Marian University (Wisconsin)

Marian University (Wisconsin)

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Marian University (Wisconsin)

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Marian University, formerly Marian College of Fond du Lac, is a Roman Catholic liberal arts university in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. It was founded in 1936 by the Congregation of Sisters of Saint Agnes, who continues to sponsor the University today.


Marian University opened as Marian College of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin on September 8, 1936, with 17 full-time and 25 part-time students, and eight faculty. The Sisters of St. Agnes decided to start the college after the Wisconsin Department of Instruction decided that nuns were not allowed to teach in public schools while wearing their religious habit.

Marian became accredited to grant a bachelor’s degrees in elementary education in 1941. The first graduating class in August 1941 had eight nun graduates. The first lay graduates graduated in 1942. Marian had 86 full-time and 145 part-time students in 1950, who attended classes in a convent next to St. Agnes Hospital. Marian was founded as a women’s college, but the superintendent of Fond du Lac schools attended art and music classes with his wife in 1940. Increasing enrollment caused the college to move to its current campus in the mid 1960s. The college became coeducational in 1970.

The school became accredited by the North Central Association for a Master's of Arts program in 1987. It was approved to offer a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies in 2002.

On May 1, 2008, Marian College of Fond du Lac officially changed its name to Marian University to reflect an expansion of its...
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