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Archives Info: University History

 

University History

 

 

Our Lady of the Lake University was founded in 1895 by the Sisters of the Congregation of Divine Providence, a religious order begun in 18th century Lorraine, France, by Blessed John Martin Moye. The order continues as the sponsoring organization of the University. Members of the Congregation arrived in Texas in 1866, where they initially established themselves in Austin, and then in Castroville in 1868.

In 1895, construction began on Main Building on what was to become the Our Lady of the Lake campus. By 1896, high school level educational programs were under way. The first college program began in 1911, as a two-year curriculum for women. In 1919, the curriculum was expanded to four years and the institution was admitted to membership in the Texas Association of Colleges. Graduate study began in 1942 and was coeducational from its inception; all programs became fully coeducational in 1969. In 1975, the name of the institution was changed from Our Lady of the Lake College to Our Lady of the Lake University of San Antonio.

Our Lady of the Lake University, in 1923, became the first San Antonio institution of higher education to receive regional accreditation. Our Lady of the Lake University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. In 1927, the University became the third Texas school to be approved by the American Association of Universities.


Living up to its mission of providing education to those with limited access, the University introduced the Weekend College concept at the San Antonio campus in 1978. Weekend College, now part of the University's array of non-traditional scheduling options, was the first program of its kind in the region offering adult students an option for completing a degree while maintaining full-time employment. OLLU began offering Weekend Degree programs in the Houston area (now in The Woodlands) in 1986, and in the Rio Grande Valley in 2008.

On May 6, 2008, a fire ripped through the top of the Main Building and destroyed the roof and the fourth floor. Thankfully, no one was injured in the four-alarm blaze but the damage left the University without one of its major facilities that had long served as a welcoming place for students and the community at large. In 2010, the completely restored and renovated Main Building rose from the ashes and was reopened during a triumphant celebration. Today the building is again the heart of campus offering a state-of-the-art educational facility within a beautifully restored historic structure that has received city, state and national preservation awards.

The fire also sparked a renewal on campus that resulted in the University’s new strategic plan titled “Rooted in Providence: To Grow, To Graduate and To Lead.” Already with 3,100 students, OLLU is recruiting more nationally and internationally to increase the Lake’s “footprint” and grow to a population of 4,000 students.

Ultimately, the University’s objective through the strategic plan is to provide the kind of educational experience for students that places OLLU among the top Catholic universities in the nation.

 

From "About OLLU", www.ollusa.edu

Administrative Timelines

 

University Presidents
H. A. Constantineau 1911 – 1940
John L. McMahon 1941 – 1973
Gerald P. Burns 1973 – 1978
Sr. Elizabeth Anne Sueltenfuss 1978 – 1997
Sally Mahoney 1997 – 2001
Robert E. Gibbons 2001 – 2002
Tessa Martinez Pollack 2002 – 2013
Sr. Jane Ann Slater 2013 – 2015

Dwayne A. Banks (Interim)
 [Appointment by the BOT; due to health related issues, per University bylaws]

2015
Diane E. Melby 2015 – present
University Provosts
James Gearity 1999 – 2001
Antonio R. Rigual 2001 – 2003
Maria Shelton 2003 – 2004
Howard Benoist (Interim)
[Provost model abandoned 6/30/06]
2004 – 2006
Marcheta Evans (Provost/VPAA)
[Provost model abandoned 6/30/06]
2016 – present
Executive VPs
Robert E. Gibbons
[EVP merged with VPAA to create office of Provost]
1991 – 1999
David Estes 2007 – 2012
Robert Bisking (Interim) 2013
Chief Operating Officer
Dwayne A. Banks 2013 – 2016
Vice President of Academic Affairs
Howard Benoist
[VPAA merged with EVP to create office of Provost. HB moved the CAO duties over to an Associate Provost during 15 months of 3/01/05 – 6/30/06 and J. Alexander was appointed Associate Provost]
1986 – 1999
Jacquelyn Alexander 2006 – 2008
Helen Streubert 2008 – 2013
Marcheta Evans
[June 2016 the VPAA position/duties were expanded creating the Provost/VPAA position]
2013 – 2016
Chief Academic Officer
Robert Bisking (Interim) 2013

Past University Archivists

 

Sr. Generosa Callahan 1971 – 1988
Sr. Frances Jerome Woods 1988 – 1992
Sr. Maria Carolina Flores 1993 – 1996
Vicky Marlette 1996 – 1998
Dora Guerra 1998 – 1999
Sr. Maria Carolina Flores 1999 – 2000
Sr. Casilda Hyzak 2000 – 2001
M. Antoinette Garza 2001 – 2011
Anna Beyer 2011 – 2013
Leonora D. Laney 2013 – 2018

 

University Archivist

 

 

University Archivist  

 

 

 

Vacant

210-431-4183