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From its establishment in 1958 by the Sisters of St. Francis, Lourdes University has provided an excellent Catholic and Franciscan education.

Milestones and Accomplishments

1916   Bishop Schrembs formally requests a Toledo Province of Rochester Sisters. On November 23, Rochester Franciscans were selected as the original province members. The group was under the direction of Mother Adelaide Sandusky, the newly appointed Provincial Superior.

1917   Three farms located in Sylvania, Ohio, are purchased. This property would one day become the home of the Franciscan Sisters.

1942   An extension campus of St. Teresa in Winona, Minnesota, is established on the Sylvania-Franciscan campus.

1958   Lourdes Junior College is founded. Mother Justinian Warpeha, OSF is the first President (1958-1962).

1964   The College receives accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools during the presidency of Sr. M. Remigia Kostick, OSF, 1962–1972.

1969   Lay women are admitted to the Junior College.

1973   Lourdes College becomes independently incorporated.

1975   During the presidency of Sr. Rosaria Petra, OSF, 1972–1981, the first men are admitted to Lourdes College. Educational opportunities are also extended to students from the St. Vincent School of Nursing in Toledo and the Providence School of Nursing in Sandusky, Ohio.

1977   The Franciscan Sisters and area business and civic leaders hold extensive discussions regarding the need for a Catholic college following the closing of Mary Manse College. These discussions lead to a feasibility study regarding a four-year college.

1978   An Associate Degree for Occupational Therapy Assistant receives approval.

1979   A Lifelong Learning Center is founded by Sr. Ann Francis Klimkowski, OSF, and offers a wide range of adult education classes.

1981   Under the guidance of Sr. Marie Andrée Chorzempa, OSF, (acting president 1981–1983), the first bachelor’s degree programs are developed in religious studies and individualized studies. The Board approves the move to a four-year college.

1982   The College is authorized by the Ohio Board of Regents and receives accreditation from North Central Association for baccalaureate degrees.

1983   Sr. Ann Francis Klimkowski, OSF, becomes president of the College (1983–2000).

1986   Two more bachelor’s degrees are added to the curriculum: Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

1991   The Associate Degree for Early Childhood Teacher Education is approved.

1993   A full complement of majors within the Bachelor of Arts degree are added.

1999   Authorization from the Ohio Board of Regents and accreditation from North Central Association are received to offer a Bachelor of Science degree.

2000   Dr. George Matthews becomes president of the College (2000–2003).

2002   Graduate degrees in Education and Organizational Leadership are accredited.

2003   Dr. Robert Helmer becomes president of the College (2003–2012).

2007   Lourdes dedicates Delp and McAlear Halls. Graduate degree in Nursing is accredited.

2009   Graduate degree in Theology is accredited.

2010   Lourdes welcomes first residential students and launches the inaugural intercollegiate athletic season.

2011   Lourdes College transitions to Lourdes University. Graduate degrees in Business, Liberal Studies, and Nurse Anesthesia are accredited.

2012   Dr. Janet Robinson becomes interim president of the University (2012–2013).

2013   Lourdes offers inaugural study abroad courses. Dr. David J. Livingston becomes the ninth president of the University. Lourdes breaks ground on Phase I of the mid-campus expansion.

2014   Lourdes’ mid-campus opens, connecting the historic and residential campuses.

2015   Northview High School and Lourdes University announce partnership; break ground on athletic complex. Gray Wolves women’s volleyball team wins Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC).

2016   Dr. Mary Ann Gawelek becomes the 10th president of the University. Lourdes officially opens and dedicates the Russell J. Ebeid Recreation Center.

2022   Dr. Terry M. Keller becomes Interim President of the University.

2023   Dr. William J. Bisset is appointed the 12th president of the University.

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