2008 Self Study Report
Early History of Webster University
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A spirit of innovation has always characterized Webster University. Founded in 1915,
Webster University is one of several schools formed by the Sisters of Loretto, who
were geographic and intellectual pioneers. Loretto College was one of the first Catholic
Colleges for women west of the Mississippi River; in 1924 the institution changed
its name to Webster College.
The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (now the Higher Learning Commission) accredited Webster College on March 19, 1925. In 1931, Webster initiated an international student program with nearly 200 faculty and students involved in study abroad between 1931-1950. In 1962, male students were admitted in Fine Arts programs.
Webster College became independent and coeducational in 1967 during a period of profound changes in American private education. Leaders from the St. Louis corporate and professional community were invited to join the Board of Trustees. This conversion to a private and secular institution was made with a commitment to retain the values of a liberal arts education even as the institution adapted to rapidly changing times. The College began to grow and soon expanded into new areas of educational delivery, including programs for working adults.