Mission, Vision and History

About Cardinal Stritch University

Cardinal Stritch University began as a teaching institution for the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi in 1937. Today, Stritch offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs that help students develop new skills, gain career-related experience and build professional networks.

Stritch is an excellent choice for studying businesseducationliberal artsleadershipnursing, and the sciences. Students with diverse faith and cultural backgrounds embrace and live our core Franciscan values of creating a caring community, showing compassion, reverencing creation and making peace. On campus, students cheer on our athletic teams, the Stritch Wolves, as they compete in 15 men’s and women’s sports. Students from all majors are engaged in artistic opportunities and participate in gallery exhibitions, theater performances and music concerts.

The University offers courses at our campus on the North Shore of Milwaukee and online. Undergraduate and graduate classes are also available through partnerships with technical colleges and employers. With more than 38,000 alumni, our graduates are known for their roles at nonprofits, schools, small companies, health care organizations, corporations, and entrepreneurial ventures.

Administrative Cabinet

  • Kathleen A. Rinehart, J.D., President
  • Thomas J. Congdon, M.S.T., C.P.A., Senior Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • Tracy A. Fischer, ’00, ’05, MBA ’09, Vice President for Enrollment Management
  • Donney K. Moroney, Vice President of Student Affairs
  • Shana M. Piaskoski, '12, Vice President for University Advancement
  • Daniel J. Scholz, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs

Academic Deans

  • Dr. Lisa A. Gies, '12, Dean, College of Education and Leadership
  • Dr. Gloria A. Jacobson, R.N., Dean, Ruth S. Coleman College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Dr. Kate E. Meudt, '17, College of Arts and Sciences

Past Presidents

  • Mother Bartholomew Frederick, O.S.F., 1937-42; 1949-55
  • Sr. Ignatia Wiesner, O.S.F., 1943-49
  • Sr. Aquin Miller, O.S.F., 1955-74
  • Sr. M. Camille Kliebhan, O.S.F., Ph.D., 1974-91  (Chancellor Emerita)
  • Sr. Mary Lea Schneider, O.S.F., Ph.D., 1991-2008
  • Dr. Helen C. Sobehart, 2008-09
  • Dr. James P. Loftus, 2011-17

Administrative Team of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi

Sister Diana De Bruin, OSF

Sister Kathryn Dean Strandell, OSF, ‘70, '75
Associate Director

Sister Ellen Carr, OSF
Associate Director


Board of Trustees

Sister Nancy B. Kazik, OSF, '76   
Co-Chair of the Board
Retired, Vice Chancellor
Archdiocese of Santa Fe

Janice Ochenkowski, '70
Co-Chair of the Board
Retired, International Director – Global Risk Management
Jones Lang LaSalle

Deborah N. Allen, DBA
President and CEO
The DNA Network

Lisa A. Bangert, J.D., '90
Attorney at Law
Advocate, Attorney at Law, LLC.

Marianne Burish 

Beverly Greenberg, '15 (H)
Executive Producer
Project Pitch It

Jeff Hembrock, '83
New Fashion Pork, Bioverse, Precision Health Technologies

Mary T. Kellner, Ed.D., '07 
Civic Leader

Schnell Price Lambert
JO’S Learning Academy

Sister Joanne G. Nicgorski, OSF, '65
Retired, Director of Liturgy and Music

Ronald A. Phelps, '93
Senior Vice President, Wealth Advisor and Portfolio Management Director
The Phelps Hamus Groups at MorganStanley

Gerard A. Randall, Jr. 
Executive Director
Milwaukee Education Partnership

Stephen J. Rolfs 
Senior Vice President - Administration/Chief Financial Officer 
Sensient Technologies Corporation

Thelma A. Sias 
The Sias Group

Sister Marlene A. Stawski, OSF, '70
Retired, Director of Clare Hall

Chief Executive Officer

Kathleen A. Rinehart, J.D.

OSF Liaison to Corporate Ministries

Sister Joanne M. Schatzlein, OSF


Corporate Officers

Kathleen A. Rinehart, J.D.

Tracy A. Fischer, M.A., MBA

Thomas J. Congdon, M.S.T., C.P.A.

Mission Statement

Cardinal Stritch University, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi and rooted in the liberal arts tradition, transforms lives and communities through servant leadership, learning, and service. The University is guided by the Catholic, Franciscan values of creating a caring community, peacemaking, showing compassion, and reverencing creation as we embrace and cultivate the diversity of all of God’s creation.

Vision Statement

Rooted in the values of Catholic Christianity and inspired by the spirit of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi and the heritage of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, Cardinal Stritch University is an academic community called to transform individuals to "approve the better things" as they discover their purpose in life. The University encourages academic excellence, along with intellectual, spiritual, and social growth among its entire community – faculty, staff, and students of all ages, faiths, and ethnic backgrounds.


The Stritch Value Proposition

Cardinal Stritch University…a national, Franciscan Values-driven university that leverages the strengths of our region's metropolitan assets to prepare learners to succeed and lead in a diverse and ever-changing world. The academic programs we offer are transformationaldesigned to prepare the whole person for achievement in the communities where they live, work and lead by actively practicing the core values we espouse, and by mastering the substantive professional, experiential and practical skills required to excel in a 21st Century economy.


Total enrollment as of Fall 2017 is 2,355.

  • Undergraduate Students: 1,543
  • Graduate Students: 812

Our undergraduate student enrollment by gender is comprised of 65.5% women and 33.5% men. The undergraduate enrollment also reflects an array of ethnic diversity: 36.1% White; 16.6% Black or African American; 15.9% Hispanic/Latino; 11.3% Non-Resident Alien or International; 1.8% Two or More Races; 2.3% Asian; 15.3% Other/Unknown. 39% of all undergraduate students receive Federal Pell Grants with 40% of full-time beginning undergraduate students receiving Federal Pell Grants. (Source: IPEDS College Data 2017-18; Enrollment Data Fall 2016)

Academic Programs

The University consists of four colleges: College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Management, College of Education and Leadership, and Ruth S. Coleman College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

In addition to our full-time faculty members we also employ adjunct faculty who remain practitioners in their fields and provide highly skilled instruction. The average student-to-faculty ratio is 10-to-1. Stritch offers more than 60 academic programs and confers the following degree programs: Associate of Arts; Bachelor of Arts; Bachelor of Fine Arts; Bachelor of Science; Master of Arts; Master of Business Administration; Master of Education; Master of Science; Doctor of Education; and Doctor of Philosophy.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Stritch is competitively priced to make undergraduate and graduate education affordable. Counselors in our Financial Aid Office know that each student is unique and they are dedicated to helping identify ways to help students fund their education. Learn more about our tuition and fees and the financial aid process. Scholarships for freshmen and transfer students are also available. Students and families can also estimate their cost of attendance using our Net Price Calculator.

Library and Research Resources

The Stritch Library has more than 139,000 holdings with access to materials held at seven institutions in the SWITCH Library Consortium

The Institutional Review Board is responsible for evaluating and approving all research done on or by our faculty, staff, and students. Any student, faculty or staff member of Cardinal Stritch University who anticipates performing research utilizing participants (including certain classroom activities), have their research reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB).


The Stritch Wolves are affiliated with the NAIA and are part of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC). This allows us to compete against some of the tougher mid-sized college programs throughout the Midwest, which provides for exciting and competitive match ups. Get the latest news and team schedules.  

Performing and Visual Arts

The arts are appreciated by our campus community and our diverse offerings aim to entertain and inform the community as a whole. Our talented theater students star in productions that range from musicals to the classics. The work of contemporary and historical visual artists, as well as Stritch students, is exhibited in our Northwestern Mutual Art Gallery. Performances and exhibits are held in the Joan Steele Stein Center for Communication Studies/Fine Arts, which includes the 400-seat Nancy Kendall Theater. Get tickets to an upcoming performance.

Alumni Network

Students, families, and employers know Stritch as a university that helps students find their mission, develop new skills, gain relevant career experience, and expand their professional networks. With a network of more than 38,000 graduates, our alumni are successful in their roles at nonprofits, schools, small companies, health care organizations, corporations, and entrepreneurial ventures.


Quick Facts 2018-2019 

Franciscan Values

Saints Francis and Clare, the founders of the Franciscan tradition, acknowledged God as creator and all humankind as made in the divine image. Learn more about the Franciscan Values.


Cardinal Stritch University has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1937. Along this historical timeline you can discover how the University came to be known Cardinal Stritch University, and what made Samuel Cardinal Stritch such an inspiration to all those around him.


In 1849, a small band of lay Franciscans left their home in Ettenbeuren, Bavaria, and crossed the ocean to America to become missionaries to the German immigrants in Wisconsin. Amid hardship and struggles, the women organized a religious congregation, the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi.


The traditions of Cardinal Stritch University encompass those of two highly influential saints. St. Francis of Assisi, who is thought to be one of the most influential saints since the birth of Christ, in both the Christian and non-Christian worlds, and St. Clare, remembered as Francis' most faithful follower and co-founder of the Franciscan movement.


The Cardinal Stritch University logo represents the rich history and tradition of the institution in a confident and attractive manner. 

The icon and the treatment of Cardinal Stritch University make an important statement about the University’s place in the ranks of American educational institutions.

The rose window icon is based upon a rose window found at the Basilica of St. Clare in Assisi, Italy. It was chosen to honor the University’s rich past and the legacy of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi.

It conveys the historical and religious context of the institution in an understated, yet confident, manner.

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