About Elmhurst’s Sesquicentennial Anniversary

Looking forward as we look back.

Elmhurst’s Commencement ceremonies in May of 2022 capped off a year-long celebration of the University’s founding on December 6, 1871.

On that date, the Rev. Carl F. Kranz and 14 students stepped off a train in downtown Elmhurst to launch the Elmhurst Proseminary, a school to prepare teenage boys for careers as teachers and preachers in the German Evangelical Synod of the Northwest.

From those humble roots 150 years ago, the institution now known as Elmhurst University has dramatically expanded its impact across the region, the nation and the world.

Over the course of the 2021-2022 academic year, the University celebrated its history, its impact on the community and the many lives it has shaped with a series of special events and programs.

  • An institutional history project, Calling All Voices, has spotlighted the stories of alumni and faculty.
  • The Elmhurst History Museum hosted a special exhibition focusing on the University’s history.

“Throughout its history, Elmhurst has transformed the lives of its students, educating and preparing them to contribute meaningfully to a world that needs their diverse insights, knowledge and promise. That’s true now more than ever,” said President Troy D. VanAken.

We are thrilled for this opportunity to share our story with the world.

Troy D. VanAken President

Even as Elmhurst created space to celebrate its history, it remains focused on its future, emphasizing the transformative potential of higher education.

Connect with our Office of Institutional Advancement to learn more about our institution’s history—and our plans for the next 150 years.

Elmhurst Voices

Read along as students, faculty members, staff and alumni share their fondest Elmhurst memories.

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