CONTACT INFO

General Inquires
Phone: 414.382.6000
 
Campus Assistance/General Information
Phone: 414.382.6000
 
Click for directions to Alverno College  
Construction-related questions:
Jim Gonzalez
Construction Supervisor (on-site)
J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.
414.254.8989
Mike Abrams
Senior Project Manager
J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.
mabrams@findorff.com
Facilities & Security Inquiries:
John Marks
Director of Plant Operations
Alverno College
414.382.6360
john.marks@alverno.edu
Media & Public Relations:
Kelly Fay
Public Relations Specialist
Alverno College
414.382.6166
kelly.fay@alverno.edu

QUESTIONS

  • Why does Alverno need more space?
  • What areas of the campus will be affected?
  • How were these improvements chosen?
  • How long will the project take?
  • When will faculty, staff and students see improvements?
  • What will the improvements cost?
  • Will tuition funds be used to pay for the improvements?
  • How will this project affect the environment?
  • How will this project affect Alverno’s neighborhood?
  • How will this project affect faculty, staff and students?

ANSWERS

The College’s enrollment has grown 35 percent in the past decade. It now serves approximately 2,600 students with only 34 classrooms. Its main student gathering space, The Commons, was built in 1953 to accommodate approximately 300 students daily. About 1,000 students, faculty and staff now meet, dine or study there on a typical day.

Teaching and learning technologies have also advanced rapidly during the past decade. By expanding and remodeling, we can add a new nursing simulation center, access Internet-based learning resources more easily, and connect with other academic institutions around the globe.

The new Commons: This building will be more than one and a half times larger than the current area and will be completed by the start of the fall 2014 semester.

A new classroom building: A three-story building connecting Alphonsa and Christopher Halls will be completed by the start of the 2015 spring semester.

Liberal Arts building: This building will be completely remodeled by the end of the fall 2015 semester.

Christopher Hall: Renovations will be complete by fall 2015.

Clare Hall (completed):  In an early phase of the campaign, Clare Hall was renovated in 2009.

[LEARN MORE]

The project began with a year-long study of the campus, including interviews and focus groups with students, faculty, staff and executives, by the Uihlein-Wilson architectural group. It recommended the changes described above as the most urgently needed campus improvements.

The project will start in the spring of 2014 and finish by the fall of 2015. Work on these projects is staggered to ensure the College always has the classrooms and offices needed to operate effectively throughout the project.

The new Commons will open in the fall of 2014. The new classroom building (Alexia Hall) will open in the spring of 2015. All renovations—including Christopher Hall—will be complete by the fall of 2015.

The total cost of the improvements is expected to be approximately $30 million.

No. The entire project is being paid for through contributions to Alverno’s Promise & Power fund-raising campaign. We’ve already raised $27 million of the $30 million needed. We plan to raise the balance with appeals to all Alverno alums and friends in the year ahead.

The project will create new, environmentally sound spaces and increase efficiency of current spaces. Energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems will be used throughout. A green roof on top of the new Commons will reduce water runoff and decrease reflected heat onto surrounding buildings. A water-retaining bio-swale on the south end of campus will provide further water conservation. A new underground storage tank for water runoff will retain water and release it slowly in order to reduce water runoff loads on the Kinnickinnic River basin. Approximately 40 additional trees and hundreds of new indigenous shrubs will be planted with no new irrigation needed. The entire project will qualify for LEED certification at the silver level. (“LEED” stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It provides a third-party review of the energy efficiency and environmental impact of building projects.) Alverno will not apply for such certification simply because of the high cost of the certification review.

We anticipate little disruption caused by construction equipment, noise or changed traffic patterns. Because most of the construction will be on the interior of the campus, it will barely be visible from outside the campus. A brief period of excavation in the early months of the project will bring some truck traffic to Morgan Street on the campus’ south side. Construction of the new classroom building will temporarily reduce the number of parking spaces on campus, but will not create a shortage of on-campus spaces. The project will not increase traffic by students, faculty and staff. Long term, the project adds value to the neighborhood by ensuring the College’s vitality and continued benefits to the region for generations to come.

Neighbors can monitor construction progress on this website.

During the construction period (spring 2014 – fall 2015) some offices will be moved temporarily. There will be alternate locations for food services and dining, walking paths between buildings will change temporarily, and for the fall 2014 semester, there will be a mobile classroom separate from the campus buildings.

Weekly updates in Etc., Campus Newsnet and Graduate News will keep members of the Alverno community posted on important construction news throughout the process. In addition, this website will always provide up-to-date information on construction progress and anticipated openings and closings of campus areas.

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

Dear Friends,“You can always spot the Alverno grads.”I hear this comment frequently from business, healthcare, and educational leaders. I’m always pleased to hear how well our alums are doing, but not surprised. Our standout alums are the product of an educational approach that has stood out among educators for years.

What sets Alverno apart is the power of its teaching. Simply knowing the subject matter here is not enough. From first class to last, our students are rigorously schooled—and assessed—in eight abilities needed to put their knowledge to work. The results speak for themselves.

  • Alverno alums fill critical positions in hundreds of area businesses and have led or launched 18 major firms, including one of the fastest growing woman-owned businesses in North America.
  • Our nursing graduates lead nursing workforces at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, as well as several local hospitals and clinics.
  • In education, Alverno-taught educators lead and teach in dozens of local charter, choice and public schools and are recognized widely for their commitment to their profession.

The good news is that more outstanding alums are on the way. Alverno’s enrollment jumped 35 percent between 2001 and 2011, making us one of the nation’s largest women’s colleges. Our enrollment is heading toward 3,000 students, and we are bursting at the seams.

Alverno’s Promise and Power campaign will add classrooms, give students more room to study and work together, and keep our outstanding programs in business, nursing and education in the forefront. Thank you for considering joining this important effort.

Cordially,

Mary J. Meehan, Ph.D., seventh Alverno president [2004-2016]

PRESS RELEASES

  • Alverno College Exceeds $30 Million Capital Campaign Goal | Posted: Jan 21, 2015

    Business leaders drove effort to support innovative curriculum with student-centered spaces

    Milwaukee, (January 21, 2015) – Alverno College exceeded its original $30 million capital campaign goal in December, raising a total of $32,793,000. The expansion and renovation, which broke ground in March of 2014, is the most significant enhancement in the college’s 128-year history. Improvements include a new classroom building, a state-of-the-art nursing simulation center for the JoAnn McGrath School of Nursing and the creation of a new, larger student commons to enhance the student experience.

    “This is an investment in the city of Milwaukee as well as an investment in Alverno,” said Mary J. Meehan, Ph.D., president of Alverno College. “Our alums are leaders in business, healthcare and education, and since 80% of our graduates live and work in Wisconsin, we truly are having an impact locally.” Alverno alumnae include Fullbright Scholars, college deans and department heads, CEOs and senior executives, a Guggenheim Fellow and a MacArthur Genius Award winner.

    Construction began in 2014, and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015. “Alverno hosts many national and international guests because of our unique curriculum, and our new spaces offer an opportunity to shine a light on the city as well as on our college,” Meehan said.

    Campaign Details

    In order to finance the improvements, a fundraising campaign began in 2011 led by Paul Purcell, CEO of Robert W. Baird, Don Layden, Partner, Quarles & Brady LLC, and Ellen Gardner, ’69, retired President of Ameritech-Wisconsin. Alverno alumnae gave more than $8.7 million, a record contribution from alumnae. Many staff, faculty, and students also contributed to the campaign.

    “Alverno has always been dedicated to student success,” said Gardner. “These improvements mean the college is better equipped to meet the needs of its students, and in turn have a greater impact on their futures, their careers and their lives.” Gardner, an Alverno College alumna, was one of the first female CEOs in Wisconsin. She spent 30 years with Ameritech, now AT&T, working her way up from a management trainee to president, all while helping to manage the company’s transition from a telephone company to the full service, competitive communication business it is today.

    Project Details

    The expansion and improvements focused on the following areas:

    Nine new high-tech classrooms help Alverno accommodate its growing enrollment and connect students with online learning resources around the world.
    A new high-fidelity nursing simulation center enables nursing students to practice skills in life-like settings. Alverno’s JoAnn McGrath School of Nursing has the largest enrollment in the state, and the new simulation center will ensure a nursing degree from Alverno continues to be a hallmark of excellence.
    An expanded commons provides a spacious, comfortable gathering place for students, faculty and staff. Featuring a larger food service area, a coffee shop and private group study rooms, the new commons gives the Alverno community a strong center. In addition, a heritage plaza with outdoor seating connected to the dining hall honors the School Sisters of St. Francis, founders of Alverno College.
    A new “Student Main Street” combines advising, financial aid, career planning and other critical student services in one easy-to-access location adjacent to the new commons.
    A new art education suite doubles the classroom space devoted to art and dance education. Since nearly 40 percent of Alverno students take courses in art and dance every year, the expansion ensures students have the space they need to develop their creativity.
    In recognition of a generous gift from the Bucyrus Foundation, the conference center in the Sister Joel Read Center will be expanded and renamed the Bucyrus Conference Center and will allow greater service to the broader community.
    Thanks to a considerable gift from A. O. Smith Corporation, the International and Intercultural Office is now named the A. O. Smith International and Intercultural Office.

    All of the improvements include energy-efficient lighting; flooring, furnishings and fixtures with a low environmental impact; and energy-efficient heating and air conditioning wherever possible. The expanded commons area also features a green roof that will absorb rainfall, reduce reflected heat and be the most visible of several efforts to help the environment and reduce energy costs.

    The public can follow the progress of the construction at http://promise.alverno.edu/. The site includes the latest news, a project overview and timeline, photos, videos, regular updates and frequently asked questions.

    About Alverno College

    Alverno College, a four-year independent, Catholic, liberal arts college for women, exists to promote the personal and professional development of its students. The college has earned accolades and respect internationally for its highly effective ability-based, assessment-as-learning approach to education, and has consulted with three U.S. presidential administrations on accountability and outcomes in higher education. For the last five years, Alverno College was ranked one of the top four schools in the Midwest doing “the best job of educating undergrads” by U.S. News & World Report. Educators from throughout the world visit Alverno to learn about its proven, student-centered teaching methods.

    Alverno offers more than 35 major program areas of study, including graduate programs in education, nursing, community psychology and business that are open to women and men. For more information about Alverno, visit www.alverno.edu or call 414-382-6100.

  • Alverno College Announces $30 Million Expansion and Renovation, the Largest in the College’s History | Posted: Dec 10, 2013

    Alverno College announced it will break ground on a $30 million expansion and renovation in March of 2014, the most significant enhancement in the college’s 126-year history. The plans include a new classroom building, improvements to the JoAnn McGrath School of Nursing and the creation of a new, larger student commons to enhance the student experience.

    “Our current campus was built in 1952, and as enrollment climbs and the needs of our students change, we must evolve to meet those needs,” said Mary J. Meehan, Ph.D., president of Alverno College. “This expansion will ensure that future generations of Alverno students have the classrooms, gathering spaces and advanced learning technologies they need to develop their abilities to the fullest.”

    Construction will begin in 2014, with a groundbreaking ceremony on March 18, and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015. “We’ve grown into one of the largest women’s colleges in the country and employers look to Alverno to develop the female leaders of tomorrow,” said Mary Beth Berkes, chair of the Alverno College Board of Trustees. “For this reason and more, our facilities need to be as innovative as our curriculum.”

    Campaign Details

    In order to finance the improvements, a fundraising campaign began in 2011. Led by Paul Purcell, CEO of Robert W. Baird, Don Layden, Partner, Quarles &Brady LLC, and Ellen Gardner, ’69, retired President of Ameritech-Wisconsin, the campaign has raised $27 million of the $30 million needed to complete the project. The balance will be raised through contributions from Alverno alumni and supporters.

    “All of us have seen first-hand the unique impact that Alverno has on the careers, lives and communities of its students, and we believe deeply in Alverno and its future,” said Purcell. “That’s why this is so important for the college and the city of Milwaukee.”

    Project Details

    The expansion and improvements will focus on the following areas:

    • Alverno alums fill critical positions in hundreds of area businesses and have led or launched 18 major firms, including one of the fastest growing woman-owned businesses in North America.
    • Nine new high-tech classrooms will help Alverno accommodate its growing enrollment and connect students with online learning resources around the world.
    • Alverno alums fill critical positions in hundreds of area businesses and have led or launched 18 major firms, including one of the fastest growing woman-owned businesses in North America.
    • A new high-fidelity nursing simulation center will enable nursing students to practice skills in life-like settings. Alverno’s JoAnn McGrath School of Nursing has the largest enrollment in the state, and the new simulation center will ensure a nursing degree from Alverno continues to be a hallmark of excellence.
    • An expanded commons will provide a spacious, comfortable gathering place for students, faculty and staff. Featuring a larger food service area, a coffee shop and private group study rooms, the new commons will give the Alverno community a strong center. In addition, a heritage plaza with outdoor seating connected to the dining hall will honor the School Sisters of St. Francis, founders of Alverno College.
    • A new “Student Main Street” will combine advising, financial aid, career planning and other critical student services in one easy-to-access location adjacent to the new commons.
    • A new art education suite will double the classroom space devoted to art and dance education. Since nearly 40 percent of Alverno students take courses in art and dance every year, the expansion will ensure students have the space they need to develop their creativity.
    • In recognition of a generous gift from the Bucyrus Foundation, the current conference center in the Sister Joel Read Center will be expanded and renamed the Bucyrus Conference Center and will allow greater service to the broader community.

     

    All of the improvements will include energy-efficient lighting; flooring, furnishings and fixtures with a low environmental impact; and energy-efficient heating and air conditioning wherever possible. The expanded commons area will also feature a green roof that will absorb rainfall, reduce reflected heat and be the most visible of several efforts to help the environment and reduce energy costs.

    The public can follow the progress of the construction at http://promise.alverno.edu/. The site will include the latest news, a project overview and timeline, photos, videos, regular updates and frequently asked questions.

    About Alverno College

    Alverno College, a four-year independent, Catholic, liberal arts college for women, exists to promote the personal and professional development of its students. The college has earned accolades and respect internationally for its highly effective ability-based, assessment-as-learning approach to education, and has consulted with three U.S. presidential administrations on accountability and outcomes in higher education. For the last four years, Alverno College was ranked one of the top three schools in the Midwest doing “the best job of educating undergrads” by U.S. News & World Report. Educators from throughout the world visit Alverno to learn about its proven, student-centered teaching methods.

    Alverno offers more than 35 major program areas of study, including graduate programs in education, nursing, community psychology and business that are open to women and men. For more information about Alverno, visit www.alverno.edu or call 414-382-6100.

     

To learn more about how you can get involved in this transformational campaign for Alverno's future, please contact Kaye Leszczynski in the Advancement Office at (414) 382-6095 or kaye.leszczynski@alverno.edu. Thank you for your interest in and support of Alverno College!