Marian University to Welcome Largest Freshman Class in School’s History

by News Release | Aug 17, 2018

Largest Freshman ClassINDIANAPOLIS—Marian University ( will welcome the largest freshman class in the school’s history when classes begin August 20, university officials announced today.

Although official enrollment numbers won’t be reported until mid-September, the university is projecting that it will surpass 400 first-time full-time freshmen for the first time. Officials said that more than 420 students are currently registered for classes, indicating that freshmen enrollment will likely increase by 25 percent over last year. Marian University’s largest freshman class to date was in 2016.

Marian University President Daniel J. Elsener attributes several factors to the university’s extraordinary enrollment growth. The Klipsch Educators College, which received significant attention over the past year following a $12 million gift from local businessman and philanthropist Fred Klipsch and his wife Judy, expects to double its freshman enrollment over last year. Marian University also expects a large increase in STEM majors, many of whom will choose a pre-medicine professional program with the goal of being admitted into the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine or another medical school.

“In 2015, Marian University mapped our vision with a 10-year strategic plan, and established a goal of doubling the number of graduates by 2025,” President Elsener said. “In 2015, we had 686 graduates. This year, we conferred 933 degrees. If we continue to grow freshman enrollment and graduate programs at the current rate, we will easily exceed our goal of 1,500 graduates by 2025.”

In November 2017, Marian University publicly announced a capital campaign to fund several construction projects required to accommodate its growing enrollment. To date, the university has secured commitments that put them over $100 million of the $150 million it hopes to raise by Fall 2021. Meanwhile, construction on the westside Indianapolis campus is nearing completion; a new dining commons opened in January 2018, as did the Paul J. Norman Center, which houses the Byrum School of Business. A new fitness center will greet students when they return to campus next week, and a new arena/convocation center will open November 1, 2018. The university is also restoring its historic St. Francis Colonnade, the centerpiece of turn-of-the-century landscape architect Jens Jensen’s Riverdale gardens (adjacent to Allison Mansion, built by Indianapolis Motor Speedway co-founder James A. Allison).

Fall 2018 Marian University Freshman Class Fast Facts

  • Top five majors are: Nursing, Secondary Education, Elementary Education, Biology, Management
  • Students from 18 states and 7 foreign countries are represented in the class
  • Students will receive more than $9 million in institutional grants and scholarships from Marian
  • More than 26 percent of the students are minorities

About Marian University Indianapolis

Marian University (, founded in Indianapolis in 1937, is the only Catholic liberal arts university in central Indiana. It serves 3,000 students through dedication to excellent teaching and learning in the Franciscan and liberal arts traditions. Marian University is one of Indiana’s 31 independent colleges and one of 244 Catholic colleges and universities nationwide. Since 2001, Marian University has been led by President Daniel J. Elsener, whose vision and leadership are transforming the university. In 2013, Marian University opened the Michael A. Evans Center for Health Sciences, home to its College of Osteopathic Medicine. Marian University has amassed 40 national championships in cycling, captured the NAIA Football National Championship in 2012 and 2015, and won the NAIA Women’s Basketball Championship in 2016 and 2017.

News Media Contact

Brad R. Wucher
Vice President of Enrollment, Marketing Communications
(317) 955-6307
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