Wyoming Catholic College

Wyoming Catholic College is a private, Catholic liberal arts college in Lander, Wyoming.[1] WCC is the only private four-year institution of higher education in the state.

Wyoming Catholic College
Seal of Wyoming Catholic College.jpg
MottoWisdom in God's Country; Born in Wonder, Brought to Wisdom
EstablishedJuly 11, 2005
FounderBishop David Ricken, Fr. Robert Cook, and Dr. Robert Carlson
PresidentGlenn Arbery, Ph.D.
DeanKyle Washut
Academic staff
Students185 (2019-2020)
Location, ,
CampusRural Town
LanguageEnglish, Latin
AffiliationsRoman Catholic (Ex Corde Ecclesiae), Higher Learning Commission
Logo of Wyoming Catholic College.png
Church of the Holy Rosary, which is
shared with the local parish

Student conduct policies and rejection of federal fundingEdit

Wyoming Catholic College is one of a small number of American religious colleges that forgo federal funding including Title IV federal financial aid for students, “citing concerns about federal rules on birth control and same-sex marriage," per the New York Times.[2] However, this decision has excited controversy since declining federal funds also exempts the College from being required to follow Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (relating to sex discrimination), the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, and the Clery Act (relating to the collecting and sharing of information about crimes on campus).[3]

Wyoming Catholic College does not participate in federal student aid programs, in order to avoid U.S. Department of Education regulations college leaders see as contradictory to Catholic teaching.[2][4]

The college's president, Dr. Kevin Roberts, told the New York Times in 2016 that openly gay students who date, transgender students, or active supporters of LGBT rights "would be contravening church teaching just by being here."[2]


Freshmen hike in the Teton Mountains
during a three-week backpacking course.

WCC admitted its first class in 2007. WCC was granted Institutional Preaccreditation status by the American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE) on September 1, 2010, and achieved candidate status by the Higher Learning Commission.[5] WCC received final accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission on November 15, 2018.[6] It is endorsed by The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.


Because it offers a four-year, integrated, Great Books curriculum, Wyoming Catholic College has no majors, minors, specialized degrees or graduate programs; it awards graduating students the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts.[7] As of fall 2019, there were over 170 students enrolled.

In the spring of 2016, Wyoming Catholic College became the second college in the nation to accept the Classic Learning Test (CLT) as an alternative to the SAT and ACT for college admissions.

The curriculum was designed to give students a general liberal arts education through a study of the Great Books. Courses include Humanities, Theology, Philosophy, Math/Science, Fine Arts, Latin, Trivium, and Leadership.[8]

The college is recommended by The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, and its curriculum has received an "A" rating from American Council of Trustees and Alumni.[9]


WCC's CFO beginning in 2018 was Paul McCown. In 2020 he started a side project of producing hand sanitizer, which he said was making millions of dollars. In early 2021 he convinced an investment firm, Ria R Squared, to loan him $15 million dollars. He then donated $10 million of that, anonymously, to the school. McCown stated he had $750 million in Wyoming Community Bank and impersonated a bank officer to the investment firm. McCown also received $2 million in federally backed PPP loans, claiming 65 employees in February 2021. WCC intends to return the donation. The school's director of horsemanship as also dismissed because of payments made with McCown's approval.[10][11][12]

During the coronavirus pandemic, WCC received $1.3 million in aid, including a $739,000 PPP loan, which has been forgiven.[10]



  1. ^ Schrank, Aaron (2016-02-29). "Small Wyoming Catholic College Faces Challenges As It Grows". Wyoming Public Media. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
  2. ^ a b c Healy, Jack (2015-04-11). "To Keep Free of Federal Reins, Wyoming Catholic College Rejects Student Aid". New York Times. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
  3. ^ Ibby Caputo and Jon Marcus, The Controversial Reason Some Religious Colleges Forgo Federal Funding, The Atlantic (July 7, 2016).
  4. ^ Richards, Heather (2016-04-04). "Wyoming Catholic College president who fought ACA to step down". Billings Gazette. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
  5. ^ FAQs at wyomingcatholiccollege.com. Accessed 2011-10-13. "The conferral of this status “signifies institutional integrity and a strong commitment to undergraduate education,” according to AALE’s Standards and Criteria for Program Accreditation. This status of accreditation allows Wyoming Catholic College to operate in an accredited manner until it receives full Institutional Accreditation in the next few months.
  6. ^ "College Receives Formal Notice of Accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) - Wyoming Catholic College". Wyoming Catholic College. 2018-11-07. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  7. ^ McMahon, Todd (2017-01-05). "Local ties stretch to Wyoming Catholic College". Green Bay Press Gazette. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
  8. ^ "Academics". Wyoming Catholic College Website. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  9. ^ https://www.whatwilltheylearn.com/schools/6713
  10. ^ a b Ben Gose; Rone Tempest (7 September 2021). "Fraud case rocks Lander, Catholic College". WyoFile. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  11. ^ Ellen Gerst (9 July 2021). "Former college CFO accused in $15 million fraud". Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  12. ^ "Lander man accused of defrauding company out of $15M". Oil City News. 8 July 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 42°49′11″N 108°44′26″W / 42.81972°N 108.74056°W / 42.81972; -108.74056