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New cutting edge urban campus opens downtown for historic St. Francis College


September 23, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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On Thursday, leaders from Brooklyn and beyond joined the St. Francis College (SFC) community to celebrate the grand opening of the College’s new, state-of-the-art, custom-designed campus in Downtown Brooklyn.

Slideshow photos by Rebecca White

  • Jennifer Lancaster, PHD, Vice President for Academic Affairs at St. Francis College. Photo: Rebecca White

Yesterday, leaders from Brooklyn and beyond joined the St. Francis College (SFC) community to celebrate the grand opening of the College’s new, state-of-the-art, custom-designed campus in Downtown Brooklyn.
The thoughtfully designed contemporary space — featuring flexible labs and classrooms and the latest technology incorporated throughout — is an inspiring learning environment in which every person can thrive.

“We are honored to celebrate the grand opening of this incredible new campus with the community that we have been a part of for more than 160 years,” said Miguel Martinez-Saenz, President of St. Francis College. “St. Francis College is proudly committed to providing an unmatched values-based education in the heart of New York City, and our new campus deepens our ability to deliver on that promise to our students and neighbors. By opening the College’s doors to the leaders of tomorrow, we are excited to be part of the journey that will help students, their families and their communities thrive for generations to come.”

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“For more than 160 years, St. Francis College has helped connect young people in Brooklyn and across the five boroughs to greater opportunity,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “I was proud to support St. Francis during my time as Brooklyn Borough President, and I’m pleased that the city was able to partner with them to help facilitate this new state-of-the-art campus. The 21st-century facilities available at the College’s new home will ensure that more generations of students have the skills to compete for the jobs of the future, and the creativity needed to help solve the challenges facing our city. Congratulations to the entire St. Francis community.”

“We’re proud that Brooklyn is home to so many institutions of higher education, and we’re excited to be gaining another transformative, future-forward center for education with St. Francis’ new campus,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “This brand-new campus and its state-of-the-art resources will give students the tools to leave a long-lasting and positive mark on their communities, companies and governments. I’m so grateful to St. Francis for their commitment to quality education and to growing a diverse, dedicated student body right here in the best borough in the city.”

At the grand opening event, State Sen. Andrew Gounardes attended the ceremonies and presented the College with a major $225,000 appropriation to support SFC with its forward-facing technology platforms at the heart of the new 179 Livingston Street campus.

“Education is the path forward for millions of young New Yorkers every year, and I’m so proud to have earmarked $225,000 in capital funds this week for St. Francis College’s expanded new campus,” said State Sen. Gounardes. “The state-of-the-art facilities and technology will make a tremendous impact on the over 2,500 students, faculty and staff at St Francis. I look forward to seeing all that St. Francis students accomplish in their studies and in our great borough of Brooklyn.”

The contemporary campus has classrooms and labs with state-of-the-art technology and equipment, a 300-seat auditorium, a cafeteria, a private entrance, a dedicated lobby entrance and an outdoor terrace overlooking Downtown Brooklyn. In addition, the campus has more than 30 classrooms, eight science labs, a Nursing simulation lab, a Nursing Skills Lab, a FinTech Lab, a Maker Space, a Psychology Lab and three multi-use computer labs. Each of these dedicated spaces are equipped with enhanced technology to keep the College on the leading edge of new developments in the academic world.

The College’s new home, as of the Fall 2022 semester, is even more convenient via public transit, between the Hoyt Street and Jay Street subway stations as well as multiple bus stops, and will unlock opportunities in New York City beyond the campus for all of the College’s students, employees and visitors. The College also expects to serve as a major anchor in the economic development of the nearby Fulton Market neighborhood, with more than 2,500 students and hundreds of faculty and staff.

“Our students deserve an education that meets the demands of the 21st-century economy, and our new facility, programs and student learning experiences provide that and more,” said Jennifer Lancaster, Ph.D., Vice- President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean. “St. Francis College is bridging the higher education gap by providing a first-rate affordable education to students regardless of background, and we are already seeing this two weeks into the semester. Our students strive to become leaders-of-industries as they contribute to a more just, equitable society, and their SFC experience will propel them to achieve that dream.”

“St. Francis College has always been an incredible community committed to its students and their success, which is why I and so many fellow alumni are excited for its new chapter,” said Dyanne Rosado ʼ95, Alumni Association Board President. “I know current and future SFC graduates will value their time in this new home for SFC the same way we treasure the education and experiences we received during our time as students.”

“I initially joined the SFC community because of the accessibility and global-minded curriculum St. Francis College provides its students,” said junior Maryam Shuaib, Vice-President of Student Government. “The meaningful approach to our new home positions students at the heart of St. Francis College, which offers us the flexibility to dream, serve and achieve in our respective communities to the best of our abilities.”

The College’s move to a new campus is part of SFC Forward, the vision for the College’s future in the coming years. As part of SFC Forward, the College will continue to introduce new academic programs to springboard students into competitive and burgeoning industries, while also creating more opportunities for flexible and remote and hybrid learning. The strategic initiative also deepens the College’s commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout its curricula, programming, hiring and more.

Through this campus move and beyond, St. Francis College continues to fulfill its valued mission of providing an affordable higher education to working class and first-generation New Yorkers since 1859. Nearly 80% of the College’s students are from the five boroughs of New York City, although their diverse backgrounds represent approximately 80 countries. More than 50% of the College’s students are first generation college attendees. Approximately 24% of the College’s students identify as Black/African American and approximately 28% of students identify as Hispanic. Approximately 99% of the College’s students receive some form of financial aid, including but not limited to scholarships, grants, work study, and loans, making the College one of the most affordable private colleges in New York City.

The College aims to grow the community to more than 3,500 students by 2026.

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