VALPO Index | Contact 
  Home : A Lutheran Look : Valpo's Lutheran History
Valparaiso University's
Lutheran Heritage

The Lutheran era in University history began in 1925 with purchase of the institution by the Lutheran University Association (LUA). The LUA composed of clergy and laity, who saw a bright future for the University, desired to provide Lutheran young people a university education in a church related setting.

Rev. Dr. William H.T. Dau became the first Lutheran President.

A voluntary chapel program began.

A Department of Religion was established.

In May of 1930, The Rev. Oscar Carl Kreinheder became the second president of the University.

A department of Religion is established

The Valparaiso University Guild was formed.

In November, the first "Valpo Sunday" is observed in LCMS congregations.

The mission of the Department of Education is refocused to include preparation of elementary and secondary schoolteachers for parochial schools.

The gymnasium was the first new building constructed under Lutheran administration.

When President Kreinheder had to step down because of health reasons, Professor Walter G. Friedrich was appointed Acting President and served from July 1939 to October 1940.

The Board of Directors elected The Rev. Otto Paul Kretzmann as the University's third president, a position he held for 28 years.

The Lutheran Deaconess Association moved to Valpo.

Student Council initiates "student-run Honor Code," which is still in effect today.

Institute of Liturgical Studies holds its first conference on campus.

The Cresset, a journal of humanities, the arts, and public affairs, is given to Valpo by the Luther League.

The Lutheran Human Relations Association of America found a home on VU's campus. The Rev. Andrew Schulze, becomes the first Executive Secretary.

The University receives $2,500,000 from the LCMS "Building for Christ" campaign for a new chapel.

The Youth Leadership Training Program (YLTP) began to train full-time youth workers for the church.

The dedication of "Valparaiso University's Memorial Chapel" took place on September 27, 1959. This building remains the most visible symbol of the Lutheran character of the institution.

President Kretzmann started on the Inner City Peace Corps program. This program led to the development of the Prince of Peace Volunteer Program under the Board for Young People's Work in the Missouri Synod in 1965. This Program also gave impetus to the development of the Urban Studies Program in Chicago.

Professor Richard W Schlemann was appointed University Preacher. Department of Religion was renamed to the Department of Theology

The Rev. William Buege begins service as Dean of the Chapel.

Christ College becomes the fifth college within the University. President Kretzmann's vision was that Christ College would " establish the relevance of Lutheran theology to the liberal arts in every area." Four key words: guided this unique honors college: honors, experimentation, integration, and involvement. President Kretzmann appointed Professor Richard P. Baepler, chairman of the Department of Theology, as Dean of Christ College.

The Rev. Dr. Norman E Nagel became Dean of the Chapel. The College of Nursing opened in the fall of 1968, with an enrollment of fifty-five freshmen, achieving full accreditation with National League of Nursing in 1974.

Dr. Albert G. Huegli was inaugurated as the fourth Lutheran president on September 10, 1969. The chapel was renamed the "Chapel of the Resurrection" on October 5, 1969.

Dr. Robert V. Schnabel becomes the fifth Valparaiso University President.

The first Light In Thy Light Lutheran youth retreat is held on campus.

The first Lutheran High School Teachers of Religion Symposium is held on campus.

The first Institute on Law and the Pastoral Ministry is held on campus.

Rev. Alan Harre becomes the sixth Lutheran president.

Valparaiso University receives a 4.5 million dollar gift from Oliver and Emma Allen to establish a scholarship program for church work students. Thirty-three "Allen Scholars" are currently on campus.

The Valparaiso University Center for the Arts(VUCA) is dedicated and the music, art and theater programs expand dramatically.

Seventy-fifth anniversary of Valpo's Lutheran founding celebrated with many varied events including a Founders Weekend and an Ethics Conference.

University Guild prints the first University prayer book, "Our Hope for Years to Come".

"Flame of Faith, Lamp of Learning: A History of Valparaiso University" by Richard Baepler is published.

Dates and notes are taken from the following resources:

  1. Valparaiso's First Century: A Centennial History of Valparaiso University by John Strietelmeier. Published by Valparaiso University, 1959.
  2. From Centennial to Golden Anniversary: the History of Valparaiso University from 1959 to 1975 by James W. Albers. Published by Valparaiso University, 1976.

Return to A Lutheran Look


ValpoAdditions and corrections for this page may be directed to
Copyright © 1995 - 2005 Valparaiso University. All Rights Reserved.
This page was last updated 03/23/2005 8:30 AM CT .