Valparaiso University is a small, private Lutheran university located in Valparaiso, Indiana. With its foundation in a strong program of liberal arts, it serves a full-time student body of approximately 3600 students, primarily undergraduate. It is organized into six colleges offering a wide variety of academic pursuits:
As a religious institution, religion and faith are important to many of the students, faculty, and administration (though perhaps not as all-pervasive as at other facilities of Christian higher education). The elaborate chapel is, accordingly, the most prominent building on the campus. The university's motto also reflects its emphasis on Christian scholarship: "In luce tua videmus lucem" (meaning "In Thy light we see light"). Although Valparaiso University claims to be an "Independent Lutheran" school, it still (as of 2002) maintains strong ties with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
One interesting aspect of scholarship at Valparaiso is that of the Honor System which was begun by students to uphold academic integrity. The central tenet of this system is the Honor Code which states: "I have neither given or received nor have I tolerated others' use of unauthorized aid." Every student must sign this Honor Code on every piece of academic work. This Honor System is enforced by the Honor Council, a body of students that investigates and conducts hearings upon supposed violations. If found in violation, a student faces penalties ranging from failure in their course, to suspension from the university, to expulsion.
As far as student life goes, the small and somewhat undeveloped Valparaiso, IN is not what one would call the quintessential example of a college town. In fact, first-year students, who cannot have cars on campus without special permission, are often at a loss for what to do when wanting to get off campus as most movie theaters and other such attractions are a 20 minute drive away. In spite of this, many do get their dose of personal freedom (and yes, also the Freshman Fifteen) through the active participation in fraternities and sororities.
In the wide world of college sports, Valparaiso is known for its NCAA Division I Basketball. The team is able to compete with large state schools, quite an accomplishment as its student body is near one-tenth the size of most of theirs. Upon his graduation in 1998, Valparaiso student Bryce Drew was drafted into the NBA. The school's mascot is the Crusader, and its colors are brown and gold.
Valparaiso University's History:
"In its 141 year history, the University has passed through three distinct phases. Begun by Methodists in 1859 as an institution pioneering in coeducation, the Valparaiso Male and Female College was forced by the reverses of the Civil War to close its doors in 1871. It was revived in 1873 by an enterprising educator, Henry Baker Brown, as the Northern Indiana Normal School. "Mr. Brown's School," a flourishing private, proprietary institution, was renamed Valparaiso College in 1900 and rechartered as Valparaiso University in 1907. During the next twenty years, it won national recognition as a low-cost, no-frills institution of higher learning which served thousands of students who might not otherwise have been able to afford a good education. Many alumni from this period achieved distinction in their fields as governors, legislators, scientists, business leaders and other professionals. However, after World War I the University went into decline and bankruptcy; then, in 1925, The Lutheran University Association purchased it, beginning the modern phase of the University's history. The Association, an Indiana Corporation composed of men and women affiliated largely with The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, is an independent organization actively promoting higher education in the Christian context" (Valparaiso University General Catalog: 2001-2002, 7).
Notable faculty and students:
Valparaiso University General Catalog: 2001-2002. Valparaiso: Lutheran University Association: 2001.