Introducing Elmhurst University!

July 1, 2020 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Elmhurst University Gates of Knowledge

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.

Video Celebrates Elmhurst’s Milestone

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.

Marieli Urquiza-Trujillo

Marieli Urquiza-Trujillo

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.”

Full Slate of Events for Day 1

Throughout the day, the Elmhurst University name will be recognized in a number of ways on campus and beyond:

  • At the Virtual Bluejay Bash, an online event to welcome students admitted to the first incoming Elmhurst University class this fall, attendees will watch the celebration video together.
  • The City of Elmhurst has issued a proclamation declaring July 1, 2020, Elmhurst University Day.
  • The Elmhurst University and Elmhurst Bluejay Athletics websites have been refreshed and redesigned to reflect the new name, branding and other new features.

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.

Portrait photo of Elmhurst President Troy D. VanAken.

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

‘A Model of Future Higher Education’

“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.”

Get to know the University and all it has to offer.

Meet the Stars of ‘Introducing Elmhurst University’

In Order of Appearance:

  • Ed Momkus ’74
  • Kelsey Plefka
  • Rabia Amin ’21
  • Sondra “Soni” Simpson, Ph.D.
  • Natalie Bieri ’19
  • Scott Wachholz
  • Valerie Anderson ’17
  • Ericka L. Polanco Webb MBA ’08
  • Becky Hulett, DNP, R.N., CNL
  • Brian Wilhite, Ph.D.
  • Beatriz Gomez Acuna, Ph.D.
  • Kelly Cunningham, MBA
  • Megan Wajda ’13
  • Femi Oyewole
  • Terri Hemmert ’70
  • Maggie Krzeminski ’21
  • Sean Rooney ’20
  • Chris Binder ’21
  • Tyler Espino ’16
  • Shawndell Young ’20
  • Sabrina Ruff ’09
  • Raven Rhone ’22
  • Steve Morley
  • H. Scott Matheney
  • Mahera Suhail
  • Mary Kay Mulvaney, Ph.D.
  • Scottie Williams Jr. ’13
  • Wendy McManus
  • Marieli Urquiza-Trujillo ’22
  • Kathy Sexton-Radek, Ph.D., C.BSM
  • Christian Barren
  • Kristina Black ’09
  • Morgan Ryba MBA ’20
  • Tim Panfil
  • Christine Grenier ’06
  • Sara Steinhoff ’16
  • Michelle Adams
  • Dean Pribbenow
  • Alex Hall ’21
  • Nina Rauzi ’21
  • Adrian Dominguez
  • Troy D. VanAken, Ph.D.
  • Zhe Ji
  • Kiara McGee ’21
  • Adrian Solis
  • Rayya Ghusein ’14
  • Marty Gahbauer
  • Matt Keane ’21
  • Natalie Filas ’21

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