More than 200 new and returning students registered for fall 2014 classes

August 19, 2014

Benedictine University at Mesa students walk the halls of Gillett Hall               Mesa, Arizona ~ Benedictine University at Mesa continues to make a private, values-based education a reality for students in the East Valley and beyond.

In one week, the University’s Mesa branch campus will be bustling with more than 200 students attending classes, meeting with faculty and staff, and renewing and making new friendships in the fall academic semester.

Enrollment at Benedictine University at Mesa has more than doubled since the school opened its doors in fall 2013. One of the reasons for the strong enrollment increase is the University’s commitment to making higher education affordable and attainable by providing as much financial assistance as possible to those in need so that a private, Catholic education can become a reality for them.

The University offers generous merit- and need-based scholarships and recently established the Benedictine Promise Award – a $10,000 tuition award applied during the second semester of students’ senior year.

All freshmen and sophomore students who enroll for the Fall 2014 Semester will automatically participate in the award program.

“Many of our students are first-generation college students, so we understand this is not only a new experience for the students but also their families,” said Nancy West Stoecker, vice president for operations of the Mesa branch campus. “We want to give them every opportunity to succeed.

“This means not only providing financial support, but emotional and spiritual guidance and challenging academics that will prepare them to be tomorrow’s leaders,” she added.

Returning students agree that the financial assistance provided by Benedictine makes the University affordable, but it is not the only reason why they feel the University is the right fit for them.

“The main thing that sticks out to me is how we’re starting from the ground up, and being able to go to a school where I can play a part in creating a legacy and forming some of the traditions for future students is something that really got me interested,” said Alonzo Gonzalez, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and Organizational Behavior.

“I thought I couldn’t afford a private education,” he added. “With the economy down, I had to pay for my own education, and there wasn’t really a private school that was willing to help you as much as Benedictine. There are a lot of scholarships available, and once I got the scholarship through the Jo Wilson Leadership Institute, they still didn’t stop there. They showed me opportunities where I could sign up for more scholarships – and not just school scholarships – scholarships outside of Benedictine that applied to me that I could qualify for.”

Gonzalez and fellow student Laura Sanchez, a Communications Arts major, recently had the opportunity to explore Benedictine’s main campus in Lisle, Ill., through their participation in the Jo Wilson Leadership Institute – a University program that selects a group of high-achieving incoming students to participate in training aimed at creating community and social leaders.

“I really like that Benedictine came to Mesa,” Sanchez said. “It’s right there in the center of downtown, and it’s so neat because Benedictine welcomes many faiths, not just Catholics. Since this is a new campus, you get to build everything. You start your own clubs and identify and define the kind of environment you want to establish. It’s rare to have these opportunities.”

Many of the new students attending Benedictine University at Mesa are student-athletes. Benedictine enrolled three Arizona-area golfers – Ryan Witte, Justin Hyden and Ben Potter – who will help lead the inaugural season for the University’s men’s golf team.

Student-athletes will begin competing in men’s and women’s cross country, golf, tennis and volleyball this fall. Men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, softball and baseball are planned for the 2015-16 academic year. Benedictine University at Mesa has adopted “Redhawks” as the name of its sports teams.

Benedictine University at Mesa is a branch campus of Benedictine University, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and licensed by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education to operate an accredited, degree-granting institution of higher learning in Arizona.

Applications are still being accepted for fall 2014 classes. Classes began August 25.

For more information about Benedictine, please visit or Gillett Hall at 225 E. Main St. in downtown Mesa, or contact (602) 888-5533 or


Benedictine University at Mesa is a branch campus of Benedictine University, an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine is ranked No. 1 among the country’s fastest-growing campuses between 2002-2012 in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of private nonprofit doctoral institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among “America’s Top Colleges” for the fourth consecutive year in 2014. Education and technology blog edcetera named Benedictine University at Mesa among 10 universities in the nation on the cutting edge of tech for 2013.

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