Cristo Rey Network Announces Newest Round of University Partners

Chicago, IL – January 24, 2012 – The Cristo Rey Network announced its newest round of University Partners today in keeping with its steadfast commitment that all Cristo Rey Network graduates have access to the academic, social, and financial supports they need to complete a college degree. The Network’s University Partner Initiative has doubled in size since its launch in 2009 when the Network formalized strategic relationships with 21 colleges and universities. The Cristo Rey Network welcomes 21 National Partners and 19 Supporting Partners to the initiative for 2011-2012.

Robert Birdsell, CEO & President of the Cristo Rey Network, commented, “We are excited by the growing number of universities that want to partner with us to ensure that thousands of Cristo Rey Network graduates have access to a high quality college experience.”

University Partners have demonstrated their long term commitment to supporting Cristo Rey Network graduates, schools, and the national Cristo Rey Network movement in a number of ways. Partners have expressed their support through new scholarship programs, professional development opportunities, pre-college summer enrichment programs, and corporate work study job sponsorship, just to list a few examples.

National Partners include both public and private universities from across the country.  Nine new institutions are joining this leading group to support professional development for Cristo Rey Network college counselors and to lead new programs that support Cristo Rey Network graduates’ success in college.

Likewise, nine new institutions have signed on as Supporting Partners this year.  These institutions are committed to supporting the national Cristo Rey movement through special efforts to recruit, enroll, and support Cristo Rey Network graduates to and through college.

“This initiative has created clear pathways to a college degree for Cristo Rey Network graduates at many outstanding universities.  It is a huge blessing to our work,” observed John Foley, SJ, Chief Mission Officer and Chair Emeritus of the Cristo Rey Network.  “We are thrilled at all these institutions have to offer our graduates and that they have chosen to partner with us to break the cycle of poverty.”

Early successes of the initiative include:

  • Almost 500 Cristo Rey Network graduates enrolling at a partner institution over the last four years
  • Over 88% of students enrolled at a partner institution on track to graduate with a degree[1]
  • Over 300 hundred Cristo Rey Network high school students participating in a partner pre-college enrichment program

A complete list of all National and Supporting University partners can be found below along with the year they joined the initiative.

21 National University Partners

The Catholic University of America (2011), College of the Holy Cross (2009),

College of Saint Benedict (2009), DePaul University (2009), Franklin & Marshall College (2011), Georgetown University (2009), Loyola Marymount University (2010), Loyola University Chicago (2009), Loyola University Maryland (2011), John Carroll University (2011), Marquette University (2011), Saint John’s University (2009), Saint Joseph’s University (2011), Saint Mary’s College (2009), Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota (2011), Southern Illinois University – Carbondale (2011), St. Thomas University (2009), University of Dayton (2011), University of Missouri – School of Medicine (2011), Villanova University (2010), Xavier University (2010)

19 Supporting University Partners

Connecticut College (2011), Creighton University (2009), Dominican University (2009), Fairfield University (2009), Fordham University (2009), Providence College (2011), Regis University (2011), Rockhurst University (2010), Saint Peter’s College (2009), Santa Clara University (2009), Saint Louis University (2011), Seattle University (2011), Stevenson University (2011), Stonehill College (2011), University of Saint Mary (2009), University of San Francisco (2009), University of St. Francis (2011), University of Scranton (2011), Wesleyan University (2009)

For more information on the University Partner Initiative, contact Chris Broughton (

[1] Percentage of students on track to graduate reflects the number of students persisting at a partner institution divided by the total number of students that have enrolled at the same partner institution.   Source: 2011 University Partner Reporting and 2012 National Student Clearinghouse Student Tracker Report

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