1875 - Creation of Lyon Catholic University
Following the promulgation of the law on freedom of higher education of July 12, 1875, a group of Lyonnais jurists, under the protection of the bishops of the twenty five dioceses of the greater south-eastern area of France, decided to create a Catholic university at the end of the month of July 1875.
It developed in the heart of the city of Lyon on its peninsula, Place Bellecour .
This historic anchoring is a key element of UCLy’s identity and that of the city of Lyon.
At the impulse of the deputy, and then senator, Lucien Brun, Lyon Catholic University preceded its public counterparts by a few months when it opened the courses of the first Department of Law of Lyon on 25 November, 1875.
1875 - Foundation of the Department of Law
1877 - Foundation of the Department of Modern Languages and Literature and the Department Natural Sciences
1878 - Foundation of the Department of Theology
1919 - The First Chemistry School Opens
It became The Institute of Chemistry and Industrial Physics (ICPI) and ESCPE in 1994
1932 - Foundation of the Department of Philosophy
1939 - 1945 - The University Grows
The declaration of war came when the construction of new buildings had barely started. They would be completed in 1945, including:
• The construction of the main courtyard
• The construction of the Saint Irénée Chapel
• The establishment of a library, which today houses more than 200,000 books
• The setting up of science laboratories and classrooms on three floors
1956 - Disciplinary and Geographic Expansion
From this point, new disciplines could be taught, such as philosophy and research on the major issues of contemporary society. It was in 1956 that the university opened on Place Bellecour at 25 rue de Plat.
2005 - Lyon Catholic University settles on the Place Carnot site
A decisive first investment. The site then acquired modern equipment and today welcomes more than a third of the university's students, but does not cover all of its development needs.
2007 - UCLy joins the Lyon University group
2010 - UCLY repurposes the old Saint-Paul prison
UCLy seized the opportunity offered by the reconstruction of the Saint-Paul and Saint-Joseph prisons site, located at the Porte de la Confluence, by answering a state call for projects.
This global project, entitled “La vie grande ouverte”, was selected by the state in a decision which was made public in November 2010.
The architects Garbit & Blondeau, the Ory studio, and the urban planner Thierry Roche were chosen to restore the site.
2015 - Opening of the second UCLy Campus in Lyon: Campus Saint-Paul
The old Saint-Paul prison has become a new campus for UCLy. On the islet of the former Saint-Joseph prison, 107 accommodation units are now located as well as 66 rental social housing units, an intergenerational residence with 110 apartments, local shops, restaurants and 11,300 m2 of office space.
2015 - Launch of the UCLy Club
A meeting point between our university community, individuals, and businesses, the UCLy Club provides a space to discover a new perspective on the world. In 2018, the UCLy Club was renamed "UCLy Experts".
2020 - UCLy opens its third Campus in Annecy, the Campus Alpes Europe
UCLy is expanding once again by establishing a third campus in the heart of the city of Annecy, which opened its doors in September 2020.
Carried out in agreement with the Savoie Mont Blanc University, this project makes it possible to develop the Higher Education Programmes in Haute-Savoie, a particularly dynamic border region.