Time Line of the University's History: 2000's

On December 12, 2002, Holy Family College received approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education for a change of status to University. Even though many of the events listed in the time line occurred prior to that date, the term “University” is used in most entries.



During the summer, Holy Family mourned the death of Sister Florianne Zacharewicz, CSFN, PhD, one of the University's founding sisters, who passed away on July 8th. In the meantime, the six academic divisions were reclassified as schools, and their heads assumed the title of “deans.” Sister Francesca appointed Dr. Gloria Kersey-Matusiak coordinator of diversity and a university-wide diversity committee was formed. On July 19th, Lambda Pi Eta, an international honor society for communication, was established. After months of self-study and an accreditation visit, Holy Family received notice in June that Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools had reaffirmed its accreditation.
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The new academic year was barely underway when, on Tuesday September 11th, all attention was riveted on televisions throughout the campus as everyone watched in shock and disbelief replays of terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, DC, and Shanksville, PA. It was a banner year for Holy Family athletics. Lady Tigers soccer coach Joe Mikolewicz was named “Coach of the Year.” During their winter basketball season the Lady Tigers received their first #1 rank in Holy Family history: they were the top ranked team going into finals where they advanced to the “elite eight,” at the national tournament, before being defeated. Their coach, Mike McLaughlin, was once again named “Coach of the Year.” The Tigers also advanced to the men’s finals, and their coach, Dan Williams, was named “Small College Coach of the Year.” As the athletic season drew to a close, Sandra Michael was named “Athletic Director of the Year” for the northeast region of NAIA. On March 12th, Alpha Upsilon Alpha, an honor society of the International Reading Association, established a campus chapter.
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As the fall semester commenced, the Schools of Arts and Humanities / Social and Behavioral Science / Natural Science and Math consolidated to become the School of Arts and Sciences; meanwhile, the School of Nursing and the Radiography Department consolidated into the School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions. Web Advisor was launched for gradual implementation by the campus community. On December 12th, the Pennsylvania Department of Education approved the long-anticipated change to university status for Holy Family. The event was celebrated during Charter Week in February. In the meantime, faculty worked diligently preparing proposals for courses to be included in the new academic core, approved by trustees earlier in the year.
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The 2003-2004 academic year witnessed a number of building-related events on the campus: in the fall semester, the Undergraduate Admissions Office opened its new offices at the southwest corner of Grant and Frankford Avenues on August 27th. The following month, on September 3rd and 19th respectively, the University held ribbon-cutting ceremonies for its new Fitness Center in the Campus Center and Holy Family University Woodhaven, a new facility for the Division of Extended Learning. On October 26th, it held a groundbreaking ceremony to commence construction for the new CSFN Residence (Delaney Hall) on Stevenson Street. In the spring semester, the School of Arts and Sciences held Open House on Charter Day for its new state-of-the-arts Science Center in Holy Family Hall. Finally, the University held a groundbreaking ceremony on April 23rd to commence construction for a new education and technology building. In October, Holy Family commenced its 50th Anniversary Celebration with the President’s Reception in the Campus Center, which was followed during Charter Week with Mass celebrated by Cardinal Justin Rigali on February 11th. On the athletic front, Holy Family attained membership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association as a Division II competitor.
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As the new academic year got underway, the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth made the move in August to their new residence, Delaney Hall, on Stevenson Street. Throughout the remainder of the year, St. Joseph’ Hall underwent renovation as a student residence, and Holy Family created a new student life program. In October, First Lady Laura Bush visited the Northeast Philadelphia campus for a Republican National Committee V.I.P. rally. On October 23rd, Holy Family concluded its 50th anniversary celebration with an anniversary liturgy and program, “Celebrating the Spirit: Deepening Your Experience of the Journey,” presented by Rev. Dennis Carbonaro. At an awards banquet in Center City on December 8th, Sister Francesca Onley was honored by the Philadelphia Business Journal and the National Association of Women Business Owners as one of the “2004 Women of Distinction.” Philadelphia’s ever-popular Phillie Phanatic joined Holy Family to celebrate Alumni Athlete and Friends Day on January 29, 2005.
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The academic year began with two significant building-related events: (1) St. Joseph’s Hall reopened its newly renovated dorm for student residents. The opening of St. Joseph’ Hall marked the first time in 30 years that students resided on campus; (2) Holy Family celebrated the grand opening of the Education and Technology Center on August 28th. During the spring semester the University held groundbreaking on April 4, 2006, to commence construction for the new Garden Residence on Grant Avenue.
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Early in the spring semester, Holy Family celebrated the opening of its second student residence, the Garden Residence, on January 17, 2007. In March, Holy Family students traveled to New Orleans during “alternate” spring break to participate in the University’s first Habitat for Humanity trip.
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Over 300 constituents of Holy Family University gathered for a Silver Anniversary Dinner and Roast honoring President Sister Francesca Onley, CSFN, PhD, on Thursday, November 29th at Belle Voir Manor in Bensalem. The Roast capped a year of events celebrating Sister Francesca’s 25th anniversary as President. Before the spring semester concluded, on May 6th the University held another groundbreaking – this time to commence construction for the new Stevenson Lane Student Residence. Spring commencement introduced two “firsts.” Holy Family held its 50th spring commencement in the Kimmel Center; the University also introduced an annual tradition of honoring the 50th anniversary graduation class during its commencement events.
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During the summer of 2008, the third floor of the Nurse Education Building underwent renovation for the new Nursing Simulation and Practice Laboratory. Ribbon cutting for the new Nursing Simulation and Practice Laboratory took place on September 15th. Sister Francesca Onley, CSFN, PhD, received the prestigious 2008 Award for Outstanding Catholic Leadership from the Catholic Leadership Institute November 7, 2008. The Commissioner’s Trophy, won by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2008 World Series, was on display at the Holy Family University basketball doubleheader against Philadelphia University at the Campus Center on Tuesday, February 24, 2009.
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July 1, 2009, Holy Family University learned that it was to be awarded $240,000 from the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board to run a program to put skilled Philadelphians back to work. The University community gathered on August 11th in the Library on the Northeast Philadelphia campus to participate in a Japanese Obon Festival and Dance. Ten Holy Family art students were invited to present their work at WHYY-TV 12’s Creative Campus Arts Festival on October 2nd at WHYY’s Technology Center in Philadelphia. The Graduate Programs of the School of Arts and Sciences at Holy Family University presented a two-day interdisciplinary conference entitled “70 Years Later: The Global Impact of the Holocaust” on November 14-15, 2009. During winter, a manger scene commemorating the birth of Christ was erected on the Northeast Philadelphia Campus to remind the community about the true meaning of Christmas. As the year drew to a close, Holy Family University announced its first doctoral program - a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Professional Studies - scheduled to begin in January 2011.
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