Alvernia University

Alvernia University
Former names
Alvernia College
Motto Latin: Doceat Christus vos facere.
Motto in English
To Learn, To Love, To Serve
Type Private
Established 1958
Affiliation Franciscan Catholic
President Thomas F. Flynn, Ph.D
Students 2,900 (1,500 undergraduate, 600 continuing education, 780 graduate)
Location Reading, Pennsylvania, USA
40°18′32″N 75°56′10″W / 40.309°N 75.936°W / 40.309; -75.936Coordinates: 40°18′32″N 75°56′10″W / 40.309°N 75.936°W / 40.309; -75.936
Campus Suburban, 121 acres (49.0 ha)
Colors Maroon and gold
Athletics NCAA Division IIIMAC Commonwealth Conference, ECAC
Sports 8 men's and 10 women's varsity teams
Mascot Crusader
Affiliations ACCU

Alvernia University is a private Franciscan Roman Catholic university located in Reading, Pennsylvania. Once known as Alvernia College, the school gained university status in 2008.


Alvernia University was founded in 1926 as a teacher's seminary by the Bernardine Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, a Franciscan order of sisters. In 1958, the institution expanded into a four-year college.[1] In 2008, Alvernia celebrated its 50th Anniversary and was granted university status by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.


Alvernia offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and minors. Pre-professional programs are available in dentistry, law, medicine, pharmacy, and veterinary studies. Master's degrees are awarded in occupational therapy, business administration, nursing, community counseling, education, and liberal studies. Alvernia also offers a seven-year Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) program. A Doctor of Philosophy in leadership is also available.

Since 1967, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools has granted Alvernia accreditation. The Education program for elementary and secondary teachers is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The Occupational Therapy program is fully accredited by the American Council of Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). The Bachelor of Science in Nursing has approval by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The Athletic Training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs in cooperation with the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Athletic Training. The Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The Behavioral Health courses are certified by the Pennsylvania Certification Board. The Business Department is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).


Alvernia University Franco Library in Reading, PA
Alvernia University Franco Library in Reading, PA.

Library holdings are 100,000 print, audiovisual, and computer materials; approximately 900 periodicals and 400 current subscriptions. The Library supports Polish-American and Italian-American cultural centers.[2]


Alvernia's intercollegiate teams, known athletically as the Crusaders, compete at the NCAA Division III level in the Middle Atlantic Conferences (MAC), a highly competitive conference, and the Eastern College Athletic Conference.[3] Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, track & field and volleyball; while women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, dance, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball.


  1. "Alvernia University History". Alvernia University. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  2. "Dr. Frank A. Franco Library Learning Center". Alvernia University. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
  3. "Alvernia University Athletics". Division III level MAC ECAC. AU Athletics. Retrieved 3 May 2012.

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