The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse was founded in 1909 as the La
Crosse Normal School. Today, it is one of the 13 four-year campuses in
the University of Wisconsin System. Originally known for its nationally
recognized physical education program, UW-La Crosse now offers 85
undergraduate programs in 30 disciplines, and 21 graduate programs and
emphases in eight disciplines.
compact 119-acre campus in residential La Crosse provides a vibrant
place to live and learn. Enrollment has grown from 176 when the doors
opened to more than 9,000. The campus embraces diversity, a commitment
that has increased minority and international students, faculty and
staff. Students take part in an array of organizations and community
service. Intercollegiate teams compete in 19 sports and have produced 58
national championships, 24 since 2001.
The university offers much — cultural events, regional and
national conferences, prominent speakers, applied research,
professionals with varying expertise, a large workforce, and community
volunteers. UW-La Crosse works cooperatively with the city’s other
higher education institutions and area elementary and secondary schools.
Also, the university led development of a consortium among the city’s
higher education institutions and major health care organizations to
bring cutting-edge health care and research facilities to the region.
For 100 years UW-La Crosse has been the prominent intellectual
engine educating a high quality workforce for the region. The university
remains proud of its regional heritage and looks forward to retaining
its prominence in the area’s economic vitality.
Mission Statement:The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse provides a challenging,
dynamic, and diverse learning environment in which the entire university
community is fully engaged in supporting student success. Grounded in
the liberal arts, UW-L fosters curiosity and life-long learning through
collaboration, innovation, and the discovery and dissemination of new
knowledge. Acknowledging and respecting the contributions of all, UW-L
is a regional academic and cultural center that prepares students to
take their place in a constantly changing world community.top
President's Quote:“We are very excited to be celebrating our 100th year! I am often
reminded of our rich history as I walk past the cornerstone of Graff
Main Hall, which says 1908. It stood alone in the middle of a field. On
opening day, just over 150 students were enrolled in La Crosse Normal
School. Today, over 9,000 students attend classes in 12 academic
buildings. We are proud of our rich history at UW-L and hope you will
join us to celebrate our centennial year together.” -- Joe Gow, Chancellor top
- UW-La Crosse has been in the top three public Midwestern
colleges in U.S. News and World Reports’ America’s Best Colleges since
- UW-La Crosse is No. 38 among public colleges nationwide, and
among only three in Wisconsin, in the most recent listing of the
Kiplinger’s Top 100 best value universities.
- A Chronicle of Higher Education report says the average debt
of UW-La Crosse graduates in 2007 was $12,145, the lowest in Wisconsin.
- UW-La Crosse is in the Top 20 colleges and universities
nationwide for the proportion of students who study abroad according to
the Institute of International Education — Opendoors report.
- UW-La Crosse is No. 24 among medium colleges and universities (5,000-15,000 undergraduates) in number of Peace Corps volunteers.
- UW-La Crosse was named the 12th fittest college in the nation
according to the 2006 edition of Men’s Health and Princeton Review.
- UW-La Crosse has a unique scholarship in honor of a local
bartender, Ray George, who ran The Rustic Inn from 1944 to 1985. George,
who never went to college, kept money on hand for quick loans to
student customers. In 1977, a group of alumni established the annual
- The Lighting of the “L” is one of UW-La Crosse’s Homecoming
traditions. On a foggy fall night in 1935, Class of 1937 roommates F.
Clark Carnes and Bernie Brown spent room and board money on gasoline to
fire up the Homecoming crowd. They ran up 500-foot Miller’s Bluff and
ignited a large brush pile in the shape of an “L.” Police sirens blaring
toward the glow, they ran back down to the field as the fog lifted for
the crowd to see the glowing “L.” Since then, an electric “L” has been
illuminated on nearby Grandad Bluff, a city landmark, welcoming alumni
returning for Homecoming.
- Sandra Lee, The Food Network TV show host, author
- Don Herbert, aka Donald H. Kemske, 1940, TV’s Mr. Wizard
- James H. Van Tassel, 1951, inventor of the handheld calculator
- Howard Mumford Jones, 1912, 1964 Pulitzer Prize winner for “O Strange New World”
- NFL football players: Joel Williams (Atlanta Falcons), Tom Newberry (Los Angeles Rams), Bill Schroeder (Green Bay Packers)
“My favorite part of being a UW-L student is the feeling that I have a
home away from home. With a smaller campus, I have been able to grow as
a person and really connect with my professors, as well as my
classmates. Making friends is easy because everyone here is so nice and
willing to lend an extra hand. I love the feeling of walking around
campus and being able to wave to friendly faces and also being able to
meet someone new almost every single day.” —James Goley, Sophomore, Oregon, Wis.
“Undergraduate research at UW-L has given me hands-on
experience with laboratory equipment and the opportunity to apply what I
have learned in lecture to real life research and applications. It has
afforded me great one-on-one time with my mentor professor, as well as
other professors in the biology department. Undergraduate research has
opened up many doors and different opportunities such as a research
internship at Rutgers University.” —John Awowale, Senior, Hillsboro, Wis.
“My studies at UW-La Crosse are something I am thankful for
every day in both my professional life and personal life. The skills,
theories and lessons I learned in the classroom are put to work as I
develop marketing plans, give presentations and work in teams as a
marketing communication manager. The friends, contacts and memories
made during my tenure at UW-L continue to enrich me in my personal
life.” —Betsy (Francoeur) Heintz, 2004 graduate, Milwaukee