From Ohio History Central
In 1946, the Franciscan Friars of the Third Order Regular established the Franciscan College of Steubenville, the predecessor of the Franciscan University of Steubenville, in Steubenville, Ohio. This institution first operated in several buildings in downtown Steubenville and had an initial enrollment of 258 students, but in 1953, the university purchased land on the community's outskirts to build a permanent college.
The Franciscan College of Steubenville struggled during the 1960s and early 1970s as enrollment declined. Emphasizing the institution's Catholic heritage, President Michael Scanlan increased enrollment and helped the college attain the designation of a university in 1980. In 1985, the college became known as the Franciscan University of Steubenville.
In 2004, over 2,400 students, including 440 enrolled in graduate programs, attended the university. These students came from every state in the United States, as well as from sixteen foreign countries. The institution also consisted of twenty-two buildings and boasted a campus in Gaming, Austria.