Mark Your Calendar for USF鈥檚 2024 Homecoming Festivities

Homcoming 2024 - Save the Date image

Joliet, Ill. 鈥 The University of St. Francis (USF) invites students, alumni, employees and friends of the university to mark their calendars for USF Homecoming 2024 festivities, which will take place during the weekend of September 27-29, 2024.

While the full agenda of events for the weekend is currently being finalized and will be announced later this summer, one event is already set 鈥 the homecoming football game. Join USF at 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 28, as the Fighting Saints take on the Indiana Wesleyan Wildcats at Busey Bank Field at Joliet Memorial Stadium (3000 Jefferson Street in Joliet). Watch stfrancis.edu/hcrw for additional events as they are finalized.

鈥淯SF is truly Joliet鈥檚 University and Homecoming is one of the most exciting times to be a Saint. Show your school pride, reconnect with alumni friends, create new memories, and cheer on our Fighting Saints! We look forward to you joining us for festivities all weekend long,鈥 said Aindrea Hogan, USF Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations.

For more information or if you are interested in hosting a reunion or event during USF Homecoming 2024, contact the Alumni & Family Relations Office at 877-811-ALUM or alumni@stfrancis.edu.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 3,300 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 53,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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Students Learn the Impact of Random Acts of Kindness Courtesy of Jay It Forward

Joliet, Ill. 鈥 鈥淚t would seem wrong not to carry on with the passion that Jay had to make people smile.鈥 鈥 Jay It Forward

On Monday, September 25, over 200 students at the University of St. Francis (USF) personally experienced the positive impact that random acts of kindness can create. The students were recipients of gifts cards, goody bags and cash 鈥 all unannounced and unexpected 鈥 courtesy of Jay It Forward, an organization in honor of the late Jay Vana and his fun-loving demeanor and generous personality.

鈥淭he spirit of St. Francis is just something you need to experience first-hand on-campus at USF. That spirit was certainly robust when Jay It Forward celebrated with our students this week. The emotions on the faces of USF students, faculty and administrators was powerful as they opened envelopes and shared their plans of what they planned to do with the gifts they received,鈥 said Lisa Sampalis, Vice President for University Advancement at the University of St. Francis.

Longtime USF supporters Michele and Tom Vana established Jay It Forward to honor the life of their son, Jay, who passed away in a car accident eleven years ago. Along with Jay鈥檚 family and friends, Jay It Forward takes to the community on the anniversary of his passing each year to 鈥減ay it forward鈥 to with random acts of kindness. Before coming to USF, the organization also distributed similar random acts of kindness at a local fast-food restaurant and gas station.

鈥淎s much as it seems like others are benefiting from these random acts of kindness, I am the true recipient of the blessings. Helping others and seeing their smiles and joy is the healing that I need on this day. Making others happy is truly in the spirit of who Jay was. I really feel his presence when we do this in his memory,鈥 said Michele Vana.

The organization also encourages others to consider performing their own acts of kindness as a tribute to Jay Vana.

About Jay It Forward

Jay Vana was a resident of Homer Glen, Ill., and a student at Lockport Township High School who was known for his fun-loving demeanor and generous personality. He, along with his family and friends, often performed random acts of kindness when they heard of others in need. Unfortunately, Vana passed away unexpectedly as a result of a car accident at the age of sixteen on September 25, 2012. Vana鈥檚 family and friends founded Jay It Forward as a way to honor his kind-hearted spirit by continuing to perform random acts of kindness.

Please visit to learn more about Jay It Forward.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 53,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit .

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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Support the USF Student Emergency Fund on Giving Tuesday

USF Giving Tuesday
Joliet, Ill. 鈥 This Giving Tuesday, November 29, join the University of St. Francis (USF) as generosity transforms into impact in the form of a Franciscan education for USF students. This year, USF is focusing Giving Tuesday efforts to support the Student Emergency Fund. This fund provides emergency financial assistance to students who are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses forcing them to consider withdrawal from the university. Applicants apply for this one-time assistance through University Ministry. As applicant needs are pressing, applications are processed within 48-hours for rapid response to the issue. 鈥淭he Student Emergency Fund is one way the University of St. Francis responds to our students鈥 growing needs. The Student Emergency Fund was created to address the unforeseen hardships of our students that compromise their pursuit of education. With the generosity of donors who contribute to the Student Emergency Fund we provide one-time scholarships of $500 for things like temporary food assistance for a student who may have lost their part-time job,鈥 said Lisa Sampalis, vice president for advancement. Visit stfrancis.edu/givingtuesday to learn more and participate in Giving Tuesday. Please contact the USF Advancement team at ahogan@stfrancis.edu for more information. About Giving Tuesday Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement that unleashes the power of radical generosity around the world. Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past nine years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. Visit for more information. : : The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 53,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu. University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose. # # #
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