100 Years and Counting



Founded on November 1, 1915 by the Sisters of Loretto, Webster University started with a commitment to the community and to excellence in education. Originally named Loretto College, the school was one of the first Catholic women’s colleges west of the Mississippi River. It was progressive for its time, providing higher education to women when this was not generally made available.

In 1962 Webster opened its doors to the first male students and with the commitment to the creation of global citizens, the first European campus was opened in 1978, in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1983, the school was renamed Webster University to reflect this development.


Webster University in The Netherlands was founded in Leiden in 1983. Its ideal location between the cosmopolitan cities of The Hague and Amsterdam means students are within easy access of many non-governmental organizations, multinational companies and important global organizations and agencies. Webster University in Leiden has become the source of education for internationally minded students.


Webster University Leiden is the only American-accredited university in The Netherlands offering both a BA/BS (undergraduate) and MA/MBA (graduate and post-graduate) education. Since Webster began offering American university degrees in The Netherlands, over 2000 students have graduated here. Our Leiden campus is home to a wide variety of students from over 50 countries worldwide as well as staff and faculty who are just as diverse.

Following the same values as those instituted by the Sisters of Loretto almost a century ago, we believe in high quality learning experiences and providing education to a diverse group of students, enabling them to achieve individual excellence and global citizenship.



Learn more about our place in history and our commitment to academic excellence throughout the years.