Introducing Elmhurst University!
July 1, 2020 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications
Today marks the official first day for Elmhurst University, ushering in a new era for the nearly 150-year-old institution formerly known as Elmhurst College.
To commemorate this historic moment, a celebratory video has been created. “Introducing Elmhurst University” captures the excitement of what the name change will mean for Elmhurst students and the institution’s future, expressed through interviews and video messages from nearly 50 Elmhurst students, faculty, administrators, alumni and friends.
The video also features a virtual performance by members of the University’s Philharmonic Orchestra, and a first look at the new Elmhurst University arch over the Gates of Knowledge at the University’s official entrance, 190 Prospect Ave.
A group of students was on hand to celebrate the installation of the new arch. The group included several first-generation college students, symbolizing Elmhurst’s longtime commitment to making college accessible for these future leaders.
“The name change is another great step for Elmhurst,” said rising junior Marieli Urquiza-Trujillo, of Hanover Park, who is majoring in secondary Spanish education.
“As we grow in diversity among our students, and as we grow our programs, it really represents what Elmhurst stands for.”
Throughout the day, the Elmhurst University name will be recognized in a number of ways on campus and beyond:
As the campus and the world continue to contend with the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person Elmhurst University celebrations will take place when conditions permit.
The most important part of an Elmhurst education has always been to make a transformative impact on the lives of our students.President Troy D. VanAken
“As Elmhurst University, we’ll continue to build on that legacy of preparing students for meaningful careers and lives. At the same time, we are empowered by our new name, knowing it will unlock exciting opportunities for our future,” said President Troy D. VanAken.
Founded in 1871 as a proseminary that prepared young men for careers in ministry and teaching, Elmhurst College began offering bachelor’s degrees in 1924. Women enrolled for the first time in 1930, and graduate programs were introduced in 1998. Elmhurst currently offers more than 70 undergraduate programs of study and 20 master’s degree and graduate certificate programs.
The university name more accurately reflects Elmhurst’s educational profile as a comprehensive higher education institution that offers programs in the liberal arts and applied sciences, while anticipating opportunities for new programs and partnerships.
The name change also honors the 1925 vision of H. Richard Niebuhr, Elmhurst College’s sixth president, for Elmhurst to reach an “ever-widening circle” of diverse students with multiple interests and needs.
Although Elmhurst’s official name has changed, its identity, core values and emphasis on liberal arts education and professional preparation will remain the same.
“We are well-positioned to be a model of future higher education,” said Ed Momkus, an alumnus and chair of the University’s Board of Trustees. “Our combination of personalized attention, real-world internship experiences, and values that support diversity and cooperation can help show the path forward.”