Candidates studying the Marian College library located in the Sisters of St. Agnes motherhouse in the 1930s. Learn more about Marian University history.
Aerial view of the Marian College campus, 1960s.
Two sisters walking through the Marian College campus, 1960s.
Hazotte Hall, first residence for Marian College students, located on Division Street, 1960s.
Outside view of Marian University housing. Learn about residence life policies and procedures.
Sister Cyndi Nienhaus teaches a class at Marian University, 2018.

Past Presidents of Marian University

Andrew Manion – President Dr. Andrew Manion became the 16th president of Marian University in April 2016, quickly making his mark by reinstating the fall Commencement ceremony after its five-year absence and moving the nursing profession and graduate program classes to the just-purchased and renovated Center for Health Professions. In October 2017 he led Marian as it embarked on a total renovation and expansion of the science building, which opened in August 2018 as the Dr. Richard and Leslie Ridenour Science Center, and in 2019 he oversaw the Smith Fields athletic and intramural complex having its 106,000 square-foot natural turf surface renovated and replaced with a new artificial turf field. He also ushered in Marian’s largest and second largest first-year classes ever, 2018-19 and 2019-20, respectively.

Robert Fale – Interim President
A veteran of the healthcare industry, Robert Fale came to Marian University and served as an interim president from June 2013 to March 2016. During this time, Marian University acquired and began renovation of its downtown Center for Health Professions and implemented a new budgeting process. Fale was instrumental in the university achieving its 2016 reaffirmation of accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission; he played a role in the presidential search that resulted in the and hiring of Dr. Andrew Manion.

Steven R. DiSalvo, Ph.D. – President
Dr. Steven DiSalvo served as the 14th president of Marian University. During his presidency, Dr. DiSalvo oversaw Marian’s change in academic structure from seven schools to four schools; development of the Inspired brand; implementation of a strategic plan; expansion of the Board of Trustees; and construction of the Lenz Field House and acquisition of the Mercy Medical Center Radiologic Technology Program in Oshkosh, Wis.

Sr. Mary Mollison, ’69
Acting President March 19, 2009-June 30, 2009;
Interim President July 1, 2009-June 30, 2010

Marian University celebrated heritage, hospitality and hope under the leadership of Sister Mary Mollison. During her fifteen month tenure as Interim President, Marian acquired additional upper class student housing in the Cedar Creek Apartments and continued to focus on student satisfaction. She previously led the institution as Acting President when President Richard Ridenour was on medical leave. Sr. Mary is an alumna of Marian. She has served on the Marian University Board of Trustees for 21 years, including as Chair of the Board until her appointment as Acting President in March 2009. As a member of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, the sponsors of the university, Sr. Mary Mollison actively lives and supports Marian’s mission and core values.

Dr. Josefina Castillo Baltodano
Josefina Castillo Baltodano, J.D. served as the 12th president of Marian University and the first woman lay president. Dr. Baltodano brought to Marian a multi-faceted higher educational leadership experience as a successful administrator, trustee and faculty member. During Dr. Baltodano’s presidency: Marian transitioned from a college to university status, adding five new schools to the existing two; the university obtained its first Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program grant and its first National Institutes of Health Grant; the Business, Social Work, Education and Nursing programs were successfully re-accredited; the University’s first doctoral degrees were conferred in May 2007 to graduates of the Educational Administration and Leadership doctoral program; and the Herr-Baker Field baseball stadium was constructed and opened.

Sr. Mary Mollison ’69 (Acting)

Sr. Mary Mollison served as acting president during Dr. Richard Ridenour’s medical leave. Sr. Mary had previously served on Marian’s Board of Trustees from 1983 to 2001, the longest term of any Marian trustee. Sr. Mary served for 16 years in leadership of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes as General Vicar and as General Superior. During the year in which Sr. Mary was acting president, Marian was re-accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools for the maximum 10 years. Sr. Mary served on the presidential search committee and assisted in the transition in presidency from Ridenour to Dr. Josefina Castillo Baltodano.

Dr. Richard I. Ridenour
A medical doctor and a U.S. Navy Rear Admiral, Retired, who formerly commanded the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Dr. Ridenour brought a renewed pride in the tradition and spirit of Marian College and set a new footprint for the future. The College added a new Alumni Center and the Stayer Center for Technology & Executive Learning. Academic offerings were expanded and include an innovative Information Technology program and an Honors Program. The College experienced the largest incoming freshman class and largest traditional undergraduate enrollment in its history during this period of time and fundraising at Marian reached an all-time high.

Dr. Alan D. Osterndorf (Interim)
Dr. Osterndorf, a former superintendent of schools in Fond du Lac and a member of the Marian College faculty, graciously took the helm of the College on an interim basis. During this time, he maintained the stability of the College.

Matthew G. Flanigan
President Flanigan brought innovative ideas to recruitment, retention and external communications. He diversified the College’s geographic representation in its student body. Enrollment peaked at 2,400 students during his tenure. Once more, additional residence facilities became necessary and the Courtyard was constructed in 1993. Marian’s first comprehensive information technology plan was developed, student computer labs were developed and expanded, and computer technology was introduced to student research in the library. The College’s second graduate program, a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Quality, graduated its first class in 1994.

Dr. Edward L. Henry
Dr. Henry, a veteran educational leader, assumed the presidency of the College at a critical time in its history. He oversaw the formalization of evening and weekend class offerings into degree-completion programs, the addition of the first graduate program – a Master of Arts in Education – and the study of other graduate programs. Dr. Henry recommended adding to the athletic offerings to increase the enrollment of males. Enrollment as a whole increased, and resulted in the need for additional residence facilities. The townhouses of the Agnes Quad were constructed in 1988.

Dr. Leo V. Krzywkowski
Dr. Krzywkowski came to Marian as Academic Dean and was later appointed president. Academically, Dr. Kryzwkowski returned the College to its traditional liberal arts curriculum. With a strong interest in collegiate sports, he oversaw the building of Howard L. Sadoff Gymnasium, Marian’s first athletic facility. Interested in institutional development and the provision of more support staff for the College, he devoted much effort to attaining those goals.

Dr. James M. Hanlon
Dr. Hanlon was the first lay president of the College and the first to operate under the College’s new governance structure, a lay Board of Trustees rather than CSA’s board. Dr. Hanlon, was an educator whose goal was to effect his theories in an educational system designed to help students become self-actualized Christian leaders. At the same time he wished to reinvigorate Catholic parochial schools. His system, beginning with kindergarten, would end at the graduate level. Fond du Lac, with five elementary schools, a high school and a college staffed by the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, offered an ideal laboratory for this experiment. As president of Marian College, and in effect superintendent of the Catholic schools in town, he devoted his tenure to implementing the plan. Budgetary constraints as well as the inherent difficulties in coordinating a project of such magnitude led to its discontinuance in 1979. Dr. Hanlon’s major contribution to the College was to engage the faculty in dialog on the nature, philosophy and goals of education.

Sister Mary Sheila Burns ’45, CSA
Sister Mary Sheila introduced Marian College to the people of Fond du Lac. Her talent for public relations and cooperation with the community gave the College a higher local profile. During her administration the College received North Central accreditation, moved to the new campus, assumed the St. Agnes School of Nursing and officially became a co-ed institution. Increasing numbers of students led to the building of the second student residence facility on campus, Naber Hall. The College’s Planned Giving Society is named in honor of Sister Mary Sheila.

Sister Fidelis Karlin, CSA
Sister Fidelis Karlin, CSA, was the driving force behind the growth of the College during the 1950s and beyond. It was her vision which resulted in the present-day Marian campus. The first building on the campus, Regina Hall, was built during her tenure and the plans were developed for the present administration and science buildings, the library and Dorcas Chapel. Extensive self-studies were begun under her leadership which would eventuate in the valued North Central accreditation. Degree programs were added in Medical Technology and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Hazotte Hall, the first residence for lay students, was also purchased.

Sister Vera Naber, CSA
Although Sister Vera was president for less than a year, she was one of the founders of Marian College. As Academic Dean, she provided the vision and curriculum from its start. Her experience as an educator, together with her philosophy and goals, provided a firm foundation for the new institution. She became Marian’s first appointed President. Today, one of the College’s primary living residences, Naber Hall, is named in her honor.

Mother Angeline Kamp, CSA
During Mother Angeline’s term as Marian’s second president, Marian was accredited by the University of Wisconsin as a four-year elementary-teacher training college and was affiliated with the Catholic University of America and admitted to membership in the National Catholic Educational Association as a senior college. Mother Angeline presided over the College’s first graduation ceremony in 1941. Marian began its relationship with the St. Agnes School of Nursing by establishing a nursing degree completion program for its graduates.

Mother Aloysia Leickem, CSA
As Congregational leader, Mother Aloysia, along with Sr. Vera Naber, accepted the challenge of founding Marian College specifically to prepare the members of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes as teachers. Within months of making the decision, Marian opened. As Superior General of the Congregation, Mother Aloysia became the College’s first president. In its second year, at the request of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the College opened its doors to lay women. That same year the College was assured of the University of Wisconsin’s acceptance of the first year’s work.