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OLLU celebrates 125th anniversary

Aug 24, 2020

Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) traces its history to the vision and prophetic declaration of Mother Florence Walter, superior general of the Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence, in the late 19th Century.

More than 125 years ago, Mother Florence stood on undeveloped ground beside Elmendorf Lake and declared, “This is the place. Someday, upon this land, will stand a beautiful Gothic chapel with twin spires pointing up to the blue Texas sky.”

The first shovel dug into the earth on Aug. 14, 1895. On Sept. 1, 1896, Main Building opened its doors to the first students of Our Lady of the Lake Academy, spires rising prophetically, on either end of the three-story structure.

To commemorate these two dates, the university is kicking off a year-long celebration. From August 2020 to September 2021, OLLU will celebrate “125 Years of Higher Education for a Higher Purpose.”

Since beginning as an all-girls academy, OLLU has grown into a co-educational institution with more than 75 undergraduate, master’s level and doctoral degree programs and 3,000 students from across the U.S. and around the world.

OLLU’s history is marked by innovation, excellence and faith in Providence. OLLU’s resilience and fierce determination has enabled it to weather war, a depression, a devastating fire and a global pandemic to pioneer new programs, train future leaders and improve its communities.

With strategic planning and the generous support of donors, OLLU will continue building upon the vision of Mother Florence and propel OLLU into the next 125 years.