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Benedictine University was founded in Chicago as St. Procopius College by the Benedictine monks of St. Procopius Abbey in 1887. It secured a charter from the state of Illinois in 1890. The College was founded to educate men of Czech and Slovak descent, and most students were of Czech ancestry in the early years.
In 1901 the College moved to the more congenial atmosphere of Lisle, in DuPage County. The first building, Benedictine Hall, was dedicated in September 1901. The building was completed by 1921 and new buildings began to be added after 1926. The College became coeducational in 1968 and was renamed Illinois Benedictine College in 1971. In response to community needs, graduate, doctorate and adult learner programs were added. The College became Benedictine University in 1996.
The Benedictine Order
The Benedictine Order bears the name of St. Benedict, born in 480, who is acknowledged as the father of Western monasticism. In 528 he established the famed monastery of Monte Cassino. In the Middle Ages, Benedictine monasteries expanded all over Europe, preserving ancient learning and written languages.
Benedictine University belongs to the Association of Benedictine Colleges and Universities, an organization that promotes the Benedictine traditions of education and hospitality.