Washington University to buy Fontbonne University’s campus 

| Editor-in-Chief

Washington University annouced they were buying Fontbonne’s campus, March 11 (Tyler Mathur | Student Life).

Washington University announced that it would purchase Fontbonne University’s campus, March 11. 

Fontbonne University announced in an online statement that it would not be admitting a new freshman class in the fall of 2024. Nancy Blattner, Fontbonne’s president, wrote that Fontbonne was unable to continue operations due to financial strain and a decreasing student population. 

“After many years of declining enrollments and a shrinking endowment, the financial position of the university is no longer able to be sustained for the long term,” Blattner wrote. “The university’s Board of Trustees voted to cease operations effective summer 2025. 

The private Catholic university has shown signs of stress in the past few years. At the beginning of the 2023-24 academic year, Fontbonne introduced a new sprint football program in an effort to boost enrollment. After the first season, however, half the team had dropped out. The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported that the school has experienced a 60% drop in enrollment in the past decade. 

The University wrote in its own online statement that it will buy Fontbonne’s 16-acre campus and lease it back to them “for a nominal amount as they wind down operations.” In a March 5 interview with Student Life, University Chancellor Andrew Martin answered “no” to a question about whether the University had any plans to buy Fontbonne’s campus. 

Julie Flory, Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications, said that at the time of the interview, the deal was not in place. 

In its statement, the University wrote that it did not have “any definite plans at this time for our potential use of the property.” 

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