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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. 7 in Texas and No. 47 nationally for the social mobility of graduates among national universities 1
  • No. 2 in Texas and No. 8 in the nation for economic diversity among national universities1
  • No. 5 in Texas and highest overall among San Antonio universities for the percentage of classes that have fewer than 20 students1
  • Ranked as a top 100 producer of graduate degrees among minorities2
    Rankings for specific programs include:
    • No. 9 – Master’s in Social Work, African American graduates
    • No. 11 – Master’s in Social Work, Hispanic graduates
    • No. 16 – Master’s in Social Work, Native American graduates
  • No. 5 among all universities and No. 1 among San Antonio universities for having the nation’s largest percentage of Hispanic degree-seeking undergraduates among private universities — 78%. 3


  • No. 15 in Texas and among the top 100 universities in the nation for awarding master’s degrees to Hispanics 4
  • OLLU Master of Social Work program ranks No. 7 in Texas and among the top 150 programs in the U.S.5
  • No. 76 university in the nation for alumni giving rate5


  • No. 19 Best Online College for School Counseling Degrees – OLLU Master’s in School Counseling program

Fast Facts

  • Through our social work programs, we are one of only three universities in the U.S. to directly address the needs of the nation’s Hispanic population
  • Our MSW program ranked 7th in Texas and in the top 150 in the U.S.1
  • MA in Counseling specializations in School Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling

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.


  1. U.S. News & World Report, 2022 Best Colleges
  2. Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine, October 2021
  3. U.S. News & World Report, 2021 20 Colleges with the Most Hispanic Students
  4. Hispanic Outlook on Education magazine, Fall 2020 edition
  5. U.S. News & World Report, 2021 Best Graduate Schools
  6. SR Education Group,