is available to winners of the Moreau Scholarship—to qualify, students must graduate from a Holy Cross High School in the top 10% of their class with an ACT score of 28 or higher and demonstrate significant leadership and community service.
Student Financial Aid Details
Students come to SEU from most states and dozens of countries around the world. While largely Catholic, the student body includes a diverse group of people from many backgrounds and faiths.
Living on Campus
About a fourth of students live on campus. There are seven traditional dormitories and two apartment complexes. These include Basil Moreau Hall, Jacques Duarie Hall, Teresa Hall, Hunt Hall, LeMans Hall, and Lady Bird Johnson Hall. The apartments are Hilltopper Heights Apartments and Mayhill Apartments.
Dining options include Hunt Hall Café, a semi-traditional dining hall featuring naturally raised meats and local produce; The Huddle, a Tex-Mex casual dining establishment; South Congress Market, a global café with Asian and Italian specialties; and two coffeehouses, Meadows Coffeehouse and Doyle Café.
Clubs and Organizations
There are more than 90 student organizations on the SEU campuses to meet the personal and professional interests of a wide range of students. The Student Government Association is the voice of the student body in administrative and other public matters. The student newspaper, Hilltop Views, is published every Wednesday during the school year.
The Student Services office offers a wide range of support services to assist students in academic success. These services include academic counselling, career counselling, employment placement services, personal counselling, testing services, and disability services.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The athletic department at SEU is known as the Hilltoppers. The Hilltoppers compete in NCAA Division II and the Heartland Conference. Men’s teams include baseball, basketball, golf, and tennis. Women’s teams include softball, basketball, golf, tennis, and volleyball. The Hilltoppers are supported by the university’s spirit group, the HillRaisers. Mascots are a ram named Topper and a goat named Pax. A live goat is often in attendance at games.
In addition to NCAA varsity sports, the Hilltoppers also have teams in rowing, rugby, lacrosse, cross country, soccer, dance team, ving tsun, ultimate Frisbee, and running. For recreational athletes, the college offers an intramural program through the Fitness Center including basketball, racquetball, flag football, dodgeball, kickball, and volleyball. Students have free access to cardiovascular equipment, weightlifting equipment, an Olympic-sized pool, and fitness classes including Zumba, yoga, kickboxing, and more.
Perhaps the most unique tradition at SEU is the rubbing of the nose of a fresco plaque of Father Paul Foik, just outside the library. It is said that rubbing the nose brings good luck on tests. As a result, Father Foik has a shiny nose in the middle of a dark brown background!
Wearing of the Crest
Sporting the university crest is another proud tradition among students demonstrating “Hilltopper Spirit”. The symbolism of the seal accurately portrays the values of the institution, as demonstrated here:
- Shield = Our homeland, the United States
- Cross = Christianity
- Anchor = Taken from the seal of the Congregation of Holy Cross, the founders of St. Edward’s
- Mace = St. Edward, King and Confessor; our patron for whom the university is named
- Wavy Lines = Colorado River, which runs through Austin
- Lone Star = State of Texas
- Heart Shot with Arrows = Love and learning
Well-known alumni include:
- Daughter of President Lyndon Johnson Luci Baines Johnson
- Actress Teri McMinn
- Major League ball player Bill Killefer
- Reality television star Justin Gardiner
- Bolivian President Jorge Quiroga
- NBA player Taj McWilliams
- Actor Tim Russ
- Composer Silvestre Revueltas
- Author Charles M. Robinson II
- Painter Fermin Revueltas Sanchez
- Bishop of Corpus Christi, Monsignor William Mulvey
- Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad
- Former US federal judge George Edward Cire
- Campus Living. Campus Life. Saint Edwards University. Web. 25 Sept 2011.
- Dining. Campus Life. Saint Edwards University. Web. 25 Sept 2011.
- Fiske, Edward B. Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011. Chicago: Sourcebooks, 2010. Print.
- Pope, Loren. Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That’s Right for You. New York: Penguin. 2007. Print.
- Requirements. New Freshmen. Saint Edwards University. Web. 25 Sept 2011.
- Scholarships. Admissions. Saint Edwards University. Web. 25 Sept 2011.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.