Center for Orientation and Transition Programs
Collegia Program

Mission, Vision and History

  • Collegia Mission

    The Collegia Program creates caring and diverse learning communities of commuter students that provide a broader educational experience steeped in the Jesuit values of Seattle University. Faculty associates, student staff and a variety of educational and social programming opportunities integrate learning, present leadership opportunities, and promote a sense of belonging.

    Five Collegia provide beautiful and welcoming "home away from home" environments that support the day-to-day needs of the complex lives of commuters through study space, kitchen facilities and snack system, access to campus resources, computers, books and newspapers.

    Collegia Vision

    The Collegia Program is committed to

    • Fostering a sense of belonging by providing a homelike space where students have a sense of ownership and can build sustaining relationships.
    • Develop community identity by providing a setting that promotes the building of friendships by enabling gorups of students to study together, socialize, and participate in shared activities.
    • Encourage learning beyond the classroom by providing a broader educational experience for the student through an environment that promotes collaborative learning, gives access to resources, enables interdisciplinary interactions, gives leadership opportunities, and provides social learning experiences about the challenges and blessings of being together in community.


    'Collegium' is from the Latin root meaning 'gathering place.'   The Collegia (plural) Program  was the inspiration of a former president of Seattle University, Fr. William J. Sullivan, SJ. ('78-'98)  Fr. Sullivan envisioned groups of commuter students having a place of belonging, a "home away from home,"  that would support a sense of connection to the wider University community, and provide a broader overall educational experience.

    • Familiar with Yale Residential College's and Harvard's house systems promoting student life and academic learning
    • New Student Center was on hold
    • Wanted to create single-room program with multi-room benefits
    • Lynn Collegium opened in winter, 1996, as a test project, serving undergraduate students from Arts & Sciences, the largest undergrad school on campus.
    • Chardin Collegium opened spring, 1997, due to the overwhelming response of students to Lynn Collegium.  This was an experiment in mixing schools/colleges and served undergraduates from Nursing, Business and Science & Engineering.
    • McNulty Collegium opened in winter, 1999 serving undergraduates from Science and Engineering and, for the first time, graduate students from all programs.
    • The Tekakwitha and Reidy Collegium opened in fall, 2002, as part of the new Student Center.  The Tekakwitha served juniors and seniors from Arts & Sciences (Lynn continued to serve freshmen and sophomores).  The Reidy was a new model serving older students - graduate students and non-traditional aged undergrads.
    • Fall, 2003, the Lynn Collegium became a freshman only Collegium serving new students from all programs in order to focus on transitional issues primary to their success as a college student.  The Tekakwitha, Chardin and McNulty now serve sophomores, juniors and seniors in particular academic areas and the Reidy Collegium continues to serve graduate students and non-trads.
    • Fall, 2006, the Lynn Collegium population was revised to include freshmen and sophomores from all programs. The Tekakwitha serves juniors and seniors from Arts & Sciences; the McNulty serves nursing and science and engineering juniors and seniors and the Chardin serves junior and senior business students. The Reidy population stayed the same.
    • In Fall, 2008, the Chardin Collegium became an undergraduate mixed-program Collegium open to any junior or senior regardless of academic program.
    • In Fall, 2009, the McNulty Collegium was discontinued as part of the library remodel and the McGoldrick Collegium opened on the first floor of Hunthausen Hall to replace its loss. In that change, the McNulty community of science and engineering and nursing students moved to the Reidy Collegium location and the graduate students and non-traditional aged undergraduates moved from the Reidy Collegium to the McGoldrick Collegium.
    • In Fall, 2013, the Tekakwitha Collegium will become the Tekakwitha Transfer SUccess Collegium. It will enroll only transfer students with current transfer students serving as staff. The community focus will be on transitioning and connecting transfer students to each other and the wider campus community.  The Chardin Collegium continues to serve all junior and senior students (4-year and transfer) from all academic programs.