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May 16, 2005

Contact Viterbo University, Pat Kerrigan at 608-796-3041,


LA CROSSE, Wis -- Viterbo University will significantly increase its endowment, explore Western Wisconsin's first doctoral program, expand its regional influence, and initiate several campus construction and renovation projects as part of The University of Opportunity, a new campus blueprint which officials unveiled today.
The newest plan, comes on the heels of its predecessor, Vision 2005: A Renaissance for Living and Learning in the 21st Century, which comes to a successful completion with the new $7.5 million Amie L. Mathy Center for Recreation and Education.

During Vision 2005, which was launched in 1997, the Viterbo landscape would change dramatically from the infusion of $42.5 million in campus enhancements. In addition to the Mathy Center; Viterbo built the $11.4 million D.B. and Marge Reinhart Center for Ethics, Science, and Technology; acquired property for an outdoor athletic complex on Highway 16; constructed Rose Terrace, a housing complex for students, and built a new physical plant facility. Several buildings were extensively upgraded, including the Fine Arts Center. In addition, several streets which intersect campus, were vacated for landscaping and other beautification projects. During that same period (1997-05) endowment jumped from $6.4 million to $14 million and enrollment which now stands at 2,790, grew by 45 percent, spurred by growth in adult and off campus programs.

Despite these recent successes, in announcing The University of Opportunity, Viterbo officials were quick to point out the need to keep the momentum going. “The past eight years have been wonderful,” Bill Medland, president of Viterbo said, “but there is always the need for continuous change in meeting our future challenges and opportunities. Vision 2005 will soon become part of our successful past. The University of Opportunity will continue this exciting trend well into the future.”

Specific initiatives associated with The University of Opportunity include:

  • Expansion of Viterbo graduate program offerings to include a Ph.D. in Ethical Leadership which would constitute Western Wisconsin's first doctorate;
  • Endowment growth to assure Viterbo's tuition remains affordable.  Currently, Viterbo tuition ranks twelfth among the twenty private colleges and universities located in Wisconsin;
  • New construction of a modern student residence complex; expansion and modernization of the existing nursing education facility; and the renovation of existing areas to increase library space and create a “24/7 Cyber Café, and the renovation of campus dining facilities to incorporate the concept of a food court.

In all, The University of Opportunity included 25 separate initiatives ranging from relocating the existing art gallery and adding a new sculpture and fountain in Assisi Courtyard to significant program changes including more “24/7” access for students to their grades, financial aid and registration information, and a greater emphasis on expanding the influence of the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership.

“Viterbo University has experienced a wonderful transformation,” Medland said. “There's a lot more planned for the future and much of this has been possible because of the tremendous support we have enjoy on campus and in the community.”

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