Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) brought one of the Joliet area’s longest-running black tie events back to campus as it celebrated the Caritas Centennial Scholarship Gala on Saturday, Jan. 25 to raise scholarship funds for USF students. The event, which was part of a yearlong celebration of the university’s centennial, was chaired by Gloria and Edward Dollinger, and Diane ‘77 and Bill Habiger and hosted by USF President Arvid and Anne Johnson.

“From our attendees and sponsors to our chairpersons and Caritas committee, we are extremely thankful to everyone who supported this year’s Caritas with their time, talent, and treasure. For the seventh year in a row, the event raised over a quarter million dollars in scholarship funds that will go on to help make a USF education possible for so many students. In fact, the event has raised over $2 million in scholarship support in just seven years and over $5 million in its history!  This is a wonderful affirmation of support for the University of St. Francis’ mission from the communities we serve,” Johnson said.

Kristin Short, USF Vice President for Advancement, was also extremely pleased with the event.

“More than 400 guests attended. We so appreciate the support from the community.  The evening was extra special because we celebrated 100 years of providing a Catholic, Franciscan education. We celebrated our rich history, our founding sisters and all members of the USF community. Seeing our beautiful campus and all the students, community leaders, alumni, faculty, and staff come together in support of USF was truly inspiring,” she said.

The gala, which took place in USF’s Pat Sullivan Center, featured cuisine by Jewell Events Catering and included a wide variety of live and silent auction items, while guests enjoyed the music of the USF Jazz Ensemble and the Gentlemen of Leisure Band.

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves over 4,000 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 49,000 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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