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Courage lives here.

With a 134-year history rooted in Catholic Benedictine values, Saint Leo University is a place of belonging for all those in pursuit of a greater purpose in life. Here, we courageously pursue truth and knowledge, put people first, make learning accessible, and let our Catholic faith lead us forward.

Courage Stories

Saint Leo University students and alumni share how the university supports their personal and professional success.

Charles Onyeneke ’17

Charles Onyeneke ’17

While Reverend Charles Onyeneke ’17 began his journey to religious life as an 8-year-old altar server in Nigeria, it was faith in himself and his academic institution that helped him become an ordained priest. As an international student living in the United States for the first time, Charles discovered the power of patience and a “listening ear” from his professors as he earned his master’s degree in theology from a university he chose because of its strong Catholic values. “Saint Leo is not just an academic institution, it’s a formation institution. Saint Leo embraced me for who I am, showed faith that I could be my best, and solidified the light that was shining within me.”

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Brent Patterson ’21

Brent Patterson ’21

Physical therapist and front-line health care supervisor Brent Patterson ’21 found faith and compassion from his Saint Leo professors and classmates as he confronted the mental and physical challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The instructors knew each person, and they never hesitated to be there for their students. Brent’s instructors and classmates eased the pressures of front-line life and treated each other as family. In his online classes, he found open discussion and a university that demonstrates faith, values each person, and encourages everyone to succeed. “As a child, my great-grandmother taught me how to pray and to lean on God. Saint Leo inspired us all to learn with compassion and reminded me to keep the faith.”

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Brooke Whittington ’17

Brooke Wittington ’17

For Brooke Wittington ’17, finding her place among a small group of peers was paramount to her journey as an educator. Working toward her bachelor’s degree as an adult at Saint Leo’s education centers, Brooke became inspired by instructors who emerged as her role models. Because of Saint Leo, Brooke learned to create transparency and personal connections in the classroom. She developed a true understanding of student relationships and how to build them, earning the hearts of her fourth-grade students and the admiration of her colleagues as a 2023 Florida Teacher of the Year finalist. “As a teacher, building relationships with my students is key to their success. Saint Leo creates those same relationships with its students.”

Read More »

Courage Stories

Saint Leo University students and alumni share how the university supports their personal and professional success.

Charles Onyeneke ’17

Charles Onyeneke ’17

While Reverend Charles Onyeneke ’17 began his journey to religious life as an 8-year-old altar server in Nigeria, it was faith in himself and his academic institution that helped him become an ordained priest. As an international student living in the United States for the first time, Charles discovered the power of patience and a “listening ear” from his professors as he earned his master’s degree in theology from a university he chose because of its strong Catholic values. “Saint Leo is not just an academic institution, it’s a formation institution. Saint Leo embraced me for who I am, showed faith that I could be my best, and solidified the light that was shining within me.”

Read More »
Brent Patterson ’21

Brent Patterson ’21

Physical therapist and front-line health care supervisor Brent Patterson ’21 found faith and compassion from his Saint Leo professors and classmates as he confronted the mental and physical challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The instructors knew each person, and they never hesitated to be there for their students. Brent’s instructors and classmates eased the pressures of front-line life and treated each other as family. In his online classes, he found open discussion and a university that demonstrates faith, values each person, and encourages everyone to succeed. “As a child, my great-grandmother taught me how to pray and to lean on God. Saint Leo inspired us all to learn with compassion and reminded me to keep the faith.”

Read More »
Brooke Whittington ’17

Brooke Wittington ’17

For Brooke Wittington ’17, finding her place among a small group of peers was paramount to her journey as an educator. Working toward her bachelor’s degree as an adult at Saint Leo’s education centers, Brooke became inspired by instructors who emerged as her role models. Because of Saint Leo, Brooke learned to create transparency and personal connections in the classroom. She developed a true understanding of student relationships and how to build them, earning the hearts of her fourth-grade students and the admiration of her colleagues as a 2023 Florida Teacher of the Year finalist. “As a teacher, building relationships with my students is key to their success. Saint Leo creates those same relationships with its students.”

Read More »
Tayhana Taylor ‘24

Tayhana Taylor ’24

Working for a “Big Four” accounting firm was always part of the vision for Tayhana Taylor ’24 when she left Jamaica to attend Saint Leo University. To help make her goal a reality, Tayhana’s professors taught her that success is not a linear path and  inspired her to seek out the advice of others. Tayhana completed three internships with accounting firms large and small and now will graduate from a small university that’s helping her make big connections. “Saint Leo believes in me. My professors have impacted my perception of what I can accomplish.”

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#CourageToBeMore

We both rocked matching work clothes on very busy work days. I hit 11K steps covering an event on campus while Brad clocked in at 16K steps coaching (AND WINNING!) a game on the other side of campus this afternoon. Let’s go!

#couragetobemore

We both rocked matching work clothes on very busy work days. I hit 11K steps covering an event on campus while Brad clocked in at 16K steps coaching (AND WINNING!) a game on the other side of campus this afternoon. Let’s go!

#couragetobemore
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From Chicago’s government projects to this triumphant moment, I raise my hand as a testament to perseverance and dedication. With the grace of my savior Jesus Christ fueling my journey, I stand ready to inspire others to reach for their dreams with relentless determination. #CourageToBeMore #chicagostrong #boricuapride #drperez

From Chicago’s government projects to this triumphant moment, I raise my hand as a testament to perseverance and dedication. With the grace of my savior Jesus Christ fueling my journey, I stand ready to inspire others to reach for their dreams with relentless determination. #CourageToBeMore #chicagostrong #boricuapride #drperez ...

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Meet Sophie Sullivan, a rising Saint Leo junior and our next Saint Leo Summer feature! This summer, Sophie is working as a mentor at Georgetown University's summer programs in Washington, D.C. Sophie shares, "High school students come from all over the world to take part in these programs, and it has been such an honor to mentor and interact with them so far." 

Sophie has also taken advantage of spending time in such a historical location. "Not only is the historic Georgetown district incredibly charming, but the D.C area landmarks and museums are amazing. Some of my favorites have been the National Mall, George Washington's Mount Vernon, and the Library of Congress. As a history and English major, this area is so special to my heart. Seeing the places where monumental historic events occurred is incredibly important and powerful to me. I'm so excited to see what my next month in D.C will hold!"

Are you enjoying an exciting summer so far? We would like to feature your adventures on the university social media channels. Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are invited to email photos and a description about their experiences to socialmedia@saintleo.edu.

Meet Sophie Sullivan, a rising Saint Leo junior and our next Saint Leo Summer feature! This summer, Sophie is working as a mentor at Georgetown University`s summer programs in Washington, D.C. Sophie shares, "High school students come from all over the world to take part in these programs, and it has been such an honor to mentor and interact with them so far."



Sophie has also taken advantage of spending time in such a historical location. "Not only is the historic Georgetown district incredibly charming, but the D.C area landmarks and museums are amazing. Some of my favorites have been the National Mall, George Washington`s Mount Vernon, and the Library of Congress. As a history and English major, this area is so special to my heart. Seeing the places where monumental historic events occurred is incredibly important and powerful to me. I`m so excited to see what my next month in D.C will hold!"



Are you enjoying an exciting summer so far? We would like to feature your adventures on the university social media channels. Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are invited to email photos and a description about their experiences to socialmedia@saintleo.edu.
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