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Valparaiso University: History

Commitment to Excellence

Valparaiso University is dedicated to excellence through its commitments to teaching and scholarship, faith and learning, and vocation and vision. The University’s mission statement reflects a loyalty to its Lutheran heritage in expressing a commitment to scholarship, freedom, faith and service. The University aims to develop in each individual a sense of vocation and social responsibility. All of these ideals are embodied in the University’s motto, which was chosen by Valparaiso’s first Lutheran president, W.H.T. Dau, in 1926: In luce tua videmus lucem, “In thy light, we see light.” Because the University seeks always to evolve and grow in accordance with its mission, its long-range Strategic Plan articulates a vision for the future of Valparaiso University in terms of its enduring commitments to excellence.

Mission Statement

Valparaiso University, a community of learning dedicated to excellence and grounded in the Lutheran tradition of scholarship, freedom, and faith, prepares students to lead and serve in both church and society.

Strategic Planning

The first step in preparing the Strategic Plan 2004-2009 was to reaffirm the University’s mission, which was adopted soon after purchase of the University by the Lutheran University Association in 1925. This mission was further defined by identification of six Enduring Commitments that form the framework for the Strategic Plan, which will guide the University through its sesquicentennial anniversary celebration in 2008-2009. Strategic Planning


This community values respect for learning and truth, for human dignity, for freedom from ignorance and prejudice, and for a critically inquiring spirit. The motto of the University is presented in Latin: In luce tua videmus lucem, "In Thy Light, We See Light" (Psalm 36:9).

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