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Coordinates: 40°37′58″N 91°17′50″W / 40.632644°N 91.29714°W / 40.632644; -91.29714

William Penn University
Established 1873
Type Private university
President Richard E. Sours
Students 1,795
Undergraduates 1,795
Location Oskaloosa, Iowa, U.S.
Campus Rural
Colors Navy Blue and Gold
Mascot Statesmen/Lady Statesmen

William Penn University is a private, liberal arts university in Oskaloosa, Iowa, United States. It was founded by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in 1873 as Penn College. In 1933, the name was changed to William Penn College, and finally to William Penn University in 2000.

Athletes ("Statesmen") play in the Midwest Classic Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for most sports, and the affiliated Mid-States Football Association for football. Before 2000, the school was a part of the NCAA division III.

In 2007, Musco Lighting, also in Oskaloosa, donated $12 million to the school for various projects—the biggest single gift in the school's history. The money is to be used for 200,000 square feet (19,000 m2) of new structures including student recreation, classrooms, laboratories, and a stand-alone Industrial Technology Center building, which will be home for the new Digital Broadcast Studies Program.[1]



William Penn University's ideal of providing quality education has not changed in over 130 years. They have always provided equal access to quality education, without discrimination towards a person's race, gender, age, religious preference, or national origin. In 1873, the college debated its naming to either Penn College or John Bright College. On September 9 of that same year, the board adopted Penn College. It was that same year that the first lectures were being delivered, and only two years later that the first class graduated.

In 1916, fire destroyed the original campus. Flames that began on the third floor of Old Penn Hall spread to a tank of chemicals, causing an explosion that scattered fire in all directions. Insufficient water pressure made it impossible to fight the fire. Trying to remove college records, Penn's business manager Robert Williams and freshman student Harry Oakley were killed when the four-ton college bell crashed through the main building and buried them beneath it.

During the depression, students sometimes gave cows and lambs to pay their tuition.

The college's name was legally changed from Penn College to William Penn College in 1933.

After World War II, Penn College actively recruited Japanese-American students from relocation camps. In 1995, William Penn's College for Working Adults was founded, which enrolls over 900 students. In January 2000, William Penn College officially became William Penn University. That same year, the college also began play in NAIA Division II. As of 2009, William Penn University enrolls over 800 students in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Professional Studies. William Penn is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.[2] [3]


At William Penn University, students take pride in academics and the university strives to offer them exciting opportunities. The college has a 16:1 student-teacher ratio. Penn has many career majors to choose from, such as; applied technology, business administration, education, health and life sciences, humanities, social and behaviorals sciences, and many other academic minors.


College for Working Adults

The William Penn University College for Working Adults is a program for working professionals or others who may have difficulty finding time for traditional college attendance. It operates satellites campus in West Des Moines and Ankeny, Iowa. Upon enrollment, students choose from three degree-programs: the Associate of Arts in Leadership Studies, the Bachelor of Arts in Business, and the Master of Business Leadership.

Student life

Campus Ministries

At William Penn University, “Students are encouraged, but not required, to participate in religious life programming. Programming sponsored by Campus Ministries is Christian in orientation and interdenominational in nature. Campus Ministry assists students to explore questions of faith in a nurturing environment and discover spiritual resources to face life's challenges.”[4]

International Students

William Penn University offers international students the experience of total immersion into American academic and cultural life. Countries currently represented in the student population include Rwanda, Kenya, Brazil, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Philippines, Australia, Bahamas, Burma(Myanmar), Canada, China, Ireland, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.


William Penn University issues athletic scholarships for almost every sport available. The university's athletic programs compete in NAIA division II as part of the Midwest Collegiate Conference.


External links


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