Sacred Heart University (SHU) was founded by the Most Reverend Walter W. Curtis in 1963. It is the second-largest Catholic University in New England, and is listed in The Princeton Review’s “Best 373 Colleges: 2011” and “Best 300 Business Schools: 2011” articles. The University was founded with the mission of serving the community of Bridgeport, Connecticut through quality higher education tempered by Catholic morality.
Bishop Walter Curtis believed in innovating Catholic higher education, and so founded SHU as the first Catholic university in the United States that was staffed by lay people. Bishop Curtis recognized their ability to lead the institution into a modern future.
The University later grew to offer on-campus residences and many degree programs, including two doctoral programs in Physical Therapy and Nursing. Today, SHU serves over 6,000 students across five colleges and boasts Division I athletic teams and a state-of-the-art Health and Recreation Center.
SHU continues to stay true to its Catholic origins with projects like the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, completed in 2009, which is featured prominently in the center of campus and serves as a religious hub for students. The University has also been noted for its Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding, which seeks to build a foundation of mutual respect and collaborative learning to help overcome the long-standing animosity between the two religions.