Madonna University


Mission & History

The mission of Madonna University, a Catholic and Franciscan institution of higher learning, is to instill in its students Christian humanistic values, intellectual inquiry, a respect for diversity, and a commitment to serving others through a liberal arts education, integrated with career preparation and based on the truths and principles recognized within a Catholic tradition.

Madonna’s mission receives its spirit from these Franciscan Values:
• Respect for the dignity of each person
• Peace and justice
• Reverence for creation
• Education for truth and service

Madonna University History

In 1937, Madonna University (then known as Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Junior College) was established by Mother Mary DeSales Tocka and her counsel in the Felician Central Convent in Livonia, with a first-year enrollment of 18 Sisters.

Madonna University instituted masters-level programs in 1982 and became a university in 1991. A leader in nursing education at the state, regional, and national levels, Madonna’s College of Nursing and Health launched the University’s first doctoral program – the Doctor of Nursing Practice – in 2009. Through this growth and development, the institution has become one of the nation's largest Franciscan universities with a combined undergraduate and graduate student body of approximately 3,100 students.

Felician Sisters, Founders

The foundation of Madonna University can be traced to 1855 in Warsaw, Poland where a young woman named Sophia Truszkowska, formed a religious order dedicated to caring for the poor, homeless, sick, and the elderly. Known as the Felician Sisters, this small group of women dedicated themselves to helping their community through the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi. The first Felician Sisters arrived in the United States in 1874, settling in a Polish community in Wisconsin to establish schools for the community’s children. By 1880, the Felician Sisters had expanded their efforts into Michigan, administering schools in both Bay City and Detroit. As the Felician community grew, so did the need for an institution of higher education to prepare Felician Sisters as teachers.

Catholic, Franciscan Tradition

Madonna University exemplifies the fine tradition of Catholic and Franciscan scholarship that has contributed significantly to the intellectual and professional development in our society. With alumni on every continent except Antarctica, Madonna University graduates apply their knowledge and skills in meaningful service around the world – improving the lives of others, while excelling in their own professions.

Founded: 1937
Location: Livonia, Michigan
President: Michael A. Grandillo, Ph.D.
Motto: Sapientia Desursum - "Wisdom from Above"
Colors: Blue and Gold
Mascot: Crusaders
Students: About 2,460 undergraduate | About 640 graduate
Faculty: 123 faculty members | 13:1 student-faculty ratio


  • Associate and bachelor's degrees in more than 100 career-focused majors
  • Graduate School delivers more than 30 master's programs and one doctoral nursing program
  • Celebrates more than 50 years of excellence in nursing education
  • First in the country to offer a bachelor's degree in Sign Language Studies
  • Only formal University-based program for hospice and palliative studies at the bachelor’s and master's levels

Undergrad Tuition: $10,950 full-time tuition for 12-18 credits, nursing credits and room and board extra


  • Madonna University is a member of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
  • 19 men’s and women’s varsity teams
  • About 350 students participate in intercollegiate sports each year



Madonna University



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