Viterbo supporting all students

Carter Steger, Assistant Editor

Although Viterbo’s transfer students may not arrive during move-in weekend, they make up a vital part (31%) of the undergraduate student population, according to Viterbo Admissions. Viterbo’s core values help the university strive to embrace and welcome all students whether they come halfway through the year or start from day one.  

Deciding on a college can be a tough choice for students, with numerous options often seeming overwhelming for incoming first-years. As one transfer student says, “Trying to decide my career while still graduating high school was really stressful having so many things to think about.” Many students also find out that their first choice of career is not what they truly want to pursue. “I think I went back and forth over a hundred times trying to decide what I actually wanted to do as a career. There is so much to actually consider,” said a junior transfer student from Viterbo.  

With numerous other colleges offering their own programs and values, Viterbo fosters a unique and close-knit community. As one transfer student put it, “Viterbo seemed really appealing to me with its small class sizes and close community. The college I was at before I never saw the same face twice.” While not all students on campus know each other, there is a special feeling about Viterbo’s community. Classes may not be held in expansive lecture halls depicted in films like Pitch Perfect, but students get to know each other here. Viterbo’s smaller size makes it easier to know classmates and professors, “Even though I’ve only been at Viterbo a short time compared to others, I already have strong relationships with my professors. I don’t feel like just another person in a large class,” said a Viterbo undergraduate transfer student.  

Having the opportunity to build and establish meaningful relationships with not only peers but also faculty and staff traces itself back to Viterbo’s earliest founding in 1890.  Even though collegiate courses were not introduced until 1923 the Fransiscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration laid the foundation for Viterbo’s familial feel. They did so by cultivating Fransiscan values into the predecessor of Viterbo University. It was not until 1937 that the name Viterbo College came to fruition. Although the name changed, the Fransiscan values did not and were never forgotten. As one transfer student noted, “At my last school it never quite felt comfortable. Viterbo just feels so much more relaxed and welcoming with so many smiling faces. Even down to the cozy brick road in front of Murphy.”  

The Fransiscan values that guide Viterbo give a guiding path for the university. Staff and faculty alike never shy away from saying hi and checking in with Viterbo students. Even as leadership changes at Viterbo, the school’s guiding values ensure that the community does not have to worry about the institution traveling down an entirely different direction. The Fransiscan core will always serve as a reminder to what the university’s true purpose is to “students for faithful service and ethical leadership.” 

It does not matter where a student comes from, when they get to Viterbo, or what career path they are on. Viterbo can be a pathway for many students to achieve great things in their lives. Students are encouraged to build meaningful friendships and cultivate professional relationships with their professors. All of this is possible from the guiding Fransiscan principles given by the FSPA founders in the not-so-distant past.