Valparaiso University President, 1930-1939
The Rev. Oscar C. Kreinheder was elected Valparaiso University’s second Lutheran president in May 1930. He was a founder of the Lutheran University Association in 1925 and had been a member of its board of directors since 1926. As pastor of churches in St. Paul, Minn. and Detroit, and as president of the English District of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and other states from 1918 to 1928, he earned a reputation as an excellent administrator.
Unfortunately, Kreinheder came to the presidency at the worst possible time, in the midst of the Great Depression. His administration was almost wholly preoccupied with fund solicitations, which accomplished little more than keeping the University solvent at a low level of subsistence – no small accomplishment in those difficult days. In spite of the financial straitjacket, the Kreinheder administration left a record of substantial progress: retention and addition of able faculty members, restructuring and strengthening of departments, reorganization of the curriculum, a general face-lifting of the old campus, and establishment of the Valparaiso University Guild and a new Alumni Association. When he retired in 1939, the University was poised for a period of dramatic advancement.