Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Timeline of Alverno College History



This is a color photo of Joseph Foy, Alverno Vice President for Academic Affairs

On January 9, 2020 it was announced that Alverno College President Andrea Lee, IHM, had appointed Joseph Foy, Ph.D., vice president for Academic Affairs. Foy, who was Dean of the Faculty at Marian University in Fond du Lac, Wis., began his appointment April 15.


Also in January 2020 it was announced that Alverno College had launched two new Master of Science in Nursing programs — a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner program and a Dual Adult-Gerontology Primary and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program — both designed to educate nurse practitioners who will serve vulnerable populations.



This is a color photo of some Sisters wearing Alverno Centennial Cloth masks

In mid March 2020, Alverno pivoted to virtual teaching and closed its doors to all but essential personnel as the COVID-19 Pandemic hit. Reopening began slowly in June 2020. The 2020-2021 school year was offered primarily in virtual or hybrid format except for classes such as labs and clinicals that had to be offered face-to-face. Above is a photo of some School Sisters of St. Francis sporting masks made of Alverno Centennial fabric.



Milwaukee Public Television's "Around the Corner With John McGivern" visited the Jackson Park neighborhood and made a stop at Alverno.The episode was broadcast in April 2020.


Responding to a critical need in the Milwaukee area, Alverno College announced on May 12, 2020 the launch of a new substance abuse counseling certificate program which began in the fall. The program would be an area of specialization for social work majors, while non-social work students could opt to take it as a minor. Alumni would also be able to earn a certificate by taking the required courses. Students who successfully complete the program will have the academic requirements to apply for state substance abuse counselor licensure with the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.



This is a color photo of the Alverno Accelerate logo

On May 19, 2020 Alverno College announced the launching of Alverno Accelerate, an accelerated, affordable and flexible pathway to earning a bachelor's degree in three or fewer years. Designed for working adults who may be juggling a family and a career, the program is open to women and men and is offered completely online. All previously earned college credits will transfer, regardless of subject matter.

Learn more...



This is a color photo of the Alverno Pivot logo

Also launched in 2020 was Alverno’s Pivot Your Skills Pathways program. The continuing education program is a partnership between higher education and industry experts and provides dynamic, virtual learning so that participants can upskill and earn a professional certificate. Current offerings include, "Leadership," "Leveraging the Power of Data," "Nonprofit Management," and "Operations Management."

Learn more...



In order to help bridge the childcare gap during the coronavirus outbreak, the Early Learning Center at Alverno College announced in May that it would open its doors to care for the children of health care workers and first responders.



The Higher Learning Commission approved the incorporation of the Columbia College of Nursing into Alverno College, and the transaction closed on June 30, 2020.



Students seeking to transfer credits from any of Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges to Alverno College will have a much easier time in the future thanks to a historic, comprehensive agreement signed in July 2020. Alverno was one of the private, nonprofit colleges and universities participating in the WAICU-WTCS Course Credit Transfer Agreement.


Also in July it was announced that Alverno would be launching the Early Childhood Outdoor Preschool Environmental Education Program (ECOPEEP) in partnership with Milwaukee's Urban Ecology Center in the fall. It would be the first nature-based early childhood education program for urban settings in the United States.



This is an architect's rendering of Alverno's new greenhouse

On September 9, 2020 it was announced that Alverno College would be partnering with the A. O. Smith Foundation to construct a greenhouse on campus, offering students an exciting new opportunity to engage in hands-on learning and explore new career paths. The 1,400-square-foot facility will feature an aquaponics system and a classroom space. Hundreds of undergraduate students, as well as area high school students, will participate in learning opportunities and research projects in preparation for careers in the food, agricultural, natural resources and human sciences industries. Construction is scheduled to begin in Spring 2021.


Also in September Alverno College announced that it had launched the Thea Bowman Institute for Excellence and Leadership, a program designed to serve Black women through academic and leadership programming.



In October 2020, Alverno College was awarded a prestigious Title III grant from the U.S. Department of Education to integrate and strengthen key advising functions and to develop three new health care programs for in-demand fields.





This is a color graphic of the Spark Series logo

On February 4, 2021 Alverno College announced that it would be offering a series of courses designed to help people embrace change, and learn how to harness the power of creativity to inspire change within themselves and in the greater community. Led by Wisconsin Poet Laureate Dasha Kelly Hamilton, the Spark Series was a virtual program from Alverno’s School of Adult Learning and New Initiatives, and students who completed the entire program were able to earn a professional certificate.



This is a color photo of the proposed Mesa, Arizona location for Alverno College

On February 11, 2021 it was announced that Alverno College is planning to expand its nursing program to Arizona and, in August 2022, pending regulatory approvals, will open a second location dedicated to health care there. Initial plans are for Alverno to offer in partnership with Synergis Education, a premier education provider program, its highly successful Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing (DEMSN) to students



Alverno was recognized by NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and Fair Election Center’s Campus Vote Project as a 2021-2022 ‘Voter Friendly Campus’ along with 235 colleges and universities across 37 states and the District of Columbia in March 2021. The program requires college and university campuses to engage their campus communities and promote voter registration and voting as part of their institutional mission.



In June at the 2021 Character Education Conference, which was sponsored by the School District of South Milwaukee, Alverno College and the Wisconsin Character Education Partnership and was hosted virtually by the Assessment and Outreach team, the Wisconsin Character Education Partnership (WCEP) awarded the Thea Bowman Institute for Excellence and Leadership at Alverno College a 2021 Promising Practice Award for the program’s racial identity development seminar. WCEP annually presents Promising Practice Awards to schools or districts that have developed and successfully implemented a unique character education practice. Promising practices are activities or programs that have had a significant impact with measurable results on the development of character education in a school or organization. They should be unique, specific and easily duplicated by other schools and districts.This was the first time WCEP awarded a Promising Practice Award to a Wisconsin non-K-12 school.



Banta Lifetime Achievement in Assessment Award Plaque

In October 2021, Alverno College received the 2021 Trudy W. Banta Lifetime Achievement in Assessment Award, given to national leaders in assessment work.The award has previously only been given to individuals, making Alverno the first institution to receive it. The award was presented at the 2021 Assessment Institute in Indianapolis, hosted by Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) from October 24–27.