The Vidette-Messenger Centennial EditionThe 1936 special edition celebrating Porter County's centennial year . . . .

The following article has been transcribed from the August 18, 1936, issue of The Vidette-Messenger, published in Valparaiso, Indiana. This particular special edition focuses on Porter County's centennial celebration and contains a 94-page compendium of Porter County history up to that time.

Return to the index of articles from The Vidette-Messenger's Porter County Centennial special edition.

Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; August 18, 1936; Volume 10, Section 2, Page 19.


Lutheran Association Took Control of Historic School In 1925 and Forges Ahead

All the romance of the Phoenix legend, story of the ancient city that rose from its own ashes into a new and finer existence, is contained in the history of Valparaiso university's great revival which began in 1925.

In that year all that remained of a world famous school was musty building, still staunch, but its classrooms covered with dust from years of inactivity, and a campus, once beautiful, overgrown with weeds and unkept shrubbery.

Then came the new life.

June 22, 1925 is destined to be a memorable date in the history of Valparaiso university, the school, and Valparaiso, the town. It was on this date that a group of far-sighted Lutheran laymen and pastors met to organize the Lutheran University Association. Officers of the first board of directors were the following: Dr. Herman Duemling, president; W. C. Dickmeyer, vice-president; Rev. Paul F. Miller, secretary, and Charles Scheimann, treasurer.

Shortly afterward, July 25, the association was incorporated as a foundation to hold all properties and assets in trust for the sole benefit to Valparaiso university.

The next step in the rebuilding of the University was the incorporation of the Valparaiso University Association which came into existence August 24, 1925, with the members of the original board of directors signing personal notes for the necessary $150,000.

It was an enthusiastic and great-hearted group of Christian men who witnessed the opening of the first school year under the new administration, September 28, 1925, just six days more than three months after the birth of the idea. October 3, 1926, saw the inauguration of the first president of the new Valparaiso university, Dr. W. H. T. Dau, D. D., now president emeritus.

Under inspired leadership and with an excellent faculty and sufficient endowments, Valparaiso university was accredited and accorded membership in the North Central association of Colleges and Secondary schools March 16, 1929.

This was a day of celebration for the Lutheran University Association. It meant that Valparaiso had once more taken its place among the leading schools of the country and was once more an institution of respect and honor in the field of higher education.

In the meantime another prominent Lutheran layman, Harry Eberline, had served as president of the board of directors. Taking office in 1927 he was succeeded in 1931 by Ralph Richman, who in turn was succeeded by W. C. Dickmeyer, of Fort Wayne, who is president of the board at this time.

On October 26, 1930, the second president of the new Valparaiso University was inaugurated in impressive ceremonies. Dr. O. C. Kreinheder, before he became head of the administration at Valparaiso, a prominent pastor in Detroit, Michigan, assumed the presidency of the local institution and for the past six years has rendered a remarkable service to the school in that capacity.

On June 16, 1935, the school celebrated its tenth anniversary under control of the Lutheran University Association. The observance of its tenth "rebirthday" was a signal occasion and thousands of friends were on hand to witness the festivities.

It was at this time that the true greatness of the Lutheran University Association's accomplishments was most clearly seen. After ten years Valparaiso University had completely re-established itself as a great institution of higher learning.

Internally, a fine faculty, energetic administration, enthusiastic group of sponsors and a student body above average had supplied new life to a school that a scant ten years before had been dead.

Externally an equally remarkable transformation had taken place -- a transformation that was, naturally, more obvious than what had transpired within. Where once had been weeds, and dry, straggling grass, luxuriously green lawns greeted the eye. The unkept shrubs had been supplanted with hard, beautiful trees, flowers and bushes. Where there had been old houses blotting the landscape, friends attending the tenth anniversary celebration saw trim lawns or newly decorated buildings.

Not a building on the entire campus but what has been improved both inside and out through the tireless efforts of the University administration.

The work is not yet done. At the most recent meeting of the board of directors of the Lutheran University Association these broad-visioned men saw even greater future accomplishments for Valparaiso University.

"We are definitely on our way," was the watchword. During a depression which saw old and supposedly more solid institutions crumble, Valparaiso University not only held its own, but continued to make improvements.

In the near future Valparaiso will build a new health and physical education building. The drive for funds to finance this project is already half completed.

In the near future Valparaiso will build a new library. Money for this project has already be promised by a friend.

In the near future Valparaiso will build a new hospital. The International Walther league, behind the school to the fullest extent, will finance the building of this unit.

In the near future Valparaiso will build its student body into a group of ten times the size of the present enrollment.

In the near future and in the distant future Valparaiso will continue to do that which it has been doing in the past and is doing today.

-- It will build.
It will build new structures.
It will build enrollment.
It will build character.

Article transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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