Women Presidents at Webster | Webster University Library

Women Presidents at Webster

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About the exhibit:

When Dr. Elizabeth Stroble arrived at Webster in 2009, she became the seventh woman to serve as president of the University. The previous women presidents were all at one time members of the Sisters of Loretto, the religious order that founded the institution in 1915.


These women leaders guided Webster through periods of growth and economic depression, war and peace, and enormous societal change. The campus grew physically through the acquisition of the Thompson estate, the building of the Loretto and Maria Hall dormitories, and the addition of the Loretto-Hilton Center.


The campus also changed with the times in social terms. African-American students were admitted in the late 1940s and men were allowed to enroll on a limited basis in 1962. The Sisters of Loretto transferred ownership of the college to a lay board in 1967 after 52 years of operation as a Catholic college.


The women presidents of Webster have played an invaluable role in the history of the institution. This exhibit documents just a few of their many contributions.


Photographs courtesy of the Webster University Archives and the Loretto Community Archives in Nerinx, Kentucky. These materials were originally on display at the Emerson Library in October 2009.