Avila University /ˈævᵻlə/ is a private university in Kansas City, Missouri, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. It offers bachelor's degrees in 36 majors and master's degrees — Master of Science in Counseling Psychology, Master in Management, Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Organizational Development, and Master of Arts in Education. Its 13 buildings are situated on a campus of 50 acres (20.2 ha) in the heart of Kansas City. They include four residence halls, a fieldhouse and auxiliary pavilion for basketball and volleyball; a sports complex for football, baseball, softball, and soccer; a library, a theatre, a chapel, and some classroom facilities.
In 1916, on the same campus at 5600 Main Street as St. Teresa's Academy, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet founded the College of Saint Teresa. St. Teresa's College was founded as a two-year college for women only. The first graduates of St. Teresa's College received their degrees in 1918.
In 1939, Kansas City Bishop Edwin O’Hara announced that St. Teresa's junior college would be expanded to a full four-year college, and the college would be housed in its own building on the campus. In 1940, ground was broken for Donnelly Hall, and it opened for classes in 1941. The first four-year graduating class received their degrees in 1942. In 1948, the college established a department of nursing, offering both a three-year diploma and a four-year bachelor of nursing degree.
In May 1961, Sister Mary Daniel Tammany, president of the College of St. Teresa, announced the purchase of 49 acres of land for a new campus at 119th and Wornall Road in the Red Bridge neighborhood near the southern edge of Kansas City, Missouri. The high school, St. Teresa's Academy, is still operating on the original site. At the groundbreaking for the first building on the new campus, the announcement was made that the college would be renamed Avila College, still in honor of Saint Teresa of Avila. In 1969 Avila began admitting male students, and in 1978, the college began offering graduate programs in business, education and psychology. Avila College became Avila University in July, 2002.
Of the 1,710 students attending Avila University in the fall of 2016, females outnumber males 62 percent to 38 percent. 57 percent of students are Caucasian, 20 percent are African-American, 10 percent International and eight percent Hispanic. 20 percent are Catholic. The average ACT score of the incoming freshman class is 23. About 31% of students live on campus.
Avila University is divided in seven schools and colleges.College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
School of Business
School of Education
School of Nursing
School of Science & Health
School of Visual & Communication Arts
School of Graduate Studies
Avila's campus sits on 50 acres (20.2 ha) in southern Kansas City, Missouri. There are 13 buildings that include four residence halls, a fieldhouse, theatre, student union, library, as well as academic buildings. The campus is easily accessed from I-435 and sits close to the Missouri-Kansas border.
Student life at Avila is quite active with more than 40 student organizations available to the student body, including the Student Senate, Group Activities Programming, Black Student Union, Student Social Work Association, Residence Hall Association, Campus Ministries, and numerous academic organizations and honor socieites.
Avila University currently does not have any fraternities or sororities on campus. In the mid-1990s, Avila had a chapter of Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity and a chapter of Alpha Phi sorority; however, as a result of poor support from the university administration, both Greek chapters closed shortly before the college achieved university status.
Carondelet Hall was the first residence hall built at the current Avila University location. Carondelet houses up to 122 students at its maximum capacity. In the summer of 2005, the first two floors of the hall were renovated to fit the more modern version of a residence hall. In the summer of 2007, the third floor was also renovated.
Ridgway Hall was built only a few years after Carondelet Hall, and has the same floor plan and room dimensions. In the summer of 2008, all three floors in Ridgway were renovated in a similar manner as Carondelet.
Jeanne Collins Thompson Hall opened Fall of 2007. The 29,000 square foot Thompson Hall features three floors of suite-style housing with each suite containing four bedrooms, two bathrooms, living room, and kitchenette. The facility houses 65 students and staff in the 16 suites.
In fall 2012, Avila celebrated the opening of its fourth residence hall, Avila Hall (later dedicated as Glenna Wylie Hall), a 39,000 square foot three-story residence hall on the northeast edge of campus. The new residence hall features suite style living arrangements, and it increased Avila's capacity to allow up to 390 students living on campus.
Avila athletic programs participate in the Heart of America Athletic Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Avila fields 16 varsity sports including Football, Baseball, Softball, Men's and Women's Soccer, Men's and Women's Basketball, Men's and Women's Cross Country, Men's and Women's Track and Field, Men's and Women's Golf, and Women's Volleyball. Avila also has award-winning Cheer and Dance Teams.
Avila athletic teams were originally known as the Avalanche, but teams became known as the Eagles beginning in 1990. In 1994, Avila became a charter member of the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference. In 1999 Avila announced the addition of intercollegiate football to the athletic program, and Tim Johnson was hired as the program's first head coach. Avila joined the Heart of America Athletic Conference in 2000, and football began its first season of competition in Fall 2001.
In 2011, the athletic complex was expanded to provide facilities for football and soccer games to be played on campus. A new 194,000 square foot multi-purpose athletic field was constructed, featuring a Shaw Sportexe Legion synthetic turf system. The new field included a new press box, new bleachers, and a new Daktronics scoreboard. Avila's football team played its first on campus game on September 17, 2011 against Missouri Valley College.