Viterbo University to Host Women's Military History Month Celebration March 20

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

March 8, 2023

Contact Sam Morris at 608-796-3039 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – The public is invited to attend a free Women’s Military History Month Celebration at Viterbo University Monday, March 20. All events will be held in the Fine Arts Center:

  • 5:30–6 p.m. Social – FSPA Lobby
  • 6–7 p.m. Celebration Program – FSPA Lobby
  • 7:15–8:30 p.m. The Hello Girls Documentary Screening – Nola Starling Recital Hall

The program will feature speakers 641st Troop Command Battalion Commander LTC Mindy Mingerink and 641st Troop Command Sergeant Major Terri Vollrath, the only female Combat Arms Command Team in the State of Wisconsin. It will also include a performance by the cast understudies of the upcoming Viterbo production of the musical also entitled The Hello Girls.

The documentary The Hello Girls is the story of the 223 women sent to France in 1918 by the U.S. Army Signal Corps to serve as telephone operators. These bilingual English and French translators swore Army oaths, wore uniforms, held rank, and were subject to military justice. By the end of World War I, they had connected over 26 million calls and were recognized by General John Pershing for their service. Upon returning home however, they were informed by the U.S. government that they were not considered soldiers. They fought their own government for recognition for over 60 years, which they finally received in 1977. Unfortunately, only a handful were still alive at the time.

“We are celebrating Viterbo’s rich history of producing women military leaders and their contributions to our service branches,” said Sam Morris, director of military student success at Viterbo University. “The theme of this year’s event is ‘Answering the Call.’ Since 1966, Viterbo University has graduated more than 170 military officers for the U.S. Army, Navy, and Airforce, and more than 100 of these military alumni are women.”

Photo: 641st Troop Command Battalion Commander LTC Mindy Mingerink.