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California Lutheran University

California Lutheran University (also CLU or Cal Lutheran) is a private, liberal arts university located in Thousand Oaks, California. It was founded in 1959 and is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, but is nonsectarian.[2] Their mission is "to educate leaders for a global society who are strong in character and judgment, confident in their identity and vocation, and committed to service and justice".[3][4] Originally known as California Lutheran College until January 1, 1986, it was the first four-year private college in Ventura County when it opened in 1960.[5][6]

California Lutheran University
California Lutheran University logo starting 2014.png
TypePrivate
Established1959
AffiliationEvangelical Lutheran Church in America
Endowment$83.3 million[1]
PresidentChris Kimball
Academic staff
410 (168 full time, 242 part time)
Undergraduates2,888
Postgraduates1,394
Location, ,
USA
CampusSuburban – 290 acres (120 ha)
AthleticsNCAA Division III
Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC)
ColorsPurple and gold          
NicknameKingsmen (men), Regals (women)
Websitewww.callutheran.edu
Flagpole at California Lutheran University, 2014.
Iconic CLU hillside letters on the university campus.

Notable speakers at CLU have been U.S. presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. CLU hosted the preseason training camp for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League for 27 years, and serves as the year-round training site for the Los Angeles Rams in 2017-19. Numerous films have been shot on campus and in surrounding areas, including Spartacus, Welcome to Hard Times, Wuthering Heights, Lassie, and Gunsmoke.

It is located on a 290-acre campus, 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles. It is a Lutheran institution offering degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels, as well as post-master's and post-bachelor's certificates.[7] CLU offers 36 majors and 34 minors.[8]

The university is based in Thousand Oaks, with additional locations in Woodland Hills (Los Angeles), Westlake Village, Oxnard, Santa Maria, and Berkeley.[9][10]

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
The Dallas Cowboys trained at CLU for 27 years.

California Lutheran College (CLC) was built in the early 1960s on nearly 300 acres of land in northern Thousand Oaks. Most land had been donated by Richard Pederson, the son of Norwegian immigrants and member of the Norwegian Colony. Pederson donated 130 acres, while more was purchased from other ranchers. The original $2.1 million campus first constructed a swimming pool, and soon also dormitories, administrative offices and classrooms. The college first opened in September 1961. It opened with an enrollment of 330 students, and had reached 1400 students by its first ten years. It became fully accredited within its first year. In 1963, the Community Leaders Club was established in order to bring the town and college closer together. The group conducted annual auctions, staged events, assisted athletic programs, etc. Nearly half of its faculty held doctoral degrees by the early 1970s. The college's largest gift in school history was received from Clifford- and Alma Pearson, who donated $1 million in 1985 which helped establish the Pearson Library. California Lutheran University remained the only four-year university in Ventura County as of 1989.[11][12]

Notable visitors to CLU events include U.S. presidents Ronald Reagan in 1979 and Gerald Ford in 1981;[13] Bob Hope in 1984; and Nicaraguan president Violeta Barrios de Chamorro in 1991.[14]

Background and originsEdit

 
Regals Way by Kingsmen Park.
 
Mount Clef Ridge is named for California Lutheran Education Foundation (CLEF), which worked to establish CLU in the 1950s.[15]

As far back as the turn of the century, when the first Norwegian Lutheran settlers came to the Conejo Valley, they brought the dream of one day establishing a college of their own. Leland Stanford had offered a 50-acre lot near Palo Alto, CA to Swedish Lutherans, but withdrew their offer when asked to fund the construction. In 1928, a group of Los Angeles developers gave a 100-acre site in Del Rey Hills to the Lutheran church. According to a front-page article in the Los Angeles Times, the 1929 stock market crash postponed the scheduled construction indefinitely. When World War II ended, the 1944 GI Bill of Rights made it financially possible for over a million veterans to return to college, doubling and even quadrupling the size of some Lutheran colleges in the United States. At the time, California was home to 16 Protestant- and 12 Roman Catholic colleges, however, Lutherans lacked a four-year college in the state.[16][17]

The Committee of Twenty-Five grew out of a meeting convened in North Hollywood on Sept. 13, 1954, led by Dr. Gaylerd Falde, the president of the California District of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELC). At the committee's first meeting was Dr. Orville Dahl, executive secretary of the Board of Higher Education of the ELC, who would later become the creative force behind California Lutheran College. In 1957, a charitable foundation known as the California Lutheran Education Foundation (CLEF) was formed by cooperating Lutheran churches for the purpose of gathering funds for a new college. Dr. Orville Dahl was elected director and Dr. Gaylerd Falde became the chairman of its Board of Governors. Dahl and members of the CLEF visited more than fifty sites in search of a location for the new college.[18][19]

His last visit took him 45 miles northwest of Los Angeles to the Conejo Valley, where Dahl was offered land by Norwegian farmer Lawrence Pederson. The price tag was however too high, but Richard Pederson approached Dahl the next day handing him the deed to his 130-acre ranch property. In 1957, Dahl became the president of California Lutheran College. Dahl was convinced without a strong church connection, the school would never become reality. He quickly established an outdoor place of worship and also constructed a swimming pool to "entice congregations to come out to the future campus."[20]

Foundation and early yearsEdit

California Lutheran College (CLC) opened its doors in the fall of 1961. Church contribution of $400,000 along with individual gifts and loans, had made the completion of a new campus centre possible, which consisted of eight buildings. In addition to those eight, the old Pederson House and chicken coops were remodeled into classrooms and offices. The new college was planted in a fertile setting, rimmed by rolling hills, and home to Kingsmen Creek. Orange- and walnut groves from the old Pederson Ranch were still seen on campus. The college's formal dedication was held on Reformation Sunday at the end of October, 1961. A highlight of this service was "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" performed by the newly formed college orchestra and choir. 4,000 Lutherans came to witness the service.[21]

All the first faculty members were of Lutheran faith, often recruited from other Lutheran colleges. There was an understanding during its first two years that only Lutherans should be hired.[21]

The college was accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in March 1962. Dahl served as president until 1962, bringing the university's first football coach, Robert Shoup, to the campus in his final year.[22]

The Dallas Cowboys brought their summer training camp to the campus in 1963 and kept it there until 1989.[23][24]

On February 20, 1967, about 200 students instituted a sit-down in front the gymnasium while the chapel was in service to protest things that they believed needed to be changed such as the attendance policy, and operating hours of the library, bookstore, and coffee shop — all of which were closed during chapel services. On April 19, 1968, three hundred Cal Lutheran students commemorated the life of assassinated civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. by marching down Moorpark Boulevard in his memory.[14]

Another march was held as part of the National Vietnam War Moratorium Rally. Both marches went from California Lutheran College to downtown Thousand Oaks. President Olson was among those marching with the students and speaking out against the Vietnam War.[25]

In the mid 1960s, the WASC Accrediting Committee had expressed concern over an indebtedness in excess of $1,731,000 and a deficit in current funds of over $350,000. President Dr. Olson inherited the debt, and further deficit budgets during his tenure added to the college's indebtedness. Donations and grants were insufficient to balance the budget, and the Board of Regents complained they had difficulty getting exact amounts on income versus expenditures. In spite of its economic turmoil, the college grew in number of students, academic reputation, and in number of faculty members. In the fall of 1963, the college had 550 students and in 1964 reached a total of 736 students, originating from 24 U.S. states, Sweden and China. Although Lutherans still made up a majority of 78%, seventeen other denominations were also represented at the college. The percentage of Lutheran faculty and administration workers was 69 percent. From 1963-66, full-time faculty grew from 38 to 69 persons, where Methodists and Presbyterians were the most represented non-Lutheran faculty.[24]

Early financesEdit

 
Walkway by flagpoles.

The school's total debt reached a staggering $3,600,000 in 1970, and the university was facing bankruptcy. Marine Knutson, a Lutheran layman who had experience within crisis management, was hired by the national church as a financial troubleshooter for the college. By applying austere measures that included cutting the facility by seven work positions, Knutson managed to end year 1970 with a $80,000 budget surplus, and was also successful in reducing the debt by $800,000 by the end of the year. National church bodies made a guaranteed commitment for a loan of $1,000,000. Dr. Olson resigned as president in May 1971, after eight years as president during a tenure of financial crisis and social upheaval. However, Dr. Olson had tripled the college's size, and the school was now home of 1,000 students.[26]

When the search for a new president failed to produce a candidate from outside campus, the Board of Regents was advised by Knutson to appoint Dr. Mark Mathews, the chair of the Business Administration and Economics Department. As Dr. Mathews was a Presbyterian, the institution's by-laws had to be changed in order to permit him to hold the office. Dr. Mathews became acting college president in 1972. Under his fiscal management, the college reversed the deficit trend and a longer period of financial stability and growth followed his tenure.[26]

New expansionEdit

 
Pearson Library has over 132,000 titles.[27]

An increased diversity in religious affiliation took place in the 1970s. In the first year of that decade, Lutherans represented 60% of the faculty, but by the 1978-1979 school year made up only 45% of the faculty. That year, "other Christians" for the first time in school history outnumbered Lutherans. Dr. Mathews resigned as president in 1980, and in 1981 Reverend Jerry Miller, a Harvard University graduate and director of National Lutheran Campus Ministry, became the fourth college president. The fiscal year 1983-1984 recorded grants and donations at $3,250,000, including an individual gift of $1 million, the single largest donation to that date. With the new funds in hand, the school was now able to construct three major buildings: The Pearson Library was erected in 1985, the Ahmanson Science Center in 1988, and the Samuelson Chapel in 1990. The Ahmanson Science Center meant that all sciences for the first time had adequate equipment and space to initiate significant research programs. The new library housed 100,000 books as of 1985.[28][29]

In 1971, the college football team won the NAIA Football National Championship.[26][30]

Increased diversityEdit

 
Samuelson Chapel with its 75-foot (23 m) spire was completed in 1991.[31]

In the early 1980s the college was committed to the establishment of an environment supportive of cultural- and ethnic pluralism. In 1981, the college established four-year working relations with a study group from Japan. With a peak enrollment of 45 Japanese students, the college was further encouraged by WASC in 1983 to be more multiculturally diverse. The college's report to WASC in 1988 consisted of a revised mission statement which affirmed that the college is welcome to "students of all ages as well as all cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds." The school began a determent effort in 1986 based on recruiting international students from Scandinavia, and one year it was seventy international students from Norway attending the college. Furthermore, a grant from the Irvine Foundation helped the college recruit and offer financial aid to minorities. The effort became successful and the college soon attracted a significant Latino-American population from Ventura County. An Office of Multicultural Services was established to facilitate various ethnic organizations and their events.[32]

University statusEdit

 
Regals Way as seen from Falde Plaza.

In the fall of 1985, the Board of Regents agreed with the administration that California Lutheran College was ready to receive university status. Not all agreed; those opposing the change felt it could mean sacrificing the CLC's focus on liberal arts. Some also argued that the college did not have an adequate university library, or that the college in other ways was not ready. Those favoring the change noted that CLC already had graduate programs at the master's level in five distinct areas, and also noted that despite being the only four-year college in Ventura County, CLC kept being compared to the state's two-year community colleges. Some were persuaded that turning into a university would force the administrators to take more seriously the scholarly quests for academic excellence. On January 1, 1986, the college became California Lutheran University (CLU).[33]

Modern historyEdit

 
The 96,000 sq. ft. Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center was completed in 2006.[34][35]

In 1994, KCLU-FM, a non-commercial public radio station, was established and housed on the Cal Lutheran campus.[36][37]

After the Samuelson Aquatic Center was completed in 2007, it served as the official training site of the 2008 and 2012 US Olympic Men's Water Polo teams.[38]

Beginning in 2016, the school is hosting the temporary headquarters and regular season training facilities of the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL.[39][40]

RankingsEdit

In 2012, CLU was ranked number 14 among regional universities in the Western United States by U.S. News & World Report,[41] a ranking maintained as of 2017.[42] The same rating, U.S. News & World Report published by America's Best Colleges Guide, has rated CLU among the top 25 universities in Western United States for over ten consecutive years.[6] Forbes ranked CLU number 276 out of 650 "Top Colleges" in the U.S.[43] The company Niche ranked CLU 47th among the "Best Christian Colleges in America" in 2017, and 78th in "Best College Dorms in America". It also ranked the campus as the 101th best college campus in the U.S.[44] The university also appeared in the 2015 "America's Top Colleges" by Forbes[45] and Time Magazine's "Best Colleges For Your Money 2017".[46]

The student-faculty ratio is 15:1,[47][3] and 98.4% of its classes have 49 students or fewer.[42] 86 percent of its full-time faculty (118 persons) hold PhDs.[48]

Accreditations and affiliationsEdit

CLU is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities, a commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). It is also accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).[10] The Financial Planning Program has been registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. The Doctorate Program in Clinical Psychology, within the Graduate School of Psychology, is accredited by the American Psychological Association.[49]

CLU is one of 28 colleges and universities affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and is a member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, and Council of Independent Colleges. CLU's intercollegiate athletic programs compete in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and in NCAA Division III.[49][3]

CampusEdit

 
Centrum Cafe in Kingsmen Park.

The 290-acre (120 ha)[48] main campus is located in Thousand Oaks, a city in southern Ventura County, California, comprising 41 buildings, four fields, two stadiums, two swimming pools, a tennis court, botanic gardens, as well as undeveloped chaparral hillsides.

The university has a 96,000-square-foot athletics complex, the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center. Adjacent to the complex is the 50-meter Samuelson Aquatic Center and a 4,800-square foot community pool.[50]

Campus layoutEdit

 
Kingsmen Creek in Kingsmen Park, the center of the university campus.[51]
 
The Cafeteria.

The campus of CLU is primarily organized by the four cardinal directions, with the north side, located across Olsen Road and backed up against Mt. Clef Ridge, serving as the primary center for athletics. Some North Campus facilities include Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center, Samuelson Aquatic Center, Ullman Baseball Stadium and George Sparky Anderson Baseball Field, Hutton Softball Field, William Rolland Stadium (opened Fall 2011), Facilities Building and Yard, and a community pool for the City of Thousand Oaks.

The east side is the primary location for freshman residence halls and some administrative offices. Some east side facilities include Mt. Clef Residence Hall, Thompson Residence Hall, Pederson Residence Hall, Student Union, Alumni Hall, Centrum Café, Hanson Business Center, and Pederson Administration Building.

The south side, also known as the Academic Core, is the primary location for the academic buildings on campus. Southside facilities include Soiland Humanities Building, Ahmanson Science Center, Spies-Bornemann Center for Education and Technology, Nygreen Hall, Peters Hall (School of Business), and Swenson Center for the Social and Behavioral Sciences (opened Fall 2010). A Jamba Juice location is also situated on the south side of the CLU campus.

The west side contains upperclassman housing. West side facilities include Grace Hall Apartments, Mogen Hall Apartments (with the Mogen Market facility), Old West Complex (Afton, Janss, Rasmussen, and Conejo residence halls), New West Complex (North, South, West and Potenberg residence halls), and Trinity Hall (completed in 2009).

The center of the campus primarily features the Pearson Library as well as the Ullman Commons. Pearson Library holds 132,744 titles and 1,497 serial subscriptions.[27]

The former chicken coops of the Pederson Ranch were converted into classrooms by Jefferson A. Elmendorf, the same architect who worked with Dr. Dahl in planning the campus, and designed The Centrum and other campus buildings.

CLU's first LEED Certified building, the Swenson Center for the Social and Behavioral Sciences, opened in Fall 2010.[52]

50th anniversaryEdit

The 2009–2010 academic year at CLU represented the school's 50th anniversary as an established university. New facilities include a new building for the KCLU-FM radio station and an Early Childhood Center, located on the North Campus. Trinity Hall, a new 220-bed residence hall, is located on the west side of campus near all the other upperclassmen residence halls. Also in honor of the anniversary, the Enormous Luther statue was painted gold.[53]

LandmarksEdit

 
Enormous Luther ("Gumby") is a bronze statue commissioned by a 1964 graduating class.[54]
  • The Enormous Luther, 5,000 pound bronze statue at Falde Plaza immediately in front of Pearson Library, known as The Enormous Luther ("Gumby"), which is an abstract of Martin Luther. It is a 25-feet tall and has a 12-feet wide cast. It was a gift of the first graduating class at California Lutheran College in 1964, and is the work of a renowned art professor emeritus, Sir Bernardus Weber. It has become an unofficial mascot of the university.[55][56][54]
  • Pederson House and Water Tower is located on the corner of Regent Ave. and Faculty St. on the university campus. Originally built by Norwegian settlers who first arrived here in year 1890, the 1913 house is Ventura County Historic Landmark No. 45 and City of Thousand Oaks Historical Landmark No. 3. It was originally located at the present location of Ahmanson Science Center, where a statue has been erected in honor of Lars Pederson. The structure was later relocated 500 ft. to its current location.[57][58][59][60]
  • Samuelson Chapel is a towering cross-topped landmark, which was established in 1990. The chapel has stained glass windows and a 39-rank, racker-action pipe organ.[61]

Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and CultureEdit

The Kwan Fong Gallery in the Soiland Humanities Center was established by the Kwan Fong Charitable Foundation, co-founded by Maria Lee and Katie Yang, with the participation of Dr. Ed Tseng, Professor Emeritus of Political Science of California Lutheran University and Dean of International Education. The foundation, which supported hospitals, schools, and homes for the elderly and mentally challenged, dissolved in 2006.[62]

Since its establishment, the gallery has exhibited works by Jeremy Lipking, Dan Welden, Teresa Oaxaca, Tony Pro, Alexey Steele, Cyn McCurry, Gary Palmer, Christophe Cassidy, Morgan Alexander, and Christopher Marshall, among others. The gallery has residencies by artists, the first in 2007 by Dallas-Fort Worth-based figurative painter Cyn McCurry.[63]

The William Rolland Gallery of Fine ArtEdit

The William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art was established by philanthropist William Rolland on the university's campus in 2011. The gallery provides free public programming including lectures, foreign language tours, and concerts, serving Ventura, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara counties. Exhibitions rotate approximately five times per year and have featured works from artists such as Andy Warhol, Chuck Close, David Hockney, Fernando Botero, and Picasso.[64][65]

The Barbara Collins ArboretumEdit

 
Label by Barbara Collins Arboretum at a Pepper tree by Pearson Library.

The grounds of the campus is dubbed the Barbara Collins Arboretum. Named after Barbara Collins, who taught microbiology and botany at CLU for 50 years, the arboretum selected and cataloged much of the campus flora. Many of the trees flank a natural creek that bisects the campus. Many native species to Southern California can be found on campus, including Campus Gardens, Garden flowers, Canadian flowers, and California wildflowers.[66] The arboretum opened in 2007 and Collins collected[67] or identified[68] over 100 species for the arboretum.

AcademicsEdit

 
Swenson Center for Social and Behavioral Sciences.
 
Soiland Humanities Center.

California Lutheran University has five academic divisions:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • School of Management
  • Graduate School of Education
  • Graduate School of Psychology
  • Adult Evening program

Across all divisions, class sizes are kept small — 16 students on average.[69] CLU offers undergraduate students either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree, depending on their field of study, in 36 academic majors and 36 minors, with the ability to double-major.[47] There are 30 graduate programs offering credentials, certifications, and doctorate degrees.[70]

College of Arts and SciencesEdit

The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences is Dr. Jessica Lavariega Monforti.[71] A vast majority of the school's academic departments are in the College of Arts and Sciences, with 33 majors.[72]

Graduate programsEdit

For graduate students, the College of Arts and Sciences contains master's degree programs in psychology, computer science, clinical psychology, counseling psychology (MFT), and public policy and administration. Some undergraduate students who intend to enter one of these programs upon completion of their undergraduate studies can choose to enroll in some graduate courses as an undergraduate, and obtain graduate-level course credits.

School of ManagementEdit

Containing all of CLU's business-related programs, the California Lutheran University School of Management employs many professors who have earned respect in their chosen fields prior to becoming professors. In addition, some professors have come from senior executive backgrounds and offer real-world experiences. The School of Management is based in Peters Hall. Students in the School of Management can major in Business Administration, Economics, or Accounting. The dean of the School of Management is Dr. Gerhard Apfelthaler.[73]

Graduate programs in the School of ManagementEdit

The School of Management at CLU offers a range of graduate programs. The School of Management also offers a variety of certificate programs. All programs are accredited by WASC.[74] Many foreign students come to CLU take the graduate IMBA Program. California Lutheran University School of Management's MBA program was ranked 66th in North America by The 2010 QS World University Rankings.[75]

Graduate School of EducationEdit

California Lutheran University's School of Education trains teachers at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels of instruction. It is based out of the Spies-Bornemann Center for Education and Technology in the Academic Quarter. While primarily a graduate school, CLU undergraduate students can major in Liberal Studies, which qualifies them to teach elementary school and prepares them for the multiple-subject examinations (the CBEST and CSET) required by the State of California. While in this major, students take a Career Decisions in Education course that expose them to various facets of the education world, and allows them to participate in field studies at local elementary schools. The School of Education is headed by its dean, Dr. Michael R. Hillis.[76]

There are multiple master's degree programs within the School of Education, as well as the Teacher Preparation program for California teachers. Students are able to obtain a teaching credential while at the same time earning credit toward their Master of Education (M.Ed) degree. In addition to the Teacher Preparation program, students can obtain a Master of Science in Counseling and Guidance or Educational Psychology, and a Master of Arts in a wide variety of education-related administrative career fields, including Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, or School Site Leadership. Graduate students can also obtain a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) degree in Educational Leadership from the School of Education. This program requires extensive field work and a dissertation defense.

Graduate School of PsychologyEdit

 
CLU offers semesters off-campus at Lutheran College Washington Semester (LCWS) in Washington, DC.[27]

The Graduate School of Psychology has three academic programs and two counseling centers. The school offers an APA-accredited doctorate in clinical psychology (Psy.D)[77] and master of science degrees in clinical psychology[78] and counseling psychology (MFT).[79] The counseling centers provide low-fee services to residents of Ventura and Los Angeles counties and are located in Oxnard and Westlake Village. Graduate students provide the clinical services at the counseling centers and are overseen by 21 licensed supervisors.[80] Dr. Rick Holigrocki is the founding dean of the school.

Bachelor's Degree for ProfessionalsEdit

Formally named the Adult Degree Evening Program (ADEP), the bachelor's degree for Professionals is aimed at working professionals who want to earn a bachelor's degree in a compressed timeline. Courses are offered in the evenings at the main Thousand Oaks campus as well as at satellite campuses in Woodland Hills and Oxnard.[81]

Special programsEdit

Special academic programs include an honors program, cooperative (work-study) education, accelerated degree programs, study abroad, advanced placement credit, self-designed majors, part-time degrees, adult education programs, internships, weekend programs, summer sessions, independent studies, double majors, and more. The university has an arrangement for off-campus studies at Wagner College, American University ("Washington, D.C. Semester").[27]

Residence lifeEdit

 
Swimming pool and basketball court by Grace Hall.

California Lutheran University maintains a policy of guaranteeing on-campus housing for all four years if students elect to do so. On-campus housing or living at home is required for freshmen and sophomores; however, juniors and seniors may elect to live off-campus with friends.[82] 63% of the student body reside on campus as of 2011, while 88% of all freshmen students reside on campus.[3]

Upperclassmen housingEdit

Once students move on to their sophomore, junior and senior years at CLU, they are allowed to choose which residence hall to live in on the west side of campus. This area contains the New West Complex (comprising four buildings: North, South, West, and Potenberg halls), the Old West Complex (comprising four buildings: Afton, Janss, Rasmussen, and Conejo halls), the Mogen Hall Apartments, Grace Hall, and Trinity Hall. Traditionally, New West attracts much of the sophomore student body, Old West the juniors, and Mogen and Grace the seniors. However, in recent years there has been a virtual complete mixing of sophomores, juniors and seniors all throughout Old West, New West, Mogen, Grace, and Trinity.[citation needed]

Special housing options and graduate housingEdit

Kramer Court is a special housing option for undergraduate students. It is located on the east side of campus and each unit comes fully furnished with a living room, two bedrooms, a backyard, and many other features not common to other on-campus housing. These units are application-based and are usually occupied by juniors and seniors.[83] The third floor of Grace Hall has been converted to graduate student housing.

Student bodyEdit

The CLU student body consists of approximately 3,499 students as of 2009, originating from 43 U.S. states and territories, and 47 countries. 80 percent were from California, and 56 percent of students were female.[27] As of 2011, 60% the student body were Caucasian-American, 16.4% Hispanic-American, 5.5% Asian-American, 3.6% African-American, and 0.9% Native-American. 6.7 percent of the student body were international students. 62% of students were female, while 38% were male.[3]

The average class size is 16 students.[84] The university has 75 registered organizations, 11 honor societies, and 3 religious organizations.[85] Student clubs include Asian Club and Friends, Brothers & Sisters United, Latin American Student Organization, United Students of the World, Chinese Students Association, among others.[3]

It is located in an area with a conservative political nature. A large number of students have organized a Republican Club which has gained national prominence by having "the highest ratio of club members to number of students of any College Republican club in California." Some of their 1997 missions included adding an American flag to every classroom and having Christian prayers at student senate meetings.[86]

The freshman retention rate was 80% as of 2011.[3] 65 percent of graduates go on to further study within 1 year of graduation. 78 percent of freshmen return for sophomore year.[48]

AdmissionEdit

 
Luedtke Bridge, pedestrian bridge over Olsen Road.
 
"Champions", bronze sculpture created by David L. Spellerberg. Unveiled Oct. 18, 2014.

The university has an admission rate of 62 percent (2010). Enrolled students had a SAT Critical Reading range of 490-580, SAT Math range og 510-610, and a SAT Writing range of 490-590. The average high school GPA was 3.8.[3] For admission, the university requires an interview, essay, previous school transcripts, GPA and SAT or ACT scores, as well as TOEFL scores for international students.[27]

ASCLU-G Student GovernmentEdit

As of the 2009–2010 academic year, the student government of California Lutheran University is divided into three branches, each possessing different responsibilities. The ASCLU-G (Associated Students of California Lutheran University Government) comprises the Senate, Programs Board, and Executive Cabinet. For Senate and Programs Board, there are four elected positions available per class level as well as a transfer student, recorder, and commuter student position. The Executive Cabinet is made up largely of students who have served on ASCLU-G for one or more years, and contains the offices of the ASCLU President, Programs Board Director, Senate Director, Executive Recorder, and ASCLU Controller. Meetings are held Monday nights, and the entire student body is welcome to attend. Elections are held in the spring semester for all positions for the next academic year and in the fall semester to elect the four freshmen positions and any unfilled spots from the spring election.[87]

SenateEdit

The ASCLU Senate is primarily responsible for the financial needs of the students. Some of their duties include (but are not limited to): approving and allocating funds to new campus clubs, purchasing equipment for residence halls, and discussing and/or changing campus dining policies. The Senate is usually divided into three or four committees, headed by a committee chair (who has usually served on Senate for one or more years), and each has a specific jurisdiction regarding campus policies.[88]

Programs BoardEdit

The ASCLU-G Programs Board is primarily responsible for planning, organizing, financing, and running many of the on- and off-campus events that go on throughout each academic year. The principal event that Programs Board is responsible for is known as "Club Lu", a free event for traditional undergraduate students every Friday night. Each Club Lu event is different; previous events include rollerskating, on-campus dances, ice skating, bowling, movie nights, the Homecoming carnival, Christmas festivals, and talent shows. Programs Board is also responsible for planning larger off-campus events such as the Homecoming Dance and Spring Formal. Like Senate, Programs Board is divided into three or four committees, each headed by a committee chair (who has usually served on Programs Board for one or more years), and each is assigned specific events to plan throughout the academic year.[89]

Norwegian rootsEdit

 
Pederson House was built by Norwegian Lars Pederson in 1913.

California Lutheran University is located on land which was donated from the Norwegian Colony.[90][91] The road which it is located on, Olsen Road, is named for Norwegian pioneer Nils Olsen of the Norwegian Colony.[92]

The university's ties to Norway and remain strong. In 2017, twenty percent of the international undergraduate students were from Norway.[93] The Scandinavian influence can continue to be seen in the spring Scandinavian Cultural Festival and in the names of buildings on campus and local streets, many named for prominent Norwegians who helped establish CLU. An example is Lars Pederson's original home which has been relocated to Faculty Street on campus. It is known as Pederson House and Water Tower and is designated Ventura County Historical Landmark number 45 and Thousand Oaks Historical Landmark number 3.[92][94] The Pederson (Pedersen) family, who donated the farmland in Thousand Oaks, were among many Scandinavian immigrants populating the hills of Thousand Oaks.

Scandinavian FestivalEdit

 
Aebleskiver at the annual Scandinavian Festival.

The Scandinavian Festival (“Scan Fest”) is an annual weekend spring festival which takes place at the university campus. Founded by Swedish-American professor Armour Nelson and Norwegian-American John Nordberg, the festival began as a celebration of the history of the college and the surrounding area, which was settled by Norwegians in the 1890s. The first festival was held in 1974 and attracted 600 visitors. Consuls from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland also participated. While the first Scandinavian Festival took place in the college gymnasium, the festival is currently held across the university campus. The festival stage and children’s craft activities are located in Kingsmen Park, vendor booths can be found along Memorial Parkway, and exhibits and specialty programs often take place in Samuelson Chapel. The event celebrates the cultures of the Nordic Countries - Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, as well as the Arctic’s indigenous Sami people of northernmost Scandinavia. The festival features folk dancing, traditional music, lectures, local cuisine, vendors, demonstrations, and more. Previous festivals have included puppet shows of Hans Christian Andersen stories, authentic Viking village replicas, Dala horse croquet, the ancient Viking game kubb, and more. Food served often includes Danish aebleskiver, Norwegian lefse, Swedish pancakes, Swedish meatballs, open-faced sandwiches as well as Scandinavian snacks, pastries and ice cream. Vendors on site sell various authentic and traditional Scandinavian merchandise.[95][96] The festival has received much assistance from the Sons of Norway, the Vasa Lodge, and the CLC Women's League and the Guild. The Ingeborg Estergren Scholarship has also been awarded at the event.[97]

The festival is produced by the Scandinavian American Cultural and Historical Foundation with support from California Lutheran University.[98] Scandinavian American Cultural and Historical Foundation is located in a house on Faculty Street. The Scandinavian Cultural Center houses Scandinavian artifacts, literature, and oral history recorded on tapes.[99]

Student research and publicationsEdit

CLU houses two annual undergraduate research events: the Festival of Scholars and the Student Research Symposium.[100]

University PressEdit

California Lutheran College University Press has published books such as California Lutheran College: The First Quarter Century (1984), The Temescals of Arroyo Conejo (1982), Voyages (1977), Hiking In Wildwood Regional Park: Natural History, Folklore, and Trail Guide (2000), and several books by Barbara J. Collins.

AthleticsEdit

 
The Los Angeles Rams use William Rolland Stadium for training in 2016-19.[101][39]

The university's intercollegiate athletic teams are competing in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) and the NCAA at the Division III level. Women's and men's teams compete in football, basketball, baseball, tennis, soccer, and track and field. Since 1991, the university has won 26 SCIAC championships, averaging more than five per season.[102] As a Division III member, the university does not offer athletic scholarships.

The following sports are offered for NCAA-sanctioned intercollegiate competition:[85]

  • Men's teams: Baseball, basketball, diving, football, cross-country, golf, track and field, and water polo.
  • Women's teams: Basketball, cheerleading, cross-country, diving, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and water polo.

Kingsmen footballEdit

 
Kingsmen at the Memorial Field (formerly Mt Clef Field), 2010.
 
Kingsmen football team, 2015.
 
Samuelson Aquatics Center served as a training site of the 2008 and 2012 US Olympic Men's Water Polo teams.[103][104]

The football team won the NAIA National Championship in 1971, its only national championship to date. Head coach Robert Shoup was named NAIA Coach of the Year that season. He led the Kingsmen to 13 NAIA District 3 Championships and the 5 playoffs in his 17 years as coach.[105]

As a SCIAC member, the Kingsmen won the conference championship in 2007, 2009, and 2010. Running back Brian Stuart received the Player of the Year award in 2009.[106]

Dr. Luther Schwich made plans to establish the school’s first football team in 1962. This was also the same year the sports’ moniker Kingsmen was chosen, which was a compromise between those favoring "Condors" and "Shepherds". Dr. Schwich selected coach Robert Shoup to start the team, a recruiter who had garnered fame at UCSB in the mid-1950s. His first assignment was to create a team and recruit players, and games were first played at Camarillo High School field. Their first win soon followed, 20-12 over Los Angeles-Pacific. After having played at Thousand Oaks High School for a limited time, Kingsmen football was playing at their own Mount Clef field starting in 1963. A winning streak began in 1965 and lasted for several years, bringing in an 8-1 record in 1965, 8-2 in 1966, and 7-2 in 1967. In 1968, punter Gary Loyd was named an NAIA All-America and the college appeared for the first time in the national rankings, coming in 9th. Robbie Robinson’s seventeen field goals in 1969 set an NAIA record and the team moved up to 7th place. From its 8-1 record in 1970, the team moved into its greatest season to date in 1971, and captured the national championship, winning against Montana Tech and Westminster College in the playoffs. A college celebration was staged in conjunction with the Dallas Cowboys that won Super Bowl VI of January 1972. Coach Shoup was named NAIA Coach of the Year and also Lutheran Coach of the Year. Following the championship, numerous players were drafted by professional teams, including Brian Kelley by the New York Giants and Sam Cvijanovich who played in the Canadian Football League. Successful years followed the championship, and the team soon appeared three times in the NAIA playoffs: in 1975, 1977 and 1982.[107]

In addition to Brian Kelley and Sam Cvijanovich, a variety of other Kingsmen football players have enjoyed professional football careers. These include Hank Bauer, who retired from the San Diego Chargers in 1982, and Jerry Palmquist who played for the Denver Broncos. Gary Loyd was drafted by the New Orleans Saints, William “Robbie” Robinson by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Gary Hamm by the Toronto Argonauts, Charlie McShane by the Seattle Seahawks, and Russ Jensen by the Los Angeles Express.[108] Other notable football players and coaches of CLU include Tom Herman, Rod Marinelli, Eric Rogers, Mike Sheppard, and Dave Aranda.

Kingsmen baseballEdit

On May 30, 2017, the Kingsmen won their first NCAA Division III baseball title under coach Marty Slimak. Cal Lutheran defeated Washington & Jefferson College 12-4 and 7-3 in the final two games of a best-of-three series, marking the team's sixth appearance in the championship round.[109][110][111] The manager of the 1984 World Series champion Detroit Tigers, Sparky Anderson (1934–2010), used his influence to attract top names in the sport to the team. Several CLU players have been drafted for professional teams, including Kevin Gross who was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillis in 1983.[112] Jason Hirsh was drafted by the Houston Astros in the second round of the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft.

Regals volleyballEdit

In 2015, Regals volleyball won the national championship in NCAA Division III women's volleyball, defeating Wittenberg University 3-0 on November 21 in the team's third appearance in the final round. They were led by head coach Kellee Roesel.[113][114] The team was ranked number two in the nation as of 2016.[115] The women's volleyball team has for decades periodically been the strongest competitive women's sport at CLU. Already in the early 1960s, the team played schools such as UC Santa Barbara, Westmont College and Cal State-Northridge. Handling most of the coaching for women until 1970 was Dr. Nena Amundson, who joined the faculty in 1961, hired by Dr. Orville Dahl to organize the women's athletic programs. California Lutheran College (CLC) joined the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) when formed in 1971, and was a member until 1982 when women joined the men in the NAIA. In 1970, the female athletes adopted the name Regals for all women's sports.[116]

Notable players include Joyce Parkel, who was the captain of the volleyball team when it became a runner-up in Southern California in the late 1960s. Pat Kempner was the team captain when they qualified for the AIAW Regionals in 1976. Kempner was a former Olympic Gold Medal swimmer. The coach while Kempner played was Diana Hoffman, a volleyball player who played on six national volleyball teams and was a member of the U.S. Olympic team. Guiding the team from last in the league to an AIAW qualifier in two years, Hoffman is recognized for having laid the foundation for continued success for the Regals volleyball team.[117]

Student mediaEdit

 
KCLU was the only public radio station in Ventura County as of 2006.[10]

The Echo is the student news outlet. It has received numerous awards, including a first place in the 2018 California College Media Association Award for Excellence in Student Media.[118][119] The Echo was awarded the highest commendation possible in 1982, the All-American award. The Morning Glory, a literary magazine which has been published since 1971, was one of six in the country to receive the Pacemaker Award in 1983.[120][121]

KCLU-FMEdit

KCLU-FM is a non-commercial radio station located on the campus of California Lutheran University. The National Public Radio-member station serves Ventura County, California at a radio frequency of 88.3 MHz and Santa Barbara at a frequency of 102.3 MHz.[29]

The Thousand Oaks City Council approved a special use permit in 1993 which allowed California Lutheran University to construct a radio tower and FM antenna.[122]

Professional FootballEdit

Tex Schramm, the General Manager of the Dallas Cowboys, was searching for a California summer home for his NFL team in the early 1960s. Schramm made a meeting with Dr. Dahl, the president of California Lutheran College, in 1962. Dr. Orville Dahl told Schramm that the college would expand the following year by adding a gymnasium, practice fields, training facilities, and dormitory accommodations for football players. The team was then among the newest expansion teams in the National Football League. California Lutheran College, later California Lutheran University, functioned as the team’s training camp for 27 years: from 1963-1989. The relationship between the school and the team has been described as one of the friendliest relationships between a professional sports organization and a college.[123][124][125]

Another NFL football team, the Los Angeles Rams, has used the university as their year-round training facilities since 2016.[126][127][39]

RecreationEdit

 
Sign by Woken Walk on the university campus.

The northern section of the university campus contains trail access to Mount Clef Ridge Trail in Mount Clef Open Space. This trail later becomes Santa Rosa Trail, which enters Wildwood Regional Park and follows Mount Clef Ridge. Wildflower Butte Trail is another hiking trail which connects to Wildwood, with a trailhead from the parking area on Campus Drive, north of Olsen Road. This is an ancient Chumash trail which connects to Chumash sites such as Ven-37, Ven-6, and former Chumash village sites within Wildwood.[128][129][130] Mount Clef Ridge Open Space, which borderers the university on the north, totals 217 acres and supports fauna such as coyote, deer, and gray fox.[131]

University presidentsEdit

 
Former President Luther Luedtke.
  • Orville Dahl, Ed.D., 1959–1962
  • Raymond Olson, D.D., 1963–1971
  • Mark Mathews, D.B.A., 1972–1980
  • Jerry Miller, D.D., 1981–1992
  • Luther Luedtke, Ph.D., 1992–2006
  • John R. Sladek, Ph.D., 2006–2007
  • Chris Kimball, Ph.D., 2008–present

In popular cultureEdit

Scenes from the film Spartacus (1960) were shot directly behind the university,[132][133] while a Western village was erected on campus during the filming of Welcome to Hard Times (1967).[134] The Dodge City set in Gunsmoke (1955-1975) was located on a back lot at CLU,[135][136] and Wuthering Heights (1939) was filmed on land which later became the university campus (Olsen Ranch).[137][138][139] Scenes from Lassie (1954) were also shot on and around the university campus.[140] Furthermore, an episode ("The Good Doctor") of the television series Highway to Heaven (1984–1989) was partially filmed here and features the university football team.[141] An episode of Behind the Lights: the Coolest Jobs Behind the Biggest Sports (2012), a series BBC Worldwide is co-producing with Break Media, was filmed at CLU and featured the captain of the United States men's national water polo team.[142]

The documentary series All or Nothing: A Season with the Los Angeles Rams (2017) also features scenes from CLU.

Notable alumniEdit

 
Guy Erwin, professor at CLU and first Native-American bishop in the ELCA.

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