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Timeline of Alverno College History



Alverno's Athletic program was officially re-initiated with the creation of the Alverno Inferno. Volleyball and basketball were planned for the 2000-2001 school year. Soccer, softball, and cross-country running were added later.


First Alverno Inferno Season Schedule, 2000

This schedule for Alverno Inferno volleyball and basketball appeared in the September 2000 issue of Alverno Today. It was the first athletic schedule for an Alverno team in over 25 years. Athletics was reintroduced in an effort to attract more traditional-aged students.



Global Studies was approved as a major in 2000.




SSSF Logo   


Also in 2000, the School Sisters of St. Francis, Alverno College's founding Order, celebrated its 125th Anniversary.

Learn more about the School Sisters of St. Francis...





In 2001,  the Alverno Archives Web site was launched.


Also in 2001, Computer Studies became a major area of study.



The Mug," Alverno's first student-run coffeehouse, officially celebrated its grand opening during the week of April 8, 2002. An article on the new coffeehouse was published in the Summer 2002 issue of Alverno Magazine.


This is an Alverno Magazine photo of "The Mug," student-run coffee house, from the Sumnmer 2002 issue.

Trinidad Hernandez and Amanda Landon prepare drinks for patrons in "The Mug." Photo by Shelly Most.



Marketing Management and International Business were approved as new major areas of study.




 Study Abroad2


In 2002, the International and Intercultural Center opened providing information to Alverno students about study abroad opportunities and information for international students wishing to study at Alverno.



On November 22, 2002, Sr. Joel Read announced her impending retirement. Sr. Joel's many accomplishments were celebrated at a retirement party on May 22, 2003. She officially retired on July 31, 2003.

Click here to learn more about Alverno College Presidents.


This is a color photograph of Sister Joel Read at her retirement

Sister Joel Read in 2003



Sister Kathleen O'Brien was named Interim-President of Alverno College in August 2003. She served the college in that capacity until June 2004. At the time of her appointment, she was the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Her year as Interim-President was instrumental in paving the way for a smooth transition to Alverno's first lay president, Dr. Mary Meehan.


Sister Kathleen O'Brien, Acting president of Alverno College, 2003-2004

Sister Kathleen O'Brien




On June 1, 2004, Dr. Mary J. Meehan became Alverno's seventh President marking a new era at Alverno as the first lay person to lead the college. Her inauguration was on October 8, 2004.

Click here to learn more about Alverno College Presidents.


Dr. Mary J. Meehan

Dr.  Mary J. Meehan




In 2005, Zohreh Emami stepped down from her position as an Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs.

          Zohreh Emami

Zohreh Emami



In Fall 2005 Alverno began offering a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Targeted at practicing professionals interested in advancing their careers, it is a first-of-its-kind, ability-based program with a focus on nursing education and clinical practice designed for registered nurses who currently teach or wish to teach. It also happily coincided with the 75th Anniversary celebration for the nursing program.


First MSN Class, Fall 2005



On the evening of November 8, 2005 (only a few weeks after celebrating the building's 40th Anniversary at Homecoming,) President Mary Meehan announced that the Campus Center would be renamed in honor of Sr. Austin Doherty, whose service and dedication to Alverno exemplified the spirit of the foundresses of the School Sisters of St. Francis.


This is an article aboutthe newly named Austin Hall published in Alverno Alpha (student newspaper), November 2005

Article from the November 2005 issue of Alverno Alpha (Student Newspaper) p. 1.



Headline from an article on the new MBA program in the Spring 2006 issue of Alverno Magazine p. 6-7.

Headline from an article on the new MBA program in the Spring 2006 issue of Alverno Magazine p. 6-7.


Long anticipated and much requested, Alverno launched its third graduate program, an MBA, in Fall 2006. Designed to draw upon a student's own experiences, the Alverno program is unique. It is "ability-based, assessment-modeled, highly experiential and centered on the student as an individual learner."




On October 7, 2006 during a special grounds dedication ceremony, the Alverno community thanked trustee, Roy Reiman and his wife Bobbi, for their generous gift through the Reiman Foundation which enabled the campus beautification project. The project included monumental signs to mark all major entrances and borders, major landscaping improvements, a new 500-car parking garage, a plaza outside the Rotunda building named for the Reimans, and NCAA-regulation softball and soccer fields.

Additionally, as part of the project, the college obtained new building signage and two buildings were renamed in honor of School Sisters of St. Francis who had an impact on campus. The former Alverno Elementary School building, most recently called "North Hall" and which houses Alverno Childcare Services (now known as the Alverno Early Learning Center), was renamed Elizabeth Hall in honor of Sister Elizabeth Engel, a leader in the School of Education. The Nursing Building was renamed Christopher Hall in honor of Sister Christopher McGuire, founder of the School of Nursing.


Winter 2007 Alverno Magazine Cover - Photo of "Soaring"
From Alverno Magazine, Winter 2007, this photo includes the new sculpture, "Soaring" by Arizona artist Lyle London which was placed in the Reiman Plaza outside of the Teaching, Learning and Technology Center as a part of the campus beautification project.  (Photo by Lyle London)



In 2007,  Kathy Lake became an Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Kathy Lake

Kathy Lake


Also in 2007, The George Lucas Foundation named Alverno College one of the nation's ten leading schools for teacher education.



In the fall of 2007 the first Status of Girls in Wisconsin Report was released by Alverno College, Girls Scouts of Milwaukee Area, Inc., Girls Scouts of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Women's Council, and the Women's Fund of Greater Milwaukee.  Alverno College was an integral part of this research project that looked at the lives of girls ages 10-19 and the impact of socioeconomic factors on their health, education, future employment and their aspirations.

The Alverno research team included Sandra Graham, Chair; Megan Kemmet, primary research coordinator; Russell Brooker; Austin Doherty; Kimberly Miller; Kathleen O'Brien; Julie Rice and Julie Ullman. Updates to this first report were released in April 2010.


Cover from the First Status of Girls in Wisconsin Report, 2007






During the Summer of 2008, Clare Hall was extensively remodeled and renovated to better meet the needs of current and future students.The renovation occurred thanks to the generous contributions from alumnae donors through the Clare Hall Initiative. The Initiative was led by a committee of alumnae dedicated to the Franciscan mission and the college's future.

As part of the Homecoming festivities, members of the Alverno College community celebrated on October 4, 2008 when the newly renovated Clare Hall, a fixture on the Alverno campus for more than 50 years, was dedicated to current and future students. 


Clare Hall Rededication as depicted in November 2008 issue of Alverno Alpha
The Clare Hall dedication during Homecoming on October 4, 2008  was featured in the November 2008 issue of Alverno Alpha (Student Newspaper)



Dr. Mary Meehan recieves Sacagawea Award, Alverno Magazine Spring 2009
 Alverno Magazine Spring 2009, p. 26.


In March 11, 2009, Alverno College President Mary J. Meehan was one of two recipients to receive the Sacagawea Award from Professional Dimensions. Alverno College has housed the permanent collection of the Sacagawea Awards since 1993.




RCWG Opening Announcement, Fall 2009


Alverno's new Research Center for Women and Girls (RCWG) opened in Fall 2009. The mission of the new center was to act as a clearinghouse for data on girls and women for girl- and women-serving agencies in the region; to be a resource center open to the public; to organize events such as workshops, forums, debates, lectures, symposiums, conferences and film series exploring issues impacting the lives of women and girls; and to produce research on relevant issues. First research projects included focusing on girl aggression, teen pregnancy, racial/ethnic health disparities in infant health outcomes, body image/self esteem, and encouraging more girls to become interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Click here to learn more about Alverno's Research Center for Women and Girls.



Also in 2009, the Alverno Childcare Center changed its name to the Alverno College Early Learning Center to better reflect its curriculum and its function. The Early Learning Center operates out of Elizabeth Hall serving children 6 weeks through 5 years of age.


In October 2009, U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan "singled out Alverno College as a shining star; a school that does an exemplary job in training and preparing teachers for the classroom."