Fontbonne University Archives

Library Mission and Vision statements. Revised 2016.

University Mission

Fontbonne University, a Catholic institution sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, is committed to the common good through the daily pursuit of transformative education, inspiring students to become global citizens who think critically, act ethically and serve responsibly.


Fontbonne University aspires to be a preferred destination, committed to providing a holistic learning experience rooted in excellence, for those seeking to be educated as leaders to serve a world in need and for those dedicated to educating them.


Fontbonne University is committed to:

  1. Achieving academic and educational excellence
  2. Advancing historical remembrance, critical reflection and moral resolve
  3. Promoting dialogue among diverse communities
  4. Demonstrating care and respect for each member of the community
  5. Serving the larger community
  6. Preparing individuals to be an ethical and responsible presence to the world.

Statement of Catholic Identity

Fontbonne affirms its identity as a Catholic university. Sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, it is founded on the beliefs that all creation reveals God, that the ministry of Jesus began a process of redemption that extends to this day, and that the Holy Spirit continues to impart grace through the daily experiences of women and men. Among the many signs of God’s grace are teaching and learning, which at Fontbonne are pursued by people sharing a variety of religious beliefs and an understanding of the importance of education.

“Catholic” means “universal” and “throughout the whole,” like leaven permeating bread. The permeating quality of Fontbonne is our commitment to know, to love, and to serve the truth that unites faith and reason, nature and grace, the human and the divine. The desire for a greater understanding of creation and its Creator is one of the most profound expressions of human dignity. In this sense, to learn is to augment one’s capacity for love so that the thoughtful and loving acts of an educated person are a witness to the transformation of the world that began with the Resurrection and continues with the enlivening of humanity. What makes us truly human helps to unite us with the divine as we seek to understand, love, and serve God and neighbor without distinction.

The permeating and universal nature of Catholicism gives rise to the mission and vision of this university. Because Fontbonne is Catholic, we embrace openness and inclusiveness. Because Fontbonne is Catholic, we pursue educational excellence. And because Fontbonne is Catholic, we seek to recognize the presence of God in all creation and to participate in the continuing transformation of ourselves and a world in need.


Fontbonne University honors the values and heritage of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet by fostering excellence, integrity, respect, diversity, community, justice, service, faith and Catholic identity.

Founding Spirit statue

University Seal

fontbonne seal

The Fontbonne University seal contains elements that are representative of the University and the history of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

The fleur-de-lis, a French word for lily, is the symbol of the French royal family.

In the seal, the fleur-de-lis symbolizes the French origin of the Sisters of St. Joseph, founded in France in 1650.

The six fleurs-de-lis in the seal represent the first six Sisters who came to the United States in 1836.

The lily is also the signature of St. Joseph, spouse of the Virgin Mary, foster father of Jesus, and patron saint of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

The Latin words, "Virtus et Scientia," indicate the nature of Fontbonne's mission and can be translated as "virtue and knowledge," "valor and erudition," and "religion and scholarship."

Jack C. Taylor Library • 6800 Wydown Blvd. • St. Louis, MO 63105
Founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.
t: 314-889-1417 • f: 314-719-8040
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