Webster University

Coordinates: 38°35′21″N 90°20′45″W / 38.5892°N 90.3457°W / 38.5892; -90.3457
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Webster University
Former name
Loretto College (1915–1924)
Webster College (1924–1983)
TypePrivate university
Established1915; 109 years ago (1915)
FounderSisters of Loretto
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
Endowment$129.8 million (2020)[1]
ChancellorElizabeth Stroble[2]
Students13,448 (2023) [3][4]

38°35′21″N 90°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]
Sporting affiliations
MascotWebster Gorlok[7]

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

Colleges include:[21]

  • College of Humanities & Social Sciences
  • College of Health and Science
  • Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts
  • George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology
  • School of Communications
  • School of Education.

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
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]

  • Men's sports: baseball; basketball; cross country; golf; soccer; tennis; and, track and field
  • Women's sports: basketball; cross country; soccer; softball; tennis; track and field; and, volleyball

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[edit]

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[edit]


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]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  2. ^ "Chancellor Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble". Webster University. n.d. Retrieved April 12, 2022.
  3. ^ "Fall 2021 enrollment report". Missouri Department of Higher Education. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
  4. ^ "Trends in Headcount Enrollment, 2014-2019". Missouri Department of Higher Education. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  5. ^ "Webster University". U.S. News. U.S. News & World Report. n.d. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  6. ^ "Brand Guidelines" (PDF). Webster University. n.d. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  7. ^ "What is the Webster Gorlok?". Webster University. n.d. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  8. ^ "Study Abroad Programs | Webster University". www.webster.edu. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  9. ^ "Fall 2021 enrollment report". Missouri Department of Higher Education. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
  10. ^ "Worldwide Webster".
  11. ^ "Commemorating the centennial of Webster University". Bill Text: 113th Congress (2013–2014): S.RES.465.ATS. June 3, 2014. Archived from the original on January 7, 2016. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
  12. ^ Lee, Barbara (April 17, 2012). "Honoring the Sisters of Loretto" (PDF). Congressional Record: E545.
  13. ^ a b "Webster University History Timeline". Webster University. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  14. ^ "Webster University Forbes". Forbes. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  15. ^ a b "About Webster". Webster University. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  16. ^ "Webster University 100 years". Webster University 100 Years. April 2014.
  17. ^ Donald J. Kemper, "Catholic Integration in St. Louis, 1935–1947," Missouri Historical Review, October 1978, pp. 1–13.
  18. ^ Ted LeBerthon, "Why Jim Crow Won at Webster College," Pittsburgh Courier, February 5, 1944, p. 13.
  19. ^ "Pressure Grows to Have Catholic College Doors Open to Negroes," Pittsburgh Courier, February 19, 1944, p. 1; "St. Louis U. Lifts Color Bar: Accepts Five Negroes for Summer Session," Pittsburgh Courier, May 6, 1944, p. 1.
  20. ^ "Missouri College Admits Race Girl," Pittsburgh Courier, October 13, 1945, p. 1.
  21. ^ "Colleges". Webster University. Retrieved September 16, 2022.
  22. ^ "The Higher Learning Commission website". Ncahlc.org. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  23. ^ "Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs website". Acbsp.org. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  24. ^ "National Association of Schools of Music website". Nasm.arts-accredit.org. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  25. ^ "National League of Nursing website". Nln.org. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  26. ^ "Council on Accreditation website". Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  27. ^ National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education website Archived September 29, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ "Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website" (PDF). Dese.mo.gov. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  29. ^ "National Board for Certified Counselors". Nbcc.org. March 21, 2011. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  30. ^ "- Involved@Webster". involved.webster.edu. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  31. ^ "Hawley asks universities to cut ties with Chinese program". Associated Press. July 25, 2019. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  32. ^ "Regent's College website". Regent's College. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  33. ^ "Study abroad – Japan program". Webster University. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  34. ^ "Study abroad –Mexico program". Webster University. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  35. ^ "Greece | Webster University". Webster.edu. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  36. ^ "Webster U acknowledges failures of Thailand campus: News". Stltoday.com. April 13, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  37. ^ Redden, Elizabeth (February 12, 2016). "A site review committee offers extensive recommendations for improving Webster U.'s campus in Thailand". Insidehighered.com. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  38. ^ "Ombudsman Appointed to Webster University Thailand Campus | Webster University". Webster.edu. May 4, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  39. ^ "Webster University Athletics". Websterathletics.com. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  40. ^ "2015 D3baseball.com Top 25, preseason". D3baseball.com. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
  41. ^ "Josh Fleming". Baseball Reference. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  42. ^ "Webster chess wins 3 national titles in 2021 under new coach". October 19, 2021. Retrieved February 24, 2022.
  43. ^ "Facts & Figures | Webster University". Webster.edu. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  44. ^ johnvschwartz. "The Galaxy at Webster University". Webster University. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  45. ^ "English – Faculty". Webster University. Retrieved July 29, 2010.
  46. ^ "Webster University: School of Communications: Van McElwee". Webster University. Retrieved July 29, 2010.
  47. ^ "Violence Against Women: South African legal expert takes over as new UN Special Rapporteur". Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2010.
  48. ^ "Holden Public Policy Forum". Webster University. Retrieved July 29, 2010.
  49. ^ "Black-ish Actress, Kinloch Native Jenifer Lewis Will Give Webster U. Commencement Speech". The Riverfront Times. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
  50. ^ "Broadway, Film Star Returns to Webster | Webster University". Webster.edu. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  51. ^ a b c "Alumni Award Recipients" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 27, 2010. Retrieved March 12, 2023.
  52. ^ [1] Archived October 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  53. ^ "Webster University". Admissions.webster.edu. Retrieved July 29, 2010.
  54. ^ "Leyna Nguyen". Archived from the original on October 2, 2014. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
  55. ^ "Astronaut Bio: Sidney M. Gutierrez". Jsc.nasa.gov. February 11, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  56. ^ "Webster University Facts" (PDF). Webster University. Fall 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2019.

External links[edit]