University of Wisconsin–Superior

The University of Wisconsin–Superior (also known as UW–Superior or UWS) is a public university located in Superior, Wisconsin. UW–Superior grants associate, bachelor's, master's, and specialist's degrees. The university enrolls about 2,500 undergraduates and 200 graduate students.

University of WisconsinSuperior
TypeState university
ChancellorRenée M. Wachter
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Undergraduates2,365 (2017)
Postgraduates222 (2018)
Location, ,

46°43′05″N 92°05′24″W
Campusurban, small city
ColorsBlack and Gold
AthleticsNCAA Division III
UMAC, WIAC (ice hockey)
AffiliationsUW System
MascotBuzz the Yellowjacket


Originally named Superior Normal School, the university was founded by Wisconsin legislators as a school to train teachers in 1893. Superior Normal School's first class graduated in 1897. In 1909, the institution became Wisconsin's first normal school to offer a full-scale training program for the new idea of kindergarten. It also was the first to offer a four-year program for high school teachers beginning in 1923. After authorization to grant bachelor's degrees in education in 1926, the school took on the new name of Superior State Teachers College. Graduate degrees were authorized in 1947 and first offered in 1950. In 1951 the state board of regents changed the institution's name to Wisconsin State College–Superior to better reflect its expanding role. Wisconsin's state colleges eventually were reclassified as universities, resulting in another name change in 1964 to Wisconsin State University–Superior. In 1971 Superior became part of the University of Wisconsin System and acquired its present name.[1] To respond to cuts in state funding, in 2018 UW-Superior suspended a number of academic programs, claiming the cuts were in order to encourage more students to graduate on time.[2][3]


UW–Superior has been designated as the public liberal arts college in the University of Wisconsin System, and is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges.


The university's main campus is at the corner of Belknap Street (U.S. Highway 2) and Catlin Avenue. Its north section is the site of all academic buildings and most residence halls. The south section, at the corner of North 28th Street and Catlin Avenue, contains Hawkes and Ross residence halls, Wessman Arena, and the University Services Center.

Academic buildings

  • Barstow Hall, named for regent Barney Barstow: science programs, Lake Superior Research Institute
  • Erlanson Hall, named for regent Clarence Erlanson: School of Business and Economics, Transportation and Logistics Research Center
  • Gates Physical Education Building, named for regent Clough Gates: classrooms and labs, Mortorelli Gymnasium
  • Holden Fine Arts Center, named for campus benefactor Paul Holden: communicating arts, music, and visual arts programs, Wisconsin Public Radio studios, Manion Theatre, Webb Recital Hall
  • Jim Dan Hill Library, named for the university's fifth president (1931-1964)
  • Marcovich Wellness Center, named for regent Toby Marcovich: athletics, health and human performance programs, recreation, Thering Field House
  • Old Main, the oldest building on campus: Chancellor's Office, Provost's Office, Financial Aid Office, Center for Continuing Education, Distance Learning Center, Bursar's (cashier's) Office, Center for Academic Advising, University Relations, Human Resources, Multicultural Center, Office of International Programs, Veteran & Non-Traditional Student Center, Thorpe Langley Auditorium
  • Swenson Hall, named for campus benefactors James and Susan Swenson: social sciences, education, languages, mathematics and computer science, Technology Services, First Nations Center, Student Support Services, Markwood Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Erlenbach Lecture Hall
  • Wessman Arena, named for regent Siinto Wessman
  • Yellowjacket Union: Admissions Office, Jacket Book and Supply, Union Cafe, Union Desk Information and Services, Rothwell Opportunity Center and student organization offices.

Residence halls

  • Crownhart Hall, named for regent Charles Crownhart
  • Curran Hall, named for regent Robert Curran
  • McNeill Hall, named for first president Israel McNeill (1896-1907)
  • Ostrander Hall, named for regent Frank Ostrander
  • Ross Hall, named for regent Frank Ross
  • Hawkes Hall, named for regent Elizabeth Hawkes

Satellite locations

The university manages three field research and education properties:

  • Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve, on Barker's Island in the Superior harbor, accessed from U.S. Highways 2/53
  • Nelson Outdoor Laboratory, 76 acres, on the Lake Superior shoreline within the city of Superior, at the end of Moccasin Mike Road
  • Gordon MacQuarrie Wetlands, 470 acres, off Douglas County Highways C/W, 18 miles southwest of the main campus near the Wisconsin-Minnesota border

Research centers

UW-Superior hosts four regional research centers and has three other research institute affiliations.

  • Area Research Center, in Jim Dan Hill Library, collects public, historical, and genealogical records for Douglas and Washburn counties, in partnership with the Wisconsin Historical Society
  • Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve studies the estuarine environment of the St. Louis River and the south shore of Lake Superior
  • Lake Superior Research Institute conducts original research within the Lake Superior basin and beyond in Wisconsin
  • Transportation and Logistics Research Center studies regional transportation issues

Affiliated research institutes:

  • Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute is a shipping research consortium of UW-Superior and the University of Minnesota-Duluth
  • International Institute for Reminiscence and Life Review is affiliated with the university's Center for Continuing Education
  • Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute has its Lake Superior regional office at the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve



UW–Superior’s athletic teams, nicknamed the Yellowjackets, are affiliated with the NCAA’s Division III class. Most teams complete in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) and competed prior to 2015-2016 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC). Men's and women's ice hockey teams continue to compete in the WIAC. The men's hockey team won the NAIA national championship in 1976 and the NCAA Division III national championship in 2002.

Men's sports Women's sports
Cross CountryCross Country
Ice HockeyIce Hockey
Track and FieldTrack and Field
Tennis Tennis


Radio station

KUWS, the university's radio station, broadcasts with 83,000 watts at 91.3 FM. KUWS is an affiliate of the Wisconsin Public Radio Ideas Network, and also originates its own jazz, alternative rock, and other music programming as well as UW-Superior sports broadcasts. The KUWS studios also serve as the WPR Northern Bureau and provide programming to stations WHSA, WHWA, WSSU(FM), and WUWS.

Student newspaper

The Promethean is the student newspaper for the University of Wisconsin–Superior. It began as The Peptomist, in 1920. Students voted to change the name to Promethean in 1974. The name was changed again at the start of the 2007-2008 academic year, to The Stinger. In Fall 2009, it became primarily an online newspaper, publishing a print magazine compilation at the end of each term. In 2013, the newspaper returned to print, publishing bi-weekly. In 2015, the name returned to Promethean.[5]


The University of Wisconsin–Superior has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1916 and was a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools prior to its dissolution.[1]

Notable alumni

Notable faculty and staff


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