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SHAWNEE, Okla. – It was news that shocked the Shawnee community late last year.

In November, students and staff members at St. Gregory’s University learned that their school was closing at the end of the fall semester.

The Board of Directors says the decision to close the university was necessary due to a lack of operating funds.

The university had applied for a $12.5 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but its application was denied.

Following the announcement, 110 faculty members and 550 full-time students were forced to change course and transfer to another university.

Now, school officials are taking the next steps to begin paying off the university’s outstanding debts.

Damian Whalen, who is currently serving as Executive Administrator of St. Gregory’s University, wrote on Facebook that the university has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and a federal court appointed trustee is now in control of the school’s assets.

Whalen says that university assets will likely be sold at some point, but the museum and the abbey will remain open no matter what happens with the other buildings.

St. Gregory’s University opened in 1875 and was the only Catholic university in Oklahoma.