Spirit of Christmas Programming on WCSF-FM 88.7 Starts Thanksgiving Day

Joliet, Ill. – Starting at noon on Thanksgiving Day (Thurs., November 24, 2022) and running through noon on January 2, 2023, University of St. Francis (USF) radio station WCSF-FM 88.7 switches over from its regular programming to the 30th season on the Spirit of Christmas, a 24-hour, commercial-free, season-long holiday format.

“As we enter our 30th season, I’d like to express how grateful we are for the support of the Spirit of Christmas program and WCSF Radio from our many listeners and the local sponsors which help pay the bills.  We work tirelessly to bring you the highest quality and most variety in Christmas music and programming available anywhere in the world, all commercial-free.  We even have listeners across the country and around the world either finding us online or taking a bit of home with them to the office or wherever they travel through stfrancis.edu/spirit.  We hope you and your family will continue to join us at 88.7FM for the Spirit of Christmas,” said Don Burke, director of programming for the Spirit of Christmas.

Spirit of Christmas features a variety-filled rotation of over 4,000 songs, including multiple versions of holiday classics, so you’ll never get tired of hearing the same songs over and over again. One special program that airs nightly at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. during Spirit of Christmas is the classic 1937 radio series, The Cinnamon Bear. Relive the story of Judy and Jimmy Barton and their adventure to an enchanted world alongside Cinnamon Bear, a stuffed bear with button eyes and a green ribbon around his neck, to recover the missing silver star from their Christmas tree. The Cinnamon Bear starts at 6 p.m. on November 29th and continues through Christmas Eve.

Tune in to FM 88.7 to listen to the Spirit of Christmas on your radio in the Joliet area or livestream the station at stfrancis.edu/spirit.

Area businesses are also invited to promote themselves through special sponsorship opportunities that air during Spirit of Christmas programming. Sponsorships start at $250 and are a great way to promote your business or extend holiday wishes to the Joliet community and beyond.

For more information about sponsorships, please call 815-740-3748.

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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 stfrancis.edu.

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

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American Red Cross Blood Drive at USF on Friday, December 2

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) is hosting its final American Red Cross blood drive of 2022 on Friday, December 2, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Assembly Hall Gymnasium at USF’s St. Clare Campus, which is located at 1550 Plainfield Road in Joliet.

For an appointment, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org, click on the “Donate Blood” link, and then click on the “Find a Blood Drive” link (enter “60435” when prompted). You can save up to 15 minutes when you donate blood by using RapidPass. Visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass for more information.

If you are an eligible type O, B – or A – donor, consider making a Power Red donation. Red blood cells are the most commonly transfused blood component.

For more information, please visit redcrossblood.org.

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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 stfrancis.edu.

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

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USF Named Among the Best Colleges in Illinois by Intelligent.com

Joliet, Ill. – Intelligent.com, a trusted resource for program rankings and higher education planning, has included University of St. Francis (USF) in its list of the Best Colleges in Illinois in 2023. The research identifies top schools in the state based on tuition fees, credit requirements, and the available formats for coursework (i.e., on-campus or online classes).

Intelligent.com implemented a unique methodology that ranks each program on a scale from 0 to 100 across five categories. The scoring system compares each university according to program strength, student readiness, return on investment, cost, and student engagement.

“The University of St. Francis continues to earn recognition from a wide variety of national ranking organizations, which serves as validation of the quality and the value of USF’s programs. These rankings also serve as a source of pride for our faculty, administrators and staff, who collectively create the USF experience that prepares women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership,” said Dave DiLorenzo, USF director of community and employee relations.

Studies show that obtaining a degree increases income substantially, with graduates earning 84% more than those with only high school diplomas or those without a completed GED. The percentage difference in earnings continues to grow with higher learning degrees such as master’s, doctoral or professional degrees, with the unemployment rate decreasing to as much as 1.6% for those with a doctorate. To access the complete ranking, please visit intelligent.com/best-colleges-and-universities/illinois/#university_of_st__francis.

About Intelligent.com

Intelligent.com provides unbiased research to help students make informed decisions about higher education programs. The website offers curated guides that include the best degree programs as well as information about financial aid, internships, and even study strategies. With comprehensive, user-friendly guides and hundreds of program rankings, Intelligent.com is a trusted source among students and prospective students. Visit intelligent.com to learn more.

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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 stfrancis.edu.

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Diana Ortega Named USF’s Lincoln Academy of Illinois Student Laureate

Diana Ortega

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) is pleased to announce that senior education major Diana Ortega from Joliet has been selected as this year’s Student Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Through this special program, the Lincoln Academy of Illinois honors Student Laureates from each of the participating Illinois colleges and universities for their leadership and service in the pursuit of the betterment of humanity and for overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities.

This year’s honorees were invited to watch an online program that included a congratulatory statement from Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and words of encouragement from past Lincoln Laureates. Honorees also received a letter of congratulations from the Academy, a certificate signed by Governor Pritzker, a medallion, a challenge coin, and a monetary grant.

Ortega, who was nominated for the honor by USF history professor Cathleen Schultz, Ph.D., the USF history department, and USF dean of student life Mollie Rockafellow, Ed.D., was surprised to learn that she was selected as this year’s honoree from USF.

“I was shocked. When I was told, I thought I was coming in to help with a project but soon found out that I was called in to be told that I was this year’s Lincoln Laureate,” said Ortega.

“I was so happy. I immediately called my dad (Pedro) and he was so happy and so proud. And as my friends and other USF staff members heard the news, they we so happy for me, as well,” she added.

While leadership and service at USF have been laced throughout her college experience, these characteristics for which Ortega is known extend beyond the past four years. She was also an active student during her time at Joliet West High School, where she participated in Student Council, class committees, choir, new student mentoring, and was a member of the National Honor Society.

However, even with that level of leadership and service through high school, Ortega originally planned to attend a large university where it would be easy to be “just another student”.

“I really thought that I would end up at a large school in a big city like Chicago. I didn’t like attention and wanted to be independent,” Ortega said.

All that changed, though, when she toured USF.

“I wasn’t planning on checking out USF because I wanted to get away from where I had grown up. Still, I decided to visit USF and ended up completely falling in love with it. The atmosphere was amazing and everyone was just so welcoming and friendly. It felt right from the first day that I set foot on campus,” she said.

Since then, Ortega created a path for herself at USF that was similar to her high school experience. During her time at USF, she has been active in many capacities at USF, including roles as a resident assistant supervisor and a Saints Ambassador. She is also active with the USF Student Government Association and is a Schmitt Scholar.

With graduation only six months away, Ortega offered advice for next fall’s freshman class at USF.

“Make your USF experience what you want it to be. Go to club meetings, reach out to people, and look at on-campus work opportunities. I go back to the motto I follow: you won’t know until you try. When you are willing to put yourself out there, you’ll be amazed at what you might find,” Ortega said.

Following her graduation in the spring, Ortega plans to stay at USF for one more year to earn a master’s degree in education through a 4+1 program offered through the university. During that time, she will also complete her student teaching. After earning her master’s degree, she plans to work for a low-income school district as a high school history teacher or middle school science teacher for five years as part of her academic scholarship through Golden Apple.

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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 stfrancis.edu.

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

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USF Art and Design Department to Host Fair and Sale

Art and design fair flier

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) Art and Design Department will host an Art Fair and Sale on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Marian Hall Abbey Lounge (604 Taylor Street, Joliet, IL 60435). The free event, which is open to the community, is centered around student-produced handmade artworks, crafts, clothing and other items produced that will be for sale. This year, students have created drawings, paintings, photography, screen prints, totes, t-shirts, pins, and other arts related items. Eighteen students from a variety of departments will participate. The items are modestly priced, so come out and support students in this preholiday season.

For more information, please contact professor Michael “Chester” Alamo-Costello, MFA, at mcostello@stfrancis.edu. For more information on the USF Art and Design Department, visit stfrancis.edu/art-design.

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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 stfrancis.edu.

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USF Joins Forces with TheDream.US to Support Students

USF and TheDream.US

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) has launched a new partnership with a national organization to provide scholarships to undocumented students who came to the United States as children. The partnership is expected to draw more than 50 applicants to USF this fall.

USF is now working with TheDream.US to enroll students and provide National Scholarships to undocumented youth — sometimes referred to as Dreamers — who are looking for access to higher education, but cannot access federal financial aid.

“The National Scholarship provides a student with up to $8,250 per year in tuition, with USF covering the remaining cost,” said Eric Ruiz, admissions director at USF.

“Providing students from any background or culture, including the children of immigrants, with access to a college education is strongly aligned with USF’s mission,” Ruiz said. “This is who we are and how we serve.”

USF has a tradition of serving first-generation college students (students who are the first in their family to attend college). Half of this year’s freshman class is comprised of first-generation students. Over the past ten years, approximately 58% of USF’s freshman classes have been comprised of first-generation students.

The new partnership is similar to USF’s Will County Access grant, which provides full tuition to students who live in Will County and who went to a Will County high school, but who also have significant financial need.

The National Scholarship was created for students with or without DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) or TPS (Temporary Protected Status) who came to the United States before the age of 16 and before November 1, 2017. The scholarship is renewable annually and is worth up to $33,000 toward a bachelor’s degree.

Eligible students can visit thedream.us to apply for the National Scholarship at the same time that they are applying to the USF (apply to USF free of charge at stfrancis.edu/apply). Note that the application window for the current round of National Scholarships is open and will close on February 28, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (final notifications will be sent via email in late April 2023). Applications to USF are accepted on a rolling basis for fall and spring semesters. Contact Alejandro Campos, USF associate director of undergraduate admissions, at ACampos1@stfrancis.edu or 815-740-5028 with questions or for more information.

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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 stfrancis.edu.

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

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