Valparaiso University was originally founded by Methodists in 1859.
It was purchased in 1925 by the Lutheran University Association, which operates the school to this day.
The Crusader has not always been Valpo’s mascot.
The original mascot was the Uhlan (oo-lan), a violent German knight. During World War II, this mascot fell out of favor, and the Crusader was adopted instead. The Chapel of the Resurrection is the largest collegiate chapel in the country.
Dedicated in 1959 (click here
to read the original dedication booklet), the chapel celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009. The Chapel was constructed on the highest point of campus ground, with architects Charles Stade and Associates of Park Ridge, Illinois, guiding the $7.5 million construction. The chapel organ is one of the largest in the country.
It has more than 60,000 pipes in 103 rows. From 1917 until the 1960s, first-year students were required to wear colored beanies.
Originally, first-year students wore these beanies to identify one another, but upperclass students could identify them as well, leading to the hazing practice known as “buttoning,” in which students were required to place both index fingers on the button of their beanie and perform deep-knee bends. In 1962, brown and gold pots replaced the traditional green beanies, signifying the first-year students as equal members of the community.
Valpo once had a “campus dog” named George.
George belonged to a Valpo professor and was very well known around campus. When George died, he was buried on Old Campus, where a gravestone still marks his final resting place.
Valpo once boasted the “world’s tallest basketball team.”
A group of men who were too tall to join the military during World War II came to play basketball at Valpo.