Fontbonne University to Close Permanently in 2025

By Benjamin Cox on March 13, 2024 at 5:03am

Another 4-year liberal arts institution in the area has announced that it will close.

The Fontbonne University Board of Trustees has voted to declare financial exigency and cease operations of the school, located in Clayton, Missouri after the Summer 2025 term. After many years of declining enrollments and a shrinking endowment, the financial position of the university was determined to be unsustainable for the long term, according to the announcement made on Monday. The university will not admit a Fall 2024 class.

According to the announcement, Washington University has entered into a purchase agreement with Fontbonne University to acquire the 16-acre Clayton campus in the coming months. According to KSDK, Washington U officials said they have no definitive plans for the site.

Muddy River News reports that Quincy University is currently working out a plan to become a teach-out institution for students who wish to transfer. In email communication with WLDS News on Tuesday, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Evan Wilson says that Illinois College’s administration has reached out to Fontbonne’s administration with an offer to be a teach-out partner. Wilson says they hope to have additional information to share soon on a possible agreement.

The private Catholic liberal arts college has been in existence since 1923, first as a women’s college prior to going co-ed in the 1970s. According to a recent census, Fontbonne has just under 800 students. Fontbonne officials said on Monday that with the extended closure time, it will allow as many students as possible to complete their degree at Fontbonne or seek a transfer to a different institution.