A Letter from the President

Welcome to Elmhurst University!

Congratulations on your decision to pursue higher education—you are making an investment that will prove invaluable for the rest of your life.

As the president of Elmhurst University, I have the honor of celebrating the transformational role of places like this—focused on students, committed to intellectual excellence and social responsibility, small enough to be personal and welcoming, yet large enough to provide access and opportunity.

Founded in 1871, Elmhurst has long been known for providing a comprehensive academic experience to its students. Over the years we have changed and grown to meet students’ needs, but have never lost sight of our mission—to prepare our students for meaningful work and life in an interconnected and constantly changing world.

We offer more than 70 majors and 17 graduate programs; more than 100 student organizations, teams and clubs; and, beyond campus, countless opportunities to take part in internships and experiential learning, and to study all over the world. Yet our class sizes are small—our student-to-faculty ratio is 13:1—and all classes are taught by faculty, never teaching assistants. This year, U.S. News & World Report ranked Elmhurst sixth in the Midwest for the strength of its undergraduate teaching.

As we approach our sesquicentennial, or 150th anniversary year in 2021, we celebrate all of the kinds of students we educate, including traditional undergraduates; students transferring here from community colleges; students who are here part-time, juggling college and other commitments; young adults with developmental disabilities who want the benefits of a college experience; and people who are out in the work world and ready to pursue an advanced degree, whether to further their careers or expand their expertise. Among these students are a significant number who are the first in their families to attend college, as well as those who are the latest of multiple generations of students to have attended Elmhurst.

I am so proud of the way Elmhurst University meets these students where they are and takes them where they need to go, changing their lives in the process.

Wherever you belong in our campus community, know that we all are dedicated to helping you reach your full potential. From your first moments on campus to the day you walk across the stage for graduation and join the ranks of our distinguished alumni, our staff and faculty will be with you every step of the way.

Troy D. VanAken, Ph.D.
President of Elmhurst University

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