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Northern Indiana Normal School

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Northern Indiana Normal School

Not to be confused with University of Valparaíso.
Valparaiso University
Valparaiso University logo
Motto In luce tua videmus lucem (Latin)
Motto in English In Thy light we see light
Established 1859
Type Private, Coeducational
Endowment $140.8 million[1]
President Mark A. Heckler
Academic staff 220
Students 4,061
Undergraduates 2,875
Postgraduates 1,186

Valparaiso, Indiana, United States
41°27′49″N 87°02′37″W / 41.46361°N 87.04361°W / 41.46361; -87.04361

Campus Suburban, 310 acres (125.5 ha)
Athletics 18 Division I NCAA teams
Colors Brown, Gold and Lime Green
Nickname Crusaders, Valpo[2]
Affiliations Independent Lutheran
Seal of Valparaiso University

Valparaiso University, known colloquially as Valpo, is a regionally accredited[3] private university located in Valparaiso, Indiana, United States. The university is a coed, four-year, private institution and enrolls more than 4,000 students from over 50 countries.

Covering 320 acres (130 ha), Valpo’s campus is positioned approximately one hour southeast of Chicago. The city of Valparaiso is part of the Chicago metropolitan area and has an approximate population of 31,000 residents.

Valpo consists of five undergraduate colleges, a graduate school, and a law school. It is the largest independent Lutheran university in the United States and is home to the second largest collegiate chapel in the world, The Chapel of the Resurrection.

Originally named Valparaiso Male and Female College, Valparaiso University was founded in 1859 as one of the first coeducation colleges in the United States. Due to reverses brought about by the Civil War, the college was forced to close its doors in 1871. Two years later it was revived by Henry Baker Brown, an educator, and was named Northern Indiana Normal School and Business Institute. At the turn of the 20th century, its name was changed to Valparaiso College, and shortly after it was rechartered as Valparaiso University. Initially founded by Methodists, the Lutheran University Association purchased the school in 1925 and continues to operate it today. [4]


History at a glance
Valparaiso Male and Female College Established 1859 Affiliations Methodist
Closed 1871 to 1873
Northern Indiana Normal School and Business Institute Acquired 1873 Affiliations secular
Valparaiso College Renamed 1900
Valparaiso University Renamed 1906
Acquired 1925 Affiliations Lutheran

In 1859, citizens of Valparaiso were so supportive of the placement of the college that they raised $11,000 to encourage the Methodist Church to locate there. Students paid tuition of $8 a term (three terms per year), plus nearby room and board around $2 a week. Instruction at the college actually began with young children, and most of the students were in elementary and grade levels. Courses at the collegiate level included math, literature, history, the sciences, and philosophy. Courses stressing the Christian faith included “moral philosophy” and “moral science.” Due to the fallout of the Civil War, the school closed in 1871. At this time, most men (both students and administrative members) enrolled in the army. In 1867, the state passed a bill that provided state support for public education and the Methodists’ broad Indiana-wide efforts toward higher education meant that none of the schools were self-sustaining. The combination proved too much to overcome for the Male and Female College.

The school, reopened by Henry Baker Brown in 1873, was named the Northern Indiana Normal School and Business Institute. In 1900, the school was renamed Valparaiso College and gained its current university status after being rechartered in 1906. For the next two decades, Valpo gained a national reputation as an economical instuition of higher learning, earning its positive nickname The Poor Man’s Harvard. At the height of enrollment, it was the second largest school in the nation, behind only Harvard University. However, the aftermath of another conflict, World War I took its toll, and the school was forced into bankruptcy.[5]

Lutheran revival

In 1923, the Ku Klux Klan assembled a bid to purchase the university.[6] At that time, the Pillar of Fire was publishing the pro-KKK monthly periodical The Good Citizen.[7] They pledged to offer the university's appraised value of $175,000, expand it to the size of Purdue University, and devote the institution to the instilling of Americanism.[8] However, in 1925 the Lutheran University Association outbid the Klan for the school's ownership. The association was a group of clergy and church laity that saw promise in the school and wished to create an academic institution not controlled by any church denomination. Valparaiso is still operated by the Lutheran University Association, and remains an independent Lutheran institution which enjoys close relations with the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.


Old campus

The Old Campus of Valparaiso University is both adjacent to and a part of the historic downtown district of the city. Old Campus is the site of the School of Law, which is made up of Wesemann Hall and Heritage Hall. Heritage was the oldest remaining building on the campus, and was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. In 2009, the school started a restoration project, essentially rebuilding the facility. The school's fraternities and the Kade-Duesenberg German House and Cultural Center are located on old campus as was the Martin Luther King, Jr., Cultural Center before acts of vandalism and arson destroyed the building in 2009.[9] [10] Old Campus is also the site of Valpo's Doppler weather radar. Located north of Old Campus is the College of Nursing, whose students use SIMMAN, a robotic patient simulator used to train students in real life treatment to better serve their education.

New campus

Beginning in the 1950s, the school expanded eastward to occupy what is now known as New Campus. Today it is the primary section of the university, home to thousands of students in nine dormitories and most of the academic buildings. At the center of campus is the Chapel of the Resurrection, a 98-foot (30 m) high building which is the home of Valparaiso University's many worship services and convocations. Built on the highest elevation of land on the university's campus, it has been a Northwest Indiana landmark since 1959. The Neils Science Center was erected in 1974 and includes an astronomical observatory, greenhouse, and a now decommissioned sub-critical nuclear reactor which helped the facility receive an Atomic Energy Commission citation as a model undergraduate physics laboratory. The Christopher Center Library (built 2004) houses over 500,000 books and numerous video and audio resources. It is a popular place for students to gather and study. The Valparaiso University Center for the Arts (VUCA) offers multiple performance facilities, which are most notably used by students to produce full scale theatrical performances every year. The performances and exhibits in the Center for the Arts are always open to the public, and the Center houses the nationally renowned Brauer Museum of Art. Kallay-Christopher Hall is home to the Department of Geography and Meteorology. Kallay-Christopher has an observation deck and large weather lab facilities. Adjoining Kallay-Christopher Hall is Schnabel Hall, which is home to communications students, VUTV, the university's student-run television station. The College of Engineering has both a 16-inch (406 mm) computerized reflecting telescope to aid in NASA research and VisBox-X2, a virtual reality system used to immerse students in a visualized three dimensional image. An addition to Gellersen Hall, the College of Engineering's Donald V. Fites Innovations Center, was completed in the summer of 2011.

Campus improvement

Most building projects at Valparaiso University are funded by gifts from alumni and friends of the institution. The Most notable construction project on campus is that of the 202,000-square-foot (18,800m^2), $74 million student Union, named in honor of University President Alan F. Harre, who retired in June 2008. It opened in January 2009. The new union is more than three times the size of the previous union, and has consolidated all dining services on campus. It has room for all student organizations on campus, as well as a new bookstore, lounge areas, student mailboxes for every student on campus, entertainment areas, a large ballroom, a moon bounce, a career center, and an outdoor terrace overlooking the Chapel. The design architect was Sasaki Associates, Inc. and the architect of record was Design Organization. The 52,000-square-foot Arts and Sciences Building, located adjacent to the Christopher Center for Library and Information Resources, opened in 2012 and houses state-of-the-art classrooms and offices for faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences. Two new structures, the Duesenberg Welcome Center and the James S. Markiewicz Solar Energy Research Facility, will be dedicated in the fall of 2013.


Undergraduate programs

Valparaiso is organized into five undergraduate colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, Nursing, and Christ College.

College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences is the most diverse of the undergraduate colleges. It is closely linked to the Christ College, Valpo’s honors college. The College of Arts and Sciences provides an education that integrates liberal arts and professional education. The college provides more than 70 academic programs in 21 departments. It provides the liberal arts core for all programs, including those in highly specialized fields. It offers internships and “hands-on” learning opportunities to compliment classroom activity. The College of Arts and Sciences provides opportunities for original research, joint projects with faculty, and the flexibility to major in multiple fields or creative an individualized major. [11]

College of Business

The College of Business is among the elite 25 percent of undergraduate business programs nationally accredited by the AACSB International — The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The College of Business offers focused majors in accounting, finance, international business, management, and marketing. [12]

College of Engineering

Based on the 2013 U.S. News & World Report, the College of Engineering tied for 17th in the nation among 194 institutions in which the highest degree is a bachelor’s or master’s. The College of Engineering won the 2012 Engineering Award presented by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering. About 90 percent of undergraduates complete the program within four years. The college provides several service learning opportunities as well as undergraduate research opportunities. [13]

College of Nursing

Students enrolled in the College of Nursing receive a foundation in liberal arts and can explore a variety of cutting-edge topics in and out of the classroom. The Virtual Nursing Learning Center offers patient stations complete with interactive mannequins, beds and equipment simulating a hospital environment. The baccalaureate, master’s, and DNP programs at Valpo are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. [14]

Christ College

Christ College, commonly referred to as "CC", was chartered by President O.P. Kretzmann in 1967 as the Honors College of Valparaiso University. It is the successor to the Directed Studies Program, which was established to better serve the influx of gifted students to the institution. Roughly 80 students, or 10 percent of the class, are admitted each year. Students in the honors college are concurrently enrolled in one of other undergraduate colleges. The college provides immersion into the fields of history, literature, art, music, philosophy, religion, and social science. A student steering committee composed of upperclassmen guides the development of the program and a multitude of annual events. The most notable of these annual events are the Christ College Freshman Production and the Christ College Freshman Debates, held in the fall and spring, respectively. The Freshman Production is an original play or musical that is written, scored, choreographed, directed, produced, and performed exclusively by members of the Christ College freshman class.[15] The Christ College Freshman Debates are a series of formal debates in which two groups of students represent either the affirmative or negative side of a topic they have researched for the previous five or six weeks; usually the topics relate to current events. When both sides have completed their arguments, the debate moderator asks the audience members to "vote their minds" and decide the winner of the debate.[16] Another notable academic opportunity offered by Christ College is the Student Scholarship Symposium. The Student Scholarship Symposium features diverse, student selected research projects delivered in a critical and interactive environment. Students have the option to complete their study with either a major or minor in humanities to complement that received in their main field of study. Students in the college often spend a semester studying abroad at one of Valpo’s overseas study centers.

Graduate school

Valparaiso University offers a variety of master’s programs in Business, Chinese Studies, Education, English Studies and Communication, Information Technology, International Commerce, Policy, Liberal Studies, Nursing, Psychology/Counseling, International Economics and Finance, and Sports Administration.

Law school

Founded in 1879 the Law School was accredited by the ABA in 1929 and the AALS in 1930. In 2010, Valparaiso Law Students had an 83 percent first-time bar pass rate. The School enrolls more than 500 students. [17]

Study abroad

Valparaiso offers 19 study-abroad programs around the world, Valpo’s four study centers (Cambridge, England; Reutlingen, Germany; Hangzhou, China; and San José, Costa Rica) provide group trips and excursions, a topics course on the life and culture of the host country, and specialized housing, all under the guidance of an on-site resident director. Other sites include Athens, Greece; Granada, Spain; Zaragoza, Spain; Cergy-Pointoise, France; La Rochelle, France; Paris, France; Rottenburg am Neckar, Germany; Tübingen, Germany; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Delhi, India; Coimbatore, India; Osaka, Japan; Viña Del Mar, Chile; Puebla, Mexico; and Windhoek, Namibia. [18]

Distance learning

The University offers online degree opportunities that include a Master of Arts in Chinese Studies and a Post-MSN Doctorate in Nursing Practice. The accelerated degree programs are Web-based and allow versatile learning.



U.S. News & World Report named Valparaiso University as No. 4 in the Universities-Master's category for the Midwest in its annual rankings of "America's Best Colleges."[19] It also ranked Valparaiso among the "Best College Values" based on a ratio of price to quality, and placed the College of Engineering in the nation's top 25 undergraduate-only engineering schools.[20] Over ninety-five percent of graduates secure employment or further education (twenty-three percent) within six months. More than ninety percent of students receive financial aid totaling over fifty-two million dollars annually. Charity Navigator also gave the institution four out of four stars based on its organizational efficiency and capacity.[21]


Valparaiso is a growing school that works to uphold the benefits of an intimate education. Most first-year undergraduate students take a year of Core, an interdisciplinary course rooted in liberal arts and focused on understanding the purpose and fulfillment of human life. About a tenth of incoming freshman alternatively participate in the freshman program of Christ College. Students are also subject to an honor system originally implemented by the students themselves in 1943 which remains in effect today. Each January, the school holds a week of Martin Luther King Jr. events as a major annual event and invites provocative keynote speakers.

Student body


Valparaiso University Students are from geographically diverse backgrounds. Of the 4,000 students, only one-third is from the school’s home state of Indiana. The remaining two-thirds come from almost every other state of the United States and from nearly 50 countries. Over two-thirds graduate in the top quarter of their high school class and 83 percent return to Valpo after their freshman year. Annually, more than $26 million is awarded by the university to more than 80 percent of the student body, which is administered based on factors such as community involvement, interests, recommendations, and personality, as well as grade point average, class ranking, and standardized test scores.

Sixty-one percent of Valparaiso University students live on the school’s city campus, as University regulations require nearly all students who do not have senior status to live in residence halls. Twenty-seven percent of students are Lutheran, and 75 percent participate in faith-related activities. Valpo supports more than 100 student-administered organizations, clubs, and activities. Fifty percent of students participate in intramural athletics, and more than 1,000 students give more than 45,000 hours of community service to the region annually.

Greek life

More than 25 percent of Valpo students are members of one of the school's eight national fraternities or seven national sororities. The entire Greek Life community is coordinated by the fraternities' Interfraternity Council and sororities in the Panhellenic Council. Many of the fraternities were local until the 1950s when they were accepted as chapters into national and international fraternities. However, the sororities were local and had no national affiliation until 1998. Theta Chi was dismissed from campus in 2010.

Fraternities Sororities


Honor societies

Valparaiso hosts chapters of all major honors fraternities, including Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society.

Honor Societies


Student activism

Valparaiso University has a detailed history of student activism.

Kinsey Hall fire

While many colleges either amended or canceled the remainder of the 1969-1970 school year following the Kent State shootings due to unrest, the Valparaiso administration ignored student calls for a series of seminars and forums about violence at other campuses. A large group of students then organized a protest march from the campus Victory Bell to the Porter County courthouse. Continued protests led to discussions between the administration and student leaders. When these talks failed, a group of still-unidentified students set fire to the empty Kinsey Hall administrative building in the early morning. The aftermath of the fire left Kinsey Hall destroyed.

Venture of faith

The existence of Valparaiso University's current College of Engineering is the result of student activism. The university's engineering program had been reduced to a two-year associate's degree in response to reduced enrollment during economic depression which dominated the 1930s. When students began inquiring in 1948 regarding the possibility of restoring a four-year degree program, the current university president, O.P. Kretzmann, cited a lack of space and lack of resources to build a new facility. Students responded with an offer to build the new facility if he would guarantee faculty positions, to which the President agreed.[22] The students constructed the facility themselves using their engineering education and an intense fundraising campaign, and by 1951 the new College of Engineering was again granting four-year bachelor degrees. The building still exists today, home to the Art department. This story received national attention and was turned into a feature-length film entitled Venture of Faith.[23]

Burning of the shanty

During the 1988-1989 school year, a mock shanty town was erected on campus to show solidarity with victims of apartheid in South Africa. Mike Weber and Phil Churilla, two columnists for VU's student newspaper The Torch, wrote a column critical of the protest due to student use of portable CD players, wool blankets and packaged food in the shanties. A few days later the shanty town burned down and a culprit was never found.


Main article: Valparaiso Crusaders

Valpo's colors are Valparaiso is also the home of the National Lutheran Basketball Tournament.[25] Recently the Crusader men's soccer team has been successful, winning the Horizon League regular season in 2011. Head coach Mike Avery was named Horizon League Coach of the Year, Stefan Antonijevic was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year, and Kyle Zobeck was honored as Horizon League Goalkeeper of the Year. Sophomore Charles Barden led the team in 2011 with four goals.

The 2011-2012 season was a banner campaign for Crusader athletics. The men's soccer team started the year off capturing the school's first Horizon League title in any sport. Men's basketball followed with a Horizon League crown of its own while the baseball and softball teams both won regular season and Horizon League Tournament titles, representing the conference in the NCAA Tournament. In addition, the Crusader bowling team earned a berth at the NCAA Championships in just its third season of existence.

In the spring of 2013 the Men's golf team won the Horizon League Championship hosted by The Mission Inn golf course at Howey-In-The-Hills, Florida. The win propelled the team to the NCAA Tournament.

Notable people



More than 50,000 alumni currently serve in their respective fields across the world.


External links

  • Official Valparaiso University Website
  • Official Valparaiso University Athletics Website
  • Campus maps, directions, and virtual tour
  • Admissions
  • Alumni Association
  • Valparaiso University News and Events

Template:Indiana Colleges and Universities

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