University of Wisconsin–River Falls

University of Wisconsin–River Falls
Motto Global. Innovative. Excellent.
Type State university
Established 1874
Chancellor Dean Van Galen
Students 6,061 (2013-2014)[1]
Location River Falls, Wisconsin, U.S.
Colors Red & White          
Nickname Falcons
Mascot Freddy Falcon
South Hall is the oldest building on campus and is on the National Register of Historic Places; the original building (built 1874) burned down in 1897 and was replaced by this one in 1898.[2]
North Hall is the second oldest building on campus and is also on the National Register of Historic Places; it was constructed in 1914 and led the original Normal Hall to be renamed "South Hall".[3]

The University of Wisconsin–River Falls (also known as UW–River Falls or UWRF) is a public liberal arts university located in River Falls, Wisconsin. It is part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. The 226-acre (91 ha) campus is situated on the Kinnickinnic River in the St. Croix River Valley. The university has 32 major buildings and two laboratory farms, with a total of 440 acres (178 ha) of land.

In 2013-2014 UWRF had an enrollment of 6,061 students in more than 40 undergraduate and graduate programs. Being a part of the University of Wisconsin System, it is a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. UWRF is also a member of the American Council of Education Internationalization Laboratory and provides several global studies and study abroad programs.[4] The university has created the St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development.[5]


The original Normal Hall (renamed South Hall), as it appeared before it was destroyed by fire in 1897.

The University of Wisconsin–River Falls was founded in 1874 as River Falls State Normal School, one of the state normal schools created to prepare students for teaching careers and to provide better education to the state's frontier regions.[6] In 1927, the school was renamed River Falls State Teachers College,[7] as the state normal schools became "State Teachers Colleges" that incorporated a significant increase in general education offerings and four-year courses of study leading to a Bachelor of Education degree.

After World War II, thousands of returning veterans in Wisconsin under the G.I. Bill needed more college choices for their studies and educational advancement. Because of popular demand, the Regents of the State Teachers College system allowed the teacher training institutions to offer bachelor's degrees in liberal arts and fine arts. In 1951, when the state teachers colleges were organized as "Wisconsin State Colleges",[8] the school name was changed to Wisconsin State College–River Falls, and the school offered a full four-year liberal-arts curriculum. In 1964, it was renamed Wisconsin State University-River Falls when the state colleges were all granted university status.[8]

The school became a member of the University of Wisconsin System in 1971 when the former University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin State Universities merged. It then became the University of Wisconsin–River Falls.[9]



The University has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, the Council on Social Work Education, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the National Association of School Psychologists, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Council for Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA), the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the American Chemical Society, and the American Society of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering.[11] UWRF offers over 40 majors.


The Fall 2012 acceptance rate was 79.2% for incoming freshmen.[12]


The University of Wisconsin–River Falls is one of four University of Wisconsin System institutions included in The Princeton Review's 2014 list of the "Best in the Midwest."[13] For 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked UWRF in the top tier for Regional Universities in the Midwest United States.[14]


UWRF received an A- grade on the 2011 College Sustainability Report Card.[15] The university has created the St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development, whose mission is "to support and facilitate the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in becoming one of the premier venues for deliberation and demonstration of sustainable community development principles."[5]


UW-River Falls' athletic teams, known by their nickname, the Falcons, compete in 18 varsity sports in of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in NCAA Division III.[16] Men's sports include basketball, cross country, football, swimming and diving, and track and field. Women's sports are basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Men's and women's ice hockey teams compete in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association.

The university also offers club sports for students, including badminton, paintball, Jiu Jitsu, rugby and rock climbing.[17]

From 1991 to 2009, the Kansas City Chiefs used the university's athletic facilities during their annual summer training camp. The Chiefs moved their training camp to Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri in 2010.[18] In 2007, the HBO sports documentary, Hard Knocks, followed the Chiefs throughout their summer training camp at UWRF. The series featured a number of university buildings, including the new student union, Rodli Commons, McMillan Hall, Ramer Field Complex, Hunt Ice Hockey Arena and Laboratory Farm #1.

Notable faculty

Notable alumni

St. Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra

The St. Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra (SCVSO) is a symphony orchestra founded in 1960. It is composed of students from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and community members from the St. Croix Valley area. It is a non-profit organization that uses money from donations and grants. A board of directors was established in 2008 to organize the orchestra's operations, planning and development.[19] The conductor of the SCVSO is Kristen Tjornehoj, the fourth director of this ensemble since 1960.

Repertoire and concerts

The orchestra performs about eight regular concerts per season consisting of classical and pop repertoire. Recent performances include pieces by Gabriel Faure, Modest Mussorgsky, Giocomo Pucchini, Leroy Anderson, Aaron Copland, Antonio Vivaldi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Felix Mendelssohn. The orchestra performs a Young Person's Concert for elementary and middle school students in the area each spring. It also performs a Holiday Extravaganza concert in December.


The St. Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra primarily performs in William Abbott Concert Hall, located on the University of Wisconsin-River Falls campus. In addition, the SCVSO performs around the St. Croix Valley area, including Hastings High School (Minnesota), Trinity Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Minn., and Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church.


  1. "University of Wisconsin-River Falls | UW River Falls | Best College | US News". Retrieved 2015-03-31.
  2. Archived December 31, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. Archived December 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. "Internationalization Laboratory". 2013-04-16. Retrieved 2015-03-31.
  5. 1 2 Archived September 10, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. University of Wisconsin-River Falls. UWRF History.
  7. University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Jesse H. Ames President 1917-1946.
  8. 1 2 University of Wisconsin System. What is the UW System.
  9. Alice Songe, American Universities and Colleges: A Dictionary of Name Changes. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1978, p. 229.
  10. 1 2 "Office of Institutional Research : Undergraduate Enrollmeny by Gender : 2013" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-03-31.
  11. Archived January 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. "University of Wisconsin--River Falls U.S. News Rankings". U.S. News and World Report. 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
  13. "Princeton Review Best of the Midwest". Princeton Review. 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-17.
  14. "America's Best Colleges 2014". U.S. News and World Report. 2013. Retrieved 2014-06-17.
  15. "Report Card 2011 - The College Sustainablilty Report Card". 2014-05-30. Retrieved 2015-03-31.
  16. Archived March 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. "Recreation and Sport Facilities: Sports clubs". Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  18. Archived January 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  19. "Our History". Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  20. "Concert Features High School Senior". 2009-010-14. Retrieved 2013-03-19. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  21. "Guest Artist: November 2012". 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
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