When the Brothers of the Christian Schools founded La Salle College in 1863, they looked to their founder and the universal patron saint of educators, for inspiration and guidance. Beginning with this act of faith, La Salle became the first institution of higher education in the world to bear the name of St. John Baptist de La Salle. Even as La Salle has grown into a university to meet the changing needs of our students and our times, our Lasallian Catholic heritage remains a constant, nurturing our institution into a community rooted in the Catholic intellectual and social teaching traditions. These traditions inspire us to integrate scholarship from across the various academic fields in an effort to understand the world around us in ways that bring people closer in relationship to the transcendent. Today, La Salle University remains committed to the values of the Gospel and the founding story and vision of St. La Salle. Those values remain integral to how we understand our Catholic identity and informs us in how we continue our Lasallian educational mission.
La Salle is a Lasallian Catholic university committed to the principle that all knowledge is practical and empowering, filled with the capacity to transform lives. Anchored in the living tradition of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and in association with a diverse and inclusive learning community, our mission is to educate the whole person by fostering a rigorous free search for truth. La Salle, in affirming the value of both liberal arts and professional studies, prepares students for the lifelong pursuit and exploration of wisdom, knowledge, and faith that lead to engaged and fulfilling lives marked by a commitment to the common good.
Teaching and learning are at the heart of the Lasallian educational mission. At La Salle, we are all students and teachers. Those who accept the challenge of a Lasallian education seek not only to exercise the mind, but to inculcate a love of learning, creativity, a sense of self, and an ability to discern relationships and possibilities where none are obvious. Our love of teaching and learning is manifested in opportunities for students, faculty, administrators, and staff to become reflective, discerning persons. La Salle aspires to fully awaken and ripen our intellectual, spiritual, emotional, ethical, social, and physical capacities.
Central to the Lasallian educational and spiritual heritage is the spirit of faith and zeal, a gospel value that animates La Salle’s mission and sustains a community that embraces all its members. Students and educators of all backgrounds and traditions are invited to participate in this dynamic spirit by fostering mutual understanding and dialogue in all aspects of La Salle’s institutional life. Striving to live the spirit of faith and zeal joins the University to a long commitment of Lasallian education to provide young people and adults with the learning to identify and develop their particular gifts and strengths that will enable them to live well and do good in life.
Service rooted in solidarity and justice invites La Salle to embrace new ways of practicing faith-justice in society. The Lasallian educational vision renews its call for us to stand with those impoverished and marginalized, to identify inequity and exclusion created by society, and actively respond not merely with charity, but with courage, creativity, and compassion. This pursuit embodies the Lasallian vision, dispatching its practitioners to go to the roots of poverty and injustice in order to find just solutions that improve the lives of individuals, families, and communities worldwide.
Association makes explicit our distinctive Lasallian educational heritage to create an atmosphere of collegiality, mutual respect, and trust within a community of students and educators. This horizontal relationship in which the “schoolmaster” becomes an “older brother or older sister” to students emerges from Lasallian spirituality, connects us to the global Lasallian community, and continuously shapes La Salle’s character and mission. Historically one of the vows of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, living out association is fundamental to provide the hope that a quality education offers to all, especially those marginalized and disadvantaged.