About Us


William Penn University provides the opportunity for an educational experience with a focus on leadership, technology, and the Quaker principles of simplicity, peace-making, integrity, community and equality.

Penn Hall and the LadderVision

At William Penn University, our mission is about our students—their education and their future. We strive to provide a vibrant learning community where all students grow intellectually, socially, and spiritually through academic, creative, and athletic pursuits; a community where leadership capabilities are learned and enhanced as students interact, communicate, and serve in the Quaker tradition. 

About William Penn University

William Penn University is a liberal arts university affiliated with the Society of Friends. The university was founded by Quaker pioneers in 1873 to provide a quality education to all interested men and women regardless of race, creed, or socioeconomic status. One hundred and forty-two years later, William Penn remains devoted to this ideal. The university is firmly rooted in its Christian heritage, with certain characteristics distinctive to Quakers, but welcomes faculty, staff, and students from all faiths.

William Penn University comprises two colleges: the traditional College of Arts, Sciences and Professional Studies (CASPS) and the College for Working Adults (CWA). The main campus is in Oskaloosa, a friendly, vibrant community about an hour’s drive southeast of Des Moines. In 1996 the College for Working Adults was established by the university to serve the unique educational needs of adult students. These classes are offered at the primary CWA site in Clive
as well as in Oskaloosa.

First and foremost, William Penn University is devoted to student learning, with a mission to provide a quality education in the liberal arts. Traditional liberal arts with a leadership focus are the core of Penn’s educational program, for liberally educated women and men have the skills and confidence to face whatever the future holds. The academic program encourages intellectual inquiry and critical self-awareness but also serves the specific career interests of students in each area of study.

Students at William Penn University are expected to take an active part in their own education. They should participate fully in the intellectual and social experience of higher education by learning to ask probing questions that deal with both substance and process.

William Penn University admits students of any race, gender, age, marital status, national or ethnic origin, religion, creed, sexual orientation, or disability, and does not discriminate in the administration of any university-administered programs. While every effort is made to provide accurate and current information:

  • William Penn University reserves the right to change policies, fees, curricula, calendar, or other matters without notice.
  • Students enrolled at the university agree to comply with the university’s Code of Conduct and applicable regulations.
Board of Trustees