A Brief Overview of What Happened

January 25, 2017: Email from SJC President Dr. Bob Pastoor calling the state of the College finances “dire.”

February 2-3, 2017: The Board of Trustees meets on campus to discuss options. The Board votes to “temporarily suspend operations.” The vote was not unanimous.


February 6, 2017: College leadership meets with students to discuss the vote and next steps. There were very few answers provided.


February 14, 2017: The SJC Alumni Association starts the “Involved for Life” campaign to raise $20 million by April 1. If the Association fails to meet the fundraising goal, money would be returned to all donors. The fundraiser generated more than $2.3 million, and all funds were returned as promised.


April 19, 2017: The Saint Joseph’s College Alumni Association, Inc. (SJCAAI) is founded. This organization is independent of the College and the CPPS. SJCAAI immediately announces plans for a fall homecoming event.


April 27, 2017: The final broadcast of WPUM radio. The station ended with Al Stewart's “Year of the Cat,” which was the first song ever played on the station when it first premiered in 1978.


May 6, 2017: Saint Joseph’s College celebrates the final graduating class.


May 13, 2017: Father Barry Fischer is appointed rector of the College, and shortly thereafter, on June 13, the Phoenix Team is announced. The Phoenix Team is charged with resurrecting SJC.

June 30, 2017: The Board of Trustees votes to voluntarily resign accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).


July 7, 2017: The Phoenix Team addresses the barricades that block most entrances to the campus.

August 14, 2017: The Phoenix Team announces plans for the “liquidation of assets.” The sale lasts for several months and includes an online auction of branded and alumni items during the month of September.


September 29, 2017: SJCAAI celebrates the first “new” homecoming at Brookside Park in Rensselaer. About 400 Pumas attended this new tradition. SJCAAI announces plans for a spring Little 500 and Alumni Village.


October 2017: The 24 lay members of the Board of Trustees resign.


November 13, 2017: The first new lay members of a new Board of Trustees are announced. Three lay people are named to the Board of Trustees as well as five representatives of the C.PP.S and the bishop.

April 28, 2018: The Phoenix Team, in a meeting with the SJCAAI, announces it is investigating partnerships with other institutions for two-year programs including Marian University. The Phoenix Team also announces a maintenance plan that includes a new "footprint" for campus. The new "footprint" includes: the Chapel, Core Building, Schwieterman Hall, Justin Hall, the apartments, the Athletic Complex (including the Scharf Fieldhouse, the rec center, and associated fields and structures), Drexel Hall, and McHale Hall.

May 18-20, 2018: SJCAAI hosts the inaugural off-campus Little 500 / Spring Homecoming weekend at the Jasper County Fairgrounds. While no race was held this year, several hundred Pumas attended, and several camped for the weekend.

June 9, 2018: The Phoenix Team hosts the inaugural "Purple Tie Dinner" to raise funds for campus renovations. The dinner, which featured Coach Mike Ditka as a guest speaker, raised $95,000, which was earmarked for renovations to Schwieterman Hall.

Summer 2018: The City of Rensselaer runs water to the Rensselaer campus, replacing a dated and failing system.

September 19, 2018: Saint Joseph’s College Board of Trustees announces it has reached an agreement with its lender on the debt. The specific terms of the agreement are confidential; however, Saint Joseph’s College will retain the Rensselaer Campus, Lake Banet, Drexel Hall and surrounding property where Saint Joseph’s began, and the Waugh Farm.

October 7, 2018: Mass was celebrated in the SJC Chapel for the first time in more than a year. The Phoenix Team also opened campus for guests to walk around until 1 p.m.

October 10, 2018: The Phoenix Team announces a collaboration with Marian University when the latter opens its previously announced two-year college in Indianapolis. The two-year program will be called Saint Joseph's College of Marian University-Indianapolis. Per the terms of the agreement, Saint Joseph’s College will provide $1.5 million in scholarships, to be paid over 10 years, for students who attend the new two-year college. These scholarships will primarily be funded from donations already made to Saint Joseph’s College to support deserving students.

The Saint Joseph’s College Alumni Association, Inc., an independent 501(c)(3) organization, is dedicated to keeping alumni connected – and the spirit of SJC alive. Stay updated via the Involved For Life Facebook page or this website.

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Email : pumas@involvedforlife.net

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Rensselaer, Indiana 47978


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