Two students laugh as the walk through WSU campus.


At WSU, we call ourselves a community of learners because we believe in the power of people. This means that as professors, as staff, as fellow students, we support each other and cheer each other on so that we all can succeed in improving our world.

And we’ve been building up this community for decades, as these alumni reveal in their personal stories about their student experiences.

College years are such a unique time in a person’s life: independence, new friends and experiences, and struggles. At WSU, you are with a community that will support you through all of that. I changed my major during my first year, and the faculty and staff made it seamless.

Throughout my four years I never felt that I didn’t matter, that my voice wasn’t heard, and I didn’t meet one person who I didn’t feel I could approach. The campus, town, and surrounding area are beautiful and offer everything you need within minutes. It’s truly a special experience. 

I have such fond memories of my professors and often daydream of teaching and being a leader to students the way they were leaders and friends to me. I tell my wife all the time that if a job opened up we’d be moving back to Winona!

Tobias Tingleaf '04 - Biology: Life Science

WSU helped me realize my dream. I didn’t think I could earn a degree because I lived too far away from any university, and I worked full-time. The WSU-Rochester campus was a lifesaver!

The 2+2 program with RCTC gave me the time to decide if I wanted a 2-year degree or a 4-year degree. Knowing which classes would transfer and which didn’t helped me make the right decision to get my bachelor’s degree. My classes and professors were wonderful, and they wanted me to be successful.

Diane Connelly '07 - Accounting (2+2 Program)

As a student athlete, I felt immediately welcomed to WSU. WSU is a smaller university that offers some pretty fantastic degrees. As an education major, there were many opportunities locally to get into the classroom and make sure I was interested in pursuing the degree.

On campus and off, there was such a strong sense of community and support. People knew each other, looked out for each other and created lasting relationships. Embracing the college life and meeting new people at WSU truly shaped me into the teacher and person I am today.

Rebecca (Olson) Pulju '98 - English: Writing

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at WSU.  I loved the fact that my music professors took a genuine interest in me, as a person. They genuinely wanted us, as students and future music educators, to succeed.

I am forever grateful that Dr. Donald Lovejoy and Dr. James Hoch were willing to take a chance on a small-town, mediocre musician. With their guidance, I became a successful musician and educator. WSU, thank you for providing me with the tools and education to be a successful music educator!

Tasha (Kalis) Frasher '06 - Education: Instrumental Music

I am now retired from a career in education and can testify to the fact that I received excellent mentoring in my classes. The faculty was willing as a whole to present the latest information about my chosen career…

I certainly felt that I was recognized as a student having visited individually with faculty members many times… I am thankful I attended WSU because there were many excellent teachers who cared about each student.

Judith (Mahlke) Miller '67 - Elementary Education