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Saint Ambrose University

St. Ambrose University is a private, coeducational, liberal arts university affiliated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport. It is located in a residential area of Davenport, Iowa, United States.


518 W Locust St

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Fighting Bee
Navy Blue And White
Midwest Collegiate
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College History


St. Ambrose was founded as a seminary and school of commerce for young men in 1882. It owes its beginning to the first bishop of Davenport, The Most Reverend John McMullen, DD, who founded it under the auspices of the Diocese of Davenport. The affiliation remains strong today. Ambrose Hall For its first three years, classes were held in two rooms of the old St. Marguerite�s School, located on the grounds of what is now Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport. Bishop McMullen died in 1883, and Reverend "A.J." Aloysius Schulte, a mere 23 years old, was named St. Ambrose�s first president. The school was moved to the Locust Street campus in 1885, when the central part of the present Ambrose Hall was built. Located in a secluded grove of oak trees, the site was far removed from the city itself, intentionally far it seems, from the �corrupting effects of town life.� That same year, St. Ambrose was incorporated as �a literary, scientific and religious institution.� The articles of incorporation stated, �No particular religious faith shall be required of any person to entitle him to admission to said seminary.� By the start of the 20th century, a clearer division was being made between the high school program, or the �academy,� and the college program. In 1908, the name of the institution was officially changed to �St. Ambrose College� to more clearly reflect the institution's mission. Night school classes were inaugurated in 1924, and the first session of summer school was held in 1931. During World War II, the United States Navy chose St. Ambrose College as a location for the training of many of its officers. For a short time, regular classes ceased, and the campus became a training ground for the Navy�s V-12 squads. St. Ambrose Academy The high school program, St. Ambrose Academy, was founded at the same time as the college and housed in the college's buildings. From 1886-1931 some of the academy students were boarded on the campus.The Rev. Ambrose Burke, who would become the college's president in 1940, was named the academy's first principal in 1929. In 1955 it was determined that Davenport should have a central Catholic high school and that St. Ambrose and Immaculate Conception academies should be merged. They moved to their new quarters at Assumption High School in 1958. This move provided additional space on campus for continued growth.

College Specialty


St. Ambrose University�independent, diocesan and Catholic�enables its students to develop intellectually, spiritually, ethically, socially, artistically and physically to enrich their own lives and the lives of others.



Bishop William Lawrence Adrian, Bishop of Nashville Fr. Edward Catich, calligrapher, artist, author Bishop David Choby, Bishop of Nashville Duffy Conroy, assistant coach with the Milwaukee Panthers men's basketball team Abbey Curran, American beauty queen who represented Iowa at Miss USA 2008 and was the first contestant with Cerebral Palsy to compete. Bishop Maurice John Dingman, Bishop of Des Moines, Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award laureate Bishop Timothy Doherty, Bishop of Lafayette-in-Indiana Bishop Robert Dwayne Gruss, Bishop of Rapid City Lester Hearden, NFL player for the Green Bay Packers Msgr. Cletus Madsen, taught music at St. Ambrose, involved in the Liturgical Movement in the United States James Conroyd Martin is the author of Push not the River Rev. Bernard F. Meyer, Maryknoll missionary to China who served as Prefect Apostolic of Wuzhou Msgr. Marvin Mottet, advocate for social justice causes, Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award laureate Gene Osborn, radio broadcaster for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals and other professional and college sports teams. Stephen A. Roell, President of Johnson Controls, Inc. Bishop Lawrence Donald Soens, Bishop of Sioux City Dave Zuidmulder, NFL player for the Green Bay Packers Brian Hemesath, Emmy award-winning costume designer



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