- Associated Press - Friday, June 2, 2017

RENSSELAER, Ind. (AP) - Alumni want to help reopen a Catholic liberal arts school in northwest Indiana that’s suspending operations at the end of the month.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times (https://bit.ly/2qOCyas ) reported that the Rev. Barry Fischer, the new Saint Joseph’s College rector, has written a letter to alumni saying a team of volunteers has assembled to find a way to save the Rensselaer college.

Dubbed the Saint Joseph’s Phoenix Project, the group hopes to find a way to reconstitute the college to be in a stronger financial position. They hope to reopen as early as the fall of 2018.

“I realize that the task before me is enormous and daunting. I take up the challenge with hope that Saint Joe’s will rise from the ashes,” Fischer wrote.

The school’s board of trustees decided to suspend operations after the college racked up $27 million in debt with an additional $35 million in deferred building maintenance.

In a statement, the board said that “the size of the shortfall was so large that the college would need to achieve unprecedented fundraising or enrollment results in order to continue to operate.”

The college has about 1,100 students.

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Information from: The Times, https://www.nwitimes.com

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