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Central Wisconsin College

Scandinavia, Wisconsin

1893-1932 (Junior College 1921-1932)


The 1923-24 Valkyrie is available through e-yearbooks, and the Scandinavia Memory Project.  The Scandinavia Public Library has other digital material from the school history.  Waymark also has photos and a brief history of the school.


Central Wisconsin College began as Scandinavia Academy.  Valkyrie notes that as early as 1891 the Lutheran congregations of Waupaca County began to organize with the goal of creating an "educational institution on the High School plan, also offering a Business Course, whose atmosphere and general management should be permeated with christian principles and be conducive of a healthy and moral growth to those who should frequent the school."


The old building burned to the ground in 1919.   When a new building was to be constructed, plans were enlarged to provide for  a junior college since none was available in the diocese.   With a name change to Central Wisconsin College, classes began in 1921.  According to Waymark, the new academic structure consisted of the academy, the junior college, the music program, and both two-year and four-year commercial programs.


In accordance with the  religious principles of the school, students were required to attend chapel daily.  Each Thursday night they attended Bible Hour, led by the president.  Religious organizations included Girls Mission Society and Daughters of the Reformation.


CWC sponsored three literary societies--Ta Ta Pochon for Seniors and college students, Adelphian for Juniors, and Athenian for Freshmen and Sophomores.  Students performed two plays yearly.  In addition to the Valkyrie, students published the Trumpet, a newspaper.    As a school in Scandinavian territory, it sponsored a Normanna Lag to keep the Norse heritage alive.  This society sponsored a yearly declamatory contest in the Norwegian language, with the winner representing CWC in regional competition.


The two music teachers at CWC had organized a glee club, four different quartettes, as well as an orchestra, providing concerts and other musical programs.


The Valkyrie shows a student body of  119--only 12 of these in the college; academy classes numbered around 25 each,  Ten faculty members taught the classes.  In addition to the two music teachers, the faculty included one commercial teacher and one Norse teacher; the rest taught traditional liberal arts classes.

Bricks and Mortar

The college building was new when classes began in 1921.  Built of red brick and measuring 80 by 40 feet, it featured three stories over a basement.  The upper floor appears to contain dormitory rooms. According to Waymark, the school purchased and renovated the opera house to serve as a gymnasium.  Among school needs mentioned in Valkyrie are more campus space for a playing field, a separate dormitory for girls, an on-campus gymnasium, and an assembly room large enough for all students to be seated. 


After CWC closed, the building served for the Union Free High School until 1960.  Still standing, it is home for Lawn Mowers and Power Equipment Sales and Service.

Central Wisconsin College building in 2011 <>) accessed 2-13-2017


The Valkyrie shows two sports for the men--basketball and baseball.  The boast is that the baseball team had won its last 19 games and that the basketball team had won a majority of its games.  Opponents were high schools, alumni, and town teams, but in 1920, the baseball team played Stout Institute. 


The girls basketball team compiled a 3-4 record against the same opposition.  The Valkyrie suggests that several of the girls were keen at tennis and that they hoped to have a "real live team" in volley ball--apparently an outdoor game played on the tennis courts.   

The 1921-22 girls basketball team.  The coach (center) is one of the music teachers. Photo from the Valkyrie. Scandinavia Library Digital Collection <> accessed 2-13-2017

Note: Images are used in accordance with their “terms of use” as I understand those terms.  Recopying or republishing these images may be restricted or forbidden.

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