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About Us

About Our Lady of the Lake University

Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) was founded in San Antonio, Texas, in 1895 on the principles of faith, wisdom and trust in Providence. We’re a co-educational comprehensive university serving more than 3,100 students in more than 60 undergraduate majors and minors, more than 14 master’s programs, and three doctoral programs.

Being a student at OLLU is an experience that is every bit as rewarding as the success it can help lead to in your career.
– Diane E. Melby, EdD, President, Our Lady of the Lake University

Why Choose OLLU?

  • Innovative learning experiences rooted in faith and wisdom, and built to further your spiritual, personal and professional growth
  • Online programs with a personal touch, allowing you to be a part of the OLLU community and complete studies on your own schedule
  • Respect for diversity of experience, thought and expression, as well as a tradition of connection with Mexican American culture


OLLU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the regional accrediting body responsible for the accreditation of educational institutions in Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and Texas.


  • No. 49 university in the nation for social mobility (2020), U.S. News & World Report
  • No. 76 university in the nation for alumni giving rate (2020), U.S. News & World Report
  • Elevated to the national category by U.S. News & World Report in 2020, from Tier 1 of the western region, due to the growth of OLLU’s doctoral programs; previously among the top 70 universities in the western region
  • No. 19 best online college for school counseling degrees for MEd school counseling program (2019), SR Education Group,
  • No. 35 in awarding need-based aid among western region (2019), U.S. News and World Report
  • No. 10 in economic diversity among western region (2019), U.S. News and World Report
  • No. 36 in ethnic diversity among western region (2019), U.S. News and World Report
  • Among top 60 universities in the nation for granting master’s degrees to Hispanics, and among the top 11 in Texas (2018), according to The Hispanic Outlook on Education magazine

Fast Facts

Our Mission

As a Catholic university sponsored by the Sisters of Divine Providence, Our Lady of the Lake University is a community whose members are committed to serving students by:

  • Ensuring high-quality and innovative undergraduate and graduate learning experiences
  • Fostering spiritual, personal and professional growth
  • Preparing students for success and continued service

Our Vision

Inspired by Catholic values and the heritage of the founding Congregation of Divine Providence, Our Lady of the Lake University is a community called to transform individuals as they discover their purpose in life.

We aspire to be nationally recognized for our distinctive programs, our expertise in Mexican American culture, and our diverse graduates who lead and serve with faith and wisdom to improve the world.

Our Values

Our Lady of the Lake University is a Catholic community with faith in a Provident God at its roots. Our core values reflect what we believe and live in our daily lives:

  • Community

    We are a community who values and expects:

    • Respect for diversity of experience, thought and expression
    • Transparency and accountability
    • Productivity, creativity and innovation
  • Trust

    We recognize our individual and collective roles and responsibilities. As loyal and contributing members of the University, we demonstrate:

    • Conscientiousness in performing our duties
    • Accountability to one another
    • Responsibility for University resources
  • Integrity

    We engage in consistent, professional practice throughout our relationships with:

    • Honesty, openness and ethical behavior
    • Congruence between ideals and behavior
  • Service

    We are each called to share our resources through:

    • Use of our personal skills and knowledge for the benefit of others
    • Promotion of the common good of the University and external communities

Our History

Our Lady of the Lake University was founded as an all-girls academy in 1895 by the Sisters of the Congregation of Divine Providence, a religious order with roots in 18th century France that continues to sponsor the university today. In 1911, OLLU opened as a two-year college for women with one student, Rosalie McNelly, and awarded its first bachelor’s degree in 1912 to Sister Angelique Ayers, CDP.

We have long been a pioneer in how education is delivered. In 1923, we were the first higher education institution in San Antonio to receive regional accreditation, and we were the first college in the region to offer weekend courses in 1978. We now offer our distinctive, innovative programs online.

We are proud of our rich legacy of Mexican American culture and activism, which goes back to our earliest days. In 1968, OLLU hosted the first U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Hearing on Mexican Americans in the Southwest.

The university has grown to five main schools: College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business and Leadership, College of Professional Studies, the Worden School of Social Service, and the Woolfolk School of Communication Sciences and Disorders. While OLLU’s main campus is in San Antonio, students may also attend courses in Houston and the Rio Grande Valley, and across the U.S. via OLLU’s online programs.