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.
The university has more than 70 undergraduate degree programs, five graduate degrees, two associate degree programs and multiple certification programs.
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Over 600 students choose to live on campus each year and claim Viterbo as their "home away from home." Local and national research shows that students who live on campus for at least their first year of college are retained at higher rates, are more involved in co-curricular activities, are more connected to the university community, and graduate faster than students who live off campus. Our mascot, Vic V-Hawk even has his own Top 10 Reasons to Live on Campus!
n 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.
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.
Viterbo University's student organizations and sports clubs serve as an added educational resource to students, giving them experiences related to their classes and providing a variety of activities to supplement and balance their lives. Involvement in a group that helps to explore interests can be a source of developing skills, learning more about the many facets of a particular area, experiencing the interplay of working with others, and assuming leadership roles. Get involved in one of the 35 plus student organizations or sport clubs.
Viterbo University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, whose Higher Learning Commission evaluates colleges and universities seeking accreditation in a 19-state region.
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