Webster University

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Webster University
Webster University seal.svg
Former name
Loretto College (1915–1924)
Webster College (1924–1983)
Type Private university
Established1915;109 years ago (1915)
Founder Sisters of Loretto
Accreditation Higher Learning Commission
Endowment $129.8 million (2020) [1]
Chancellor Elizabeth Stroble [2]
Students13,448 (2023) [3] [4]

38°35′21″N90°20′45″W / 38.5892°N 90.3457°W / 38.5892; -90.3457
CampusSuburban, 47 acres (19 ha) [5]
Colors    Webster blue and gold [6]
Nickname Gorloks
Sporting affiliations
MascotWebster Gorlok [7]
Website www.webster.edu
Webster University Logo.svg

Webster University is a private university with its main campus in Webster Groves, Missouri. It has multiple branch locations across the United States and countries across Europe, Asia, and Africa. [8] In 2023, Webster enrolled 13,448 students. [9] The university has an alumni network of around 170,000 graduates worldwide. [10]



It was founded in 1915 by the Sisters of Loretto as Loretto College, a Catholic women's college, one of the first west of the Mississippi River. [11] One of the early founders was Mother Praxedes Carty. [12] The college's name was changed to Webster College in 1924. [13] The first male students were admitted in 1962. [14] The sisters transferred ownership of the college to a lay Board of Directors in 1967; it was the first Catholic college in the United States to be totally under lay control. [15] In 1983, Webster College's name was changed to Webster University. [13]

Webster was involved in the early racial integration battles in St. Louis. During the early 1940s, many local priests, especially the Jesuits, challenged the segregationist policies at the city's Catholic colleges and parochial schools. The St. Louis chapter of the Midwest Clergy Conference on Negro Welfare arranged in 1943 for Webster College to admit a black female student, Mary Aloyse Foster, which would make it the city's first Catholic college to integrate. [16] However, in 1943 Archbishop John J. Glennon blocked that student's enrollment by speaking privately with the Kentucky-based Superior General of the Sisters of Loretto. [17] The Pittsburgh Courier , an African-American newspaper with national circulation, discovered Glennon's actions and ran a front-page feature on the Webster incident in February 1944. [18] The negative publicity toward Glennon's segregationist policies led Saint Louis University to begin admitting African American students in summer 1944. [19] In the fall of 1945, Webster College responded to pressure by admitting Irene Thomas, a Catholic African-American woman from St. Louis, as a music major. [20]


Loretto Hall in 2007 Webster University (1444252375).jpg
Loretto Hall in 2007

Colleges include: [21]

Webster University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. [22] Specific programs are accredited by specialized accreditors, including the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), [23] the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), [24] the National League for Nursing (NLN), [25] the Council on Accreditation (COA), [26] the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), [27] the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, [28] and the National Board for Certified Counselors. [29]

In 2023, Webster University was ranked 22nd among regional universities (Midwest) by U.S. News & World Report.[ citation needed ]

Webster campus in St. Louis is the home of the Global Policy Horizons Lab, which has become a premier hub for research on issues of global security and conflict management. The Lab was established in 2023. The current Director of the Lab is Dani Belo.


Webster University maintains a Confucius Institute in partnership with Beijing Language and Culture University. [30] In 2019, US senator Josh Hawley asked Webster University to close its Confucius Institute. [31]


Webster University campus in Leiden Webster University (Oude Rijn) Leiden.jpg
Webster University campus in Leiden
The Campus of Webster University Geneva, Switzerland. Webster University-Geneva Campus.jpg
The Campus of Webster University Geneva, Switzerland.

Webster University's home campus is located in Webster Groves, a suburb of St. Louis. [15] Many of the domestic campuses are located near military bases; some are located in various metropolitan areas. The international campuses are located in several European countries including Switzerland, Austria, Georgia, and The Netherlands; several are also located in Asia, such as in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Thailand, and China.

In addition to its own international campuses, Webster has also formed partnerships with a few universities that are based in the country of interest. For example, The Webster Graduate School was until 2015 tied with Regent's University London; [32] and Webster maintains a relationship with Kansai University in Osaka, Japan [33] and with The Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara in Guadalajara, Mexico. [34] Recently, Webster started a study abroad program in Greece. [35]

In 2015, Webster released a report on its Thailand campus citing several issues, including badly inadequate facilities and a culture of distrust between students and the administration. [36] The report also cited several strengths on the campus, including strong academics and financial stability, saying "recruitment, marketing and admissions" are an area of strength for the campus. [37] One month after the internal report was issued, a campus ombudsman was appointed to address the communications issues and to bring the Thailand campus more in-line with the home campus' policies. [38]


Webster University's athletic mascot is the Gorlok, named in honor of the school's location at the corner of Gore and Lockwood Avenues in Webster Groves. Athletic teams participate in the NCAA Division III and in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC). [39]

Webster's Baseball Team has made back to back trips to the Division III World Series placing fifth in both 2012 and 2013. They also made the Division III World Series in 2015. They made it to the regional Division III championship in 2014 but was defeated in the first round. [40] Major League pitcher Josh Fleming played for Webster. [41]

Webster's chess team has won more national titles than any college team in the country and has been ranked #1 continuously since 2012. [42]

Student life

Webster University, in Fall 2014, enrolled 5,010 undergraduate students and 17,190 graduate students. [43] The average SAT composite score for the undergraduate class was 1,194. The average ACT composite score was 24. Students come from 49 states and more than 122 countries.

Webster University St. Louis has a student newspaper called The Journal and a student radio station called The Galaxy. The Galaxy was re-launched online in 2007. [44] Webster University has other e-newsletters such as Webster Today and departmental publications.

Webster University recently allowed the formation of the first Greek organization on its St. Louis campus, with the founding of the 152nd Chapter of Delta Upsilon and the founding of the Gamma Zeta Chapter of Delta Phi Epsilon.

Notable people


Professors for the university have included Chess grandmaster Susan Polgar, actor/dancer Lara Teeter, dancer Alicia Graf Mack, poet David Clewell, [45] video artist Van McElwee, [46] political scientists Daniel Hellinger and Johannes Pollak, United Nations Special Rapporteur for Violence Against Women Rashida Manjoo, [47] activist and writer Sulak Sivaraksa, sound engineer Bill Porter, Holocaust scholar Harry J. Cargas, and former Missouri Governor Bob Holden. [48]


There were over 190,000 alumni as of 2017. [56]

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