Cardinal Stritch University in Wisconsin will be closing at the end of the spring semester due to financial issues and declining enrollment, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
"We're all devastated by this development, but after examining all options this decision was necessary," President Dan Scholz said in a video announcement. "I wish there was a different path we could pursue. However, the fiscal realities, downward enrollment trends, the pandemic, the need for more resources and the mounting operational and facility challenges presented a no-win situation."
This decision closes the book on a small, private school that has been open since 1937, leaving its campus in shock.
“It’s devastating for everyone here,” said Philip Jakobsson, a German student on the school's soccer team, adding that many people were crying.
Cardinal Stritch will offer some services this coming summer to help students close to completing their graduation requirements, Scholz said. The school is also making partnerships with local universities for students seeking to transfer credits. Commencement will still take place this spring.
Cardinal Stritch was known for its diverse student population, with approximately 25% of its students identifying as Black or Hispanic. In 2018-19, it had nearly 2,400 enrolled. But by fall 2021, that number fell to 1,400, according to federal education data.