Alvernia University

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Alvernia University
Former names
Alvernia College
MottoLatin: Doceat Christus vos facere.
Motto in English
To Learn, To Love, To Serve
AffiliationFranciscan Roman Catholic
PresidentJohn R. Loyack
Students2,900 (1,500 undergraduate, 600 continuing education, 780 graduate)
Location, ,
40°18′32″N 75°56′10″W / 40.309°N 75.936°W / 40.309; -75.936Coordinates: 40°18′32″N 75°56′10″W / 40.309°N 75.936°W / 40.309; -75.936
CampusSuburban, 121 acres (49.0 ha)
ColorsMaroon and gold
AthleticsNCAA Division IIIMAC Commonwealth Conference, ECAC
Sports8 men's and 10 women's varsity teams
MascotGolden Wolves[1]

Alvernia University is a private Franciscan Roman Catholic university in Reading, Pennsylvania. Once known as Alvernia College, the school gained university status in 2008.


Alvernia University was founded in 1958 by the Bernardine Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis first as college for the sisters and then as a four-year liberal arts college.[2][3] Many of the college's renovated classrooms and offices had been used for elementary and secondary education before 1958. The college's first building, Francis Hall, was built in 1926 and originally housed an orphanage.[2] Alvernia received its charter from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1960 and was first accredited in 1967 by the Commission of Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.[3] In 1961, the college accepted its first lay females students. In 1971, it admitted its first male commuting students, and in 1973, the first male resident students were admitted.[3]

In 2008, Alvernia celebrated its 50th anniversary and was granted university status by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[3]


Alvernia offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and minors. Pre-professional programs are available in dentistry, law, medicine, pharmacy, and veterinary studies. Master's degrees are awarded in occupational therapy, business administration, nursing, community counseling, education, and liberal studies. Alvernia offers a seven-year Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) program. A Doctor of Philosophy in leadership is also available.

Since 1967, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools has granted Alvernia accreditation. The Education program for elementary and secondary teachers is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The Occupational Therapy program is fully accredited by the American Council of Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). The Bachelor of Science in Nursing has approval by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The Athletic Training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs in cooperation with the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Athletic Training. The Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The Behavioral Health courses are certified by the Pennsylvania Certification Board. The Business Department is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).


Alvernia University Franco Library in Reading, PA
Alvernia University Franco Library

Library holdings include 100,000 print, audiovisual, and computer materials; approximately 900 periodicals; and 400 current subscriptions. The library supports Polish-American and Italian-American cultural centers.[4]


Alvernia's intercollegiate teams, now known as the Golden Wolves but previously known as the Crusaders,[1] compete at the NCAA Division III level in the Middle Atlantic Conferences (MAC), a highly competitive conference, and the Eastern College Athletic Conference.[5] Men's sports include football, since 2018, wrestling, since 2019, baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, track & field and volleyball, while women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, dance, field hockey, ice hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball.


  1. ^ a b Alvernia University (June 15, 2017). "Alvernia University Announces New University Nickname". Archived from the original on June 17, 2017. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Founding History of Alvernia University | Alvernia University". Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  3. ^ a b c d "History & Timeline | Alvernia University". Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  4. ^ "Dr. Frank A. Franco Library Learning Center". Alvernia University. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
  5. ^ "Alvernia University Athletics". Division III level MAC ECAC. AU Athletics. Retrieved 3 May 2012.

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