St. Gregory's Senior Disappointed In School Closure
SHAWNEE, Oklahoma - St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee is indefinitely suspending operations, which means 550 students can’t return to school next semester.
President Michael Scaperlanda said the school was denied a 12.5 million-dollar loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They were confident in receiving that loan. Without it, he said the school cannot operate in the spring semester.
The university is now doing degree checks to graduate anyone who is eligible in December. Other colleges are also assisting with transferring students. Scaperlanda said dozens of schools have reached out. A transfer fair will be held on Tuesday.
Scaperlanda said the board is looking for other opportunities to fund the school, but nothing is concrete yet.
St. Gregory’s University is one of the oldest educational establishments in Oklahoma. It is also the only Catholic university in the state.
Duncan Tiemeyer, a senior and student body president, is disappointed in the news. “My reaction at first, I was a little angry,” he said. Tiemeyer is so close to graduating. “It didn’t seem right to suspend operations at the end of the semester and not wait until next semester so that the seniors can graduate,” he said.
Classes will stop after December, which means Tiemeyer can’t finish his double major at St. Gregory’s. He only has six credits left on his business degree and 15 credits left for his theology degree.
Tiemeyer said he was looking forward to walking across the stage with his cap and gown. He has overcome learning disabilities to get to where he is. After the announcement about the indefinite shut down, he is not sure what’s next.
“There has been talk about going to a different Catholic college, finishing there. I’ve also applied to the seminary for the Diocese of Oklahoma City,” said Tiemeyer. He is holding onto faith. “I’m hopeful that God has a different plan for us all.”