In its nearly 150-year history, Valparaiso University has passed through three distinct phases. Begun by Methodists in 1859 as an institution pioneering coeducation, the Valparaiso Male and Female College was forced by the reverses of the Civil War to close its doors in 1871.
It was revived in 1873 by an enterprising educator, Henry Baker Brown, as the Northern Indiana Normal School, renamed Valparaiso College in 1900, and rechartered in 1906 as Valparaiso University. During the next 20 years it won national recognition as a low-cost, no frills institution of higher learning; many alumni of this period achieved distinction in their fields as governors, legislators, scientists, business leaders and other professionals.
The modern era in University history began in 1925 with purchase of the institution by the Lutheran University Association, a group of clergy and church laity who saw a bright future for the University. Distinguished by its Lutheran heritage of scholarship, freedom and faith, the dreams of these modern founders continue to be fulfilled in the new chapters of Valparaiso University history.