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Sister Mary Generosa Callahan, C.D.P.

OUR LADY OF THE LAKE UNIVERSITY. Our Lady of the Lake University, the oldest regionally accredited institution of higher learning in San Antonio, consists of a College of Arts and Sciences, a School of Business, a School of Education and Clinical Studies, and the Worden School of Social Service. The university's thirty-two areas of specialization are mostly in the liberal arts and the service professions. Several are offered in the Weekend College for adults. The university developed from an academy for girls established by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1895. It became a liberal arts college for women in 1911 and received its charter from the State of Texas in 1919. In 1923 it attained membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In 1927 it became the third Texas school to be approved by the American Association of Universities. Our Lady of the Lake became a coeducational college in 1969 and a university for men and women in 1975.

In 1895 Mayor Henry Elmendorf deeded eighteen acres of land for a school south of Elmendorf Lake to the sisters, on the condition that they spend $75,000 on improvements in ten years. The congregation subsequently acquired a total of seventy-one acres at the site and constructed thirty-four buildings, nineteen of which are a part of the university complex. Several of these buildings are noted for their architecture. Old Main, the 1895 structure, was designed in Victorian Gothic by James Wahrenberger, as were St. Ann's Hall in 1907 and Moye Hall in 1920. The Gothic Conventual Chapel was designed by Leo M. J. Dielmann in 1923. It is renowned for its spires, Italian marble altars, and German stained glass windows. The Saint Florence Library contains most of the university's collection. Three residence halls-Providence, Pacelli, and Ayres-provide housing for students. Special facilities include the St. Martin Hall Campus Demonstration School and the Harry Jersig Center, which provides clinical counseling and help with communication disorders. In 1958 the administration of the buildings and land was legally divided. A board of trustees administers all that pertains to Our Lady of the Lake University, and the Congregation of Divine Providence administers land and buildings of the Convent of Our Lady of the Lake. Six presidents have guided the institution: Rev. Henry A. Constantineau, John L. McMahon, Gerald P. Burns, Sister Elizabeth Anne Sueltenfuss, Sally Mahoney, and Robert E. Gibbons, who took over on an interim basis in the summer of 2001. Enrollment in the spring of 2001 was 3,285, including 1,485 in the Weekend College.

Sister Mary Generosa Callahan, C.D.P., The History of the Sisters of Divine Providence, San Antonio, Texas (Milwaukee: Bruce, 1955). Sister Mary Generosa Callahan, C.D.P., Mother Angelique Ayres, Dreamer and Builder of Our Lady of the Lake University (Austin: Jenkins, 1981).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Sister Mary Generosa Callahan, C.D.P., "OUR LADY OF THE LAKE UNIVERSITY," accessed July 19, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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