Viterbo University

Viterbo University is a private co-educational Roman Catholic and Franciscan liberal arts university located in La Crosse, Wisconsin, United States. Founded in 1890, Viterbo offers more than 40 academic programs [3](traditional and online) at the associate's, bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree level.[2]

Viterbo University
Liberal arts university
AffiliationRoman Catholic (Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration)
Endowment$54.0 million[1]
PresidentGlena Temple
Administrative staff
1 staff to 11 students
Location, ,
United States

In 2019 U.S. News & World Report placed Viterbo among the top regional universities in the Midwest at #61, and it was ranked at #38 among best schools for military veterans.[4] With over 18,000 alumni, the university is one of 24 members in the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities.[5]


In 1890, the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration founded St. Rose Normal School, a school to prepare religious sisters to teach in elementary schools. College courses were introduced in 1923. The school developed a four-year college program, and by the 1931-1932 school year became known as St. Rose Junior College. Lay women were admitted starting in 1934 and in 1937, the school was renamed Viterbo College. In 1939, it received approval as a four-year degree-granting institution and the college became co-ed in 1970 when men were allowed to enter. On September 4, 2000 the college was renamed Viterbo University. In 2013, the university's first doctoral program was introduced offering a Doctor of Nursing Practice.[2]


In 1971, the school's Fine Arts Center was completed. In 1987, the school's Varsity Athletic Center was built. In 2004, the Reinhart Center for Ethics in Leadership (the natural sciences building) was completed, and in 2005 the Mathy Center expansion to the 1987 athletics building was completed. The Mathy Center is a collaboration between Viterbo University and the local Boys and Girls Club of La Crosse—the first such effort in the country. A remodel of the Todd Wehr Memorial Library within the main academic building, Murphy Center, was completed in 2006, and the school bookstore was remodeled in the summer of 2006. Between 2009 and 2011, the Student Union was remodeled at the expense of the Student Government Association, in collaboration with the Residence Hall Council. The Union remodel included upgrades to the security desk, flooring, computer area, television, and furniture. The School of Nursing Building, which opened in fall of 2011, has simulation labs dedicated to critical care, medical/surgical, maternal newborn care, and child health care. It also has a nutrition and dietetics lab. Since 2013, Viterbo University has shared space at the Weber Center for the Performing Arts, a 30,000-square-foot facility in downtown La Crosse.

Student demographics

As of the fall 2015 semester 2,677 students were enrolled at Viterbo University. There were 1,826 undergraduate students and 851 graduate students. Viterbo has a student/faculty ratio of 11:1 and an average class size of 16.[2]


Viterbo University teams, nicknamed athletically as the V-Hawks, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the North Star Athletic Association. The V-Hawks had been a member of the Midwest Collegiate Conference (MCC) from 1989 until it disbanded in 2015. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, and track & field (indoor and outdoor); while women's sports include basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, track & field (indoor and outdoor), and volleyball. Beginning in fall 2018, Viterbo will add co-ed competitive dance as an intercollegiate sport.[6] Viterbo will also add men's volleyball[7] and compete as part of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Notable alumni

Notable faculty

See also



  1. As of June 30, 2018. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2018 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY17 to FY 2018". 2018 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 10, 2019. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  2. Viterbo University. Quick Facts
  3. "Academics | VITERBO UNIVERSITY". Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  5. Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities. Members.
  6. "Spend an "Evening with Thea" on April 2". Viterbo University. Retrieved August 17, 2012.

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