St. Viator College
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St. Viator College was a Catholic
liberal arts college A liberal arts college or liberal arts institution of higher education is a college A college (Latin: ''collegium'') is an educational institution or a University system, constituent part of one. A college may be a academic degree, degree-aw ...
in
Bourbonnais, Illinois Bourbonnais (pronounced or ) is a village in Kankakee County, Illinois Kankakee County is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chamb ...
. It is no longer in operation. Today, the site is home to
Olivet Nazarene University Olivet Nazarene University (ONU) is a private Nazarene university in Bourbonnais, Illinois Bourbonnais (pronounced or ) is a village in Kankakee County, Illinois Kankakee County is a county A county is a geographical region of a count ...
.


History

St. Viator's grew out of the original Bourbonnais, Illinois, Bourbonnais village school, founded in 1865 by the Viatorians, to an academy for boys with the help of Father P. Beaudoin and Brothers Martel and Bernard, and on 9/6/1868 to a four-year
liberal arts college A liberal arts college or liberal arts institution of higher education is a college A college (Latin: ''collegium'') is an educational institution or a University system, constituent part of one. A college may be a academic degree, degree-aw ...
with the aid of Father Thomas Roy. After nine years of work, Father Roy returned to his home in Canada, and was succeeded by Father M. J. Marsile, who oversaw the college for another 25 years. In 1906, several buildings were destroyed by fire, but courses continued in improvised quarters and new buildings were erected. Father Marsile afterward resigned, and Reverend John Patrick O'Mahoney C.S.V. was appointed president. Under financial pressure, it closed in 1939.


Campus

Roy Memorial Chapel was named for Father Thomas Roy, who served as president of the college. Marsile Alumni Hall was named in honour of Father M. J. Marsile, who was college president for 25 years. After St. Viator's closed in 1938, the campus was purchased by Olivet Nazarene College from Olivet, Illinois. Four buildings on the Olivet Nazarene campus are original from the days of St. Viator's 39-acre campus.


Academics

St. Viator College had a preparatory department and high school in addition to the college and seminary and, for most of its years, had an enrollment of over 300 students.


Student life

During its existence, St. Viator was the host of the Catholic State Basketball Tournament for Illinois. St. Viator College was a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1916 to 1938.


Notable persons

Many of the college's graduates were priests, but even more entered the professions of law and medicine. Notable alumni included John Tracy Ellis, Sam J. McAllister, Fulton J. Sheen, G. Raymond Sprague, Bernard James Sheil. and Joseph James Smith, youngest son of the notorious gangster and con artist Soapy Smith, "Soapy" Smith."Soapy's son James" ''Soapy Smith Soap Box'', May 8, 2010.
/ref> Graduates entering the entertainment field include Jack Berch, popular singer and personality on four networks during the old-time radio, Golden Age of Radio.


See also

*Clerics of St. Viator


Notes and references


External links


"PREPAREDNESS IN CATHOLIC SCHOOLS" by JOSEPH F. SMITH. ''New York Times'', August 26, 1917, Sunday. Section: Instruction, Page 68, 1338 words
{{DEFAULTSORT:Saint Viator College St. Viator College, Defunct Christian universities and colleges Educational institutions established in 1865 Defunct private universities and colleges in Illinois Educational institutions disestablished in 1939 Former Catholic universities and colleges in the United States Burned buildings and structures in the United States 1865 establishments in Illinois 1939 disestablishments in Illinois Catholic universities and colleges in Illinois Education in Kankakee County, Illinois