Mission and History
The name Siena honors St. Catherine of Siena, a 14th century Italian Dominican who dedicated her life to a quest for truth and social responsibility. Similarly, the mission of the institution—to help students become more competent, purposeful and ethical—grows out of the philosophy Siena.
Throughout its history, Siena Heights has built a proud tradition of innovative response to challenging social needs. Originally a college for women who intended to become teachers, Siena broadened its offerings over the years and by the 1950s was recognized as one of the nation’s 10 best liberal arts colleges for women.
The mission of Siena Heights University, a Catholic University founded and sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters, is to assist people to become more competent, purposeful, and ethical through a teaching and learning environment which respects the dignity of all.
Siena Heights University Mission Statement
In 1969, Siena Heights became coeducational and expanded its curriculum to include programs in business and human services. In the 1970s, Siena Heights took a pioneering role in providing opportunities for adult students by offering evening and weekend classes and opening degree completion centers in Southfield, Mich., and in Toledo, Ohio.
On July 1, 1998, Siena Heights College was renamed Siena Heights University.
Founded as St. Joseph’s College for women
Renamed Siena Heights College, honoring St. Catherine of Siena, Italy
Initiated first degree-completion program for working adults in Southfield
Renamed Siena Heights University
Siena Heights University celebrated 100th anniversary.
Mother Augustine Walsh
Mother Mary Gerald Barry
Sister Benedicta Marie Ledwidge
Sister Petronilla Francoeur, OP
Dr. Hugh Lee Thompson
Dr. Louis C. Vaccaro
Dr. Cathleen C. Real, C.H.M.
Dr. Richard Artman
Sister Mary Margaret (Peg) Albert, OP, PhD
Douglas B. Palmer, PhD