SHAWNEE, Oklahoma - Wednesday afternoon, St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee announced it will “suspend operations” after failing to get a last-ditch $12.5 million U.S. Department of Agriculture loan.

Of the loan's denial, St. Gregory's president Dr. Michael Scaperlanda said, "Their official reason was that in order to be eligible for this loan, you had to be in a rural area of a population of 20,000 or less. And we were de-annexed by the city of Shawnee in January in order to be eligible for this loan."

The Board of Directors said without the loan, “the ability to sustain the university at this point is not possible.

The suspension will be effective at the close of the 2017 fall semester.

“Our main concern at this moment is for our students, staff, and faculty who will be profoundly impacted by this decision. The University is working with several colleges to facilitate student transfers in an attempt to minimize disruption in our students’ lives. Please keep them in your prayers,” said Chairman of the Board, Fr. Don Wolf.

The board says teach-out agreements and transfer opportunities are underway.

Oklahoma Baptist University released the following statement in response to St. Gregory's suspension of operations:

We are deeply saddened by the news from St. Gregory's University about their need to suspend operations of the university at the end of the semester. We have experienced a long and mutually beneficial relationship including a decades-long articulation agreement with the university. We stand ready to offer assistance to SGU students to accommodate them in completing their academic pursuits

St. Gregory’s is a private liberal arts college and Oklahoma’s only Catholic university. It was established in 1875.

Read the full statement from St. Gregory's University below: