Valparaiso University President, 1926-1929

William Henry Theodore Dau, a well-known and respected clergyman-scholar, was almost 62 when he was appointed president by the Lutheran University Association. He had been professor of dogmatics at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, where he taught for 20 years. He also served in the parish ministry for nearly 20 years, and then for seven years as president of Concordia College, Conover, N.C. Additionally, for four years Dau edited the nascent Lutheran Witness, the official English-language periodical of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and other states – now known as The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

As Valparaiso University’s first Lutheran president, Dau assumed the twofold task of achieving accreditation and refashioning the University into a truly Lutheran institution. His wife died while he was in office, and his own health began failing. But in just two and a half years, Dau succeeded in gaining accreditation for the University and set it on a course that would establish it as an outstanding academic institution with a strong Lutheran Christian identity.

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William Dau