Based on interviews with alumni, experts, and college faculty, it seems clear to us that the numbers of Jewish students continued to decline, so that by the 1970s and 1980s, the number of Jewish students on campus was miniscule. More research is required to determine the reasons, but these could include:
- as anti-Semitism in the United States fell following WWII, Jewish students had a wider field of educational opportunities to choose from, and thus, a Catholic institution became less appealing.
- the ethnic makeup of the Smith Hill neighborhood also changed (see our map), meaning that PC was no longer a "neighborhood" school for Jewish students, who had moved to the suburbs or the East Side.
- some alumni and faculty who were on campus after 1965 described a different climate on campus than those alumni who were on campus in the 1930s and 1940s. Some described feeling singled out, different, and less welcome.Thus the 1960s and 1970s pose a puzzling irony: as the Catholic Church placed more emphasis on issues of interreligious dialogue and the common heritage of the Jewish and Catholic faiths, and as the number of Jews began to increase at other Catholic institutions, such as Boston College, Providence College became a place where fewer Jews were present in the everyday life and community on campus. In the most recent numbers provided by the Office of Institutional Research, just 13 out of Providence College's 3,948 undergraduate day school population self-identify as Jewish, less than 1%.