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Timeline of Alverno College History


Alverno Institute (now part of the Assessment and Outreach Center), which enables the college to support and share the teaching and scholarship of its faculty at the national level was established in 1980.
Learn More about Institute... 



Also in 1980, Telesis Institute, Alverno's non-degree program for continuing education and enrichment opened. It ceased operation in 2015.


This is a press release dated November 24, 1980 announcing the opening of Telesis.

This November 24, 1980 press release announced the creation of the Alverno  Telesis Institute. The first Telesis classes were offered in the Spring of 1981.


This is the cover for the first Telesis catalog from Spring 1981.

Above is the cover for the first Telesis Catalog. Classes listed such as Assertiveness Training, Stress Management, Rational Thinking for Effective Living, Cross Country Skiing, Coping with Persistent Pain, Aerobic Dance, Wellness for Women, Estate Planning, Tax Planning Strategies for Individuals, and Guiding Faith Development were offered in the Spring of 1981.



U. S. News and World Report distributed a survey in 1983 to 1,308 college presidents of four year programs.  They were asked to name the highest quality undergraduate institutions in the nation.  The findings of that first exclusive national survey were reported in the November 28, 1983 issue of U.S. News and World Report.  Educators selected Alverno College as one of three colleges deserving of special recognition for its innovative and noteworthy academic programs.


Sister Joel & Sister Austin viewing an issue of U.S. News and World Report

Alverno College President Sister Joel Read and Academic Dean Sister Austin Doherty preview the results of the first U.S. News and World Report survey on top colleges.  This photo was taken November 11, 1983 by photographer Frank Miller.



In the summer of 1984, Dr.J.A. Knubben of Nijenrode, The Netherlands School of Business, came to America in search of "performance-oriented" teaching and assessment methods. His contacts in Boston sent him right to Alverno. From that first meeting, an Alverno-Dutch connection grew.


Alverno-Nijenrode School of Business Connection

An article titled, "Dutch University finds 'better way' at Alverno," was written about that  connection in the November 1984 issue of Alverno Today. The headline and photo of Dr. Marcia Mentkowski and Dr. Knubben above were taken from that article. 



Also in 1984, Virginia Wagner was named Dean of Students. She retired in 2015.


This is a color portrait of Virginia Wagner

Virginia Wagner



Because the Carnegie Corporation's 1986 survey ranked Alverno as having one of the five best-regarded general education programs in the country, the Milwaukee Common Council presented then Alverno President, Sr. Joel Read, with a citation on May 5, 1987. The citation was announced in this April 29, 1987 press release.


Press Release about Carnegie Corporation Ranking of Alverno in the top five for general education




In 1987, U.S. News and World Report ranked Alverno number one.


Money Magazine designated Alverno a "best buy" in 1987 too.


Happy Birthday, Alverno!
Alverno celebrated its Centennial with 21 different events held throughout the year. The festivities are listed below on a page from the April/May 1987 issue of Alverno Magazine. The cover from the same issue is also shown.


Alverno Magazine Centennial Cover 1987  

Centennial Events listed in Alverno Magazine 1987




Alverno's 100th Commencement Ceremony was held on December 16, 1989. It was captured in this article from the February 1990 issue of Alverno Today.


Alverno's 100th Graduation ceremony was recognized in the February 1990 issue of  "Alverno Today"