Opening of Webster University (formerly Loretto College and Webster College)

When the Sisters of Loretto decided to open a college in St. Louis, they were lacking one major item: a building. They had purchased the land in Webster Groves, Missouri in 1898 but the building originally on the property had been destroyed by fire in 1905.

The Sisters decided to go ahead and open the college even though construction on Webster Hall would not be completed until 1916. Classes in Fall 1915 were held at the Loretto Academy in Kansas City, Missouri. An advertisement for the new college appeared in the November 1915 issue of The Lorettine.

With contruction nearing completion, the Sisters placed an announcement regarding the opening of the St. Louis campus in the June 1916 issue of The Lorettine. The local newspaper also carried information about the "new Loretto College". (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 8, 1916)

The college was dedicated in October 1916 and a poem was written to commemorate the opening of the institution.

Return to Webster University History Facts home

More information:



Books, etc./library catalog



In-house reserves


About us

Service desk: 314-968-6952

Research desk: 314-968-6950

Toll-free: 1-800-985-4279 (1-800-WU-LIBRY)


Contact us

Policies and procedures

Research help

Ask a Librarian

How do I?


Research Guides

Request books or articles

Citation guides

Thesis requirements

About the Library

Getting to the library

Reserve a room

Computing in the library

Assistive technology