Viterbo University

Viterbo University
Type Private
Liberal arts university
Established 1890
Affiliation Roman Catholic (Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration)
Endowment $23.9 million[1]
Administrative staff
1 staff to 11 students
Students 2,677[2]
Undergraduates 1,826
Postgraduates 851
Location La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA
Campus Urban
Athletics NAIANSAA
Nickname V-Hawks
Affiliations AFCU

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 70 undergraduate degree programs, four master's degrees, one doctoral degree, two associate degree programs, and multiple certification programs.[3]

In 2014 U.S. News & World Report ranked Viterbo in the top regional universities in the Midwest at #109 and the university's graduate nursing program nationally at #234.[4] With over 18,000 alumni, the university remains one of only 24 members in the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities located in the United States.[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.[6]


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.[7]F


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.

Notable alumni

Notable faculty

See also



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