On Wednesday, July 1, Elmhurst College will officially become Elmhurst University, beginning the next chapter in its nearly 150-year history.
Elmhurst will mark the day with virtual events, in keeping with state health safety guidelines issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The highlight will be a celebration video that captures the unveiling of the new Elmhurst University arch over the Gates of Knowledge at 190 S. Prospect Ave., the main entrance to campus. The video will be released at 11:00 a.m. on July 1, on the institution’s Facebook and YouTube channels.
The viewing audience that morning will include some special guests—newly admitted members of the Fall 2020 class who will be taking part in the Virtual Bluejay Bash, a pre-orientation and welcome event for incoming students. The students already are making history—this fall they will be among the first to attend Elmhurst University.
Later in the day, President Troy D. VanAken will host an online celebration for the campus community. In-person Elmhurst University celebrations on campus are planned once conditions permit.
“While we wish we could gather in person to observe this historic moment, today is only the beginning,” President VanAken said. “The spirit and excitement of this day will only continue to grow once our new academic year starts, as Elmhurst University.”
The name change comes at a pivotal time in the institution’s history, less than a year away from its 150th anniversary in 2021.
The Elmhurst College Board of Trustees approved the new name on June 15, 2019. Although the official name has changed, Elmhurst’s identity, core values, and emphasis on liberal arts education and real-world, professional preparation will remain the same.
The university name more accurately reflects Elmhurst’s current educational profile as a comprehensive higher education institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts and applied sciences, while anticipating opportunities for new programs and partnerships.
Elmhurst College currently offers more than 60 undergraduate programs, as well as 20 master’s degree and graduate certificate programs. Because of the strength and breadth of its academic programs, Elmhurst already is categorized as a university by external entities, including U.S. News & World Report.