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California Lutheran University (CLU also known as Cal Lutheran) is a university of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America located in Thousand Oaksmarker, Californiamarker.

Mission statement

The University's mission statement is as follows:

"California Lutheran University is a diverse, scholarly community dedicated to excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies. Rooted in the Lutheran tradition of Christian faith, the University encourages critical inquiry into matters of both faith and reason. The mission of the University 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." [48899]


CLU was founded in 1959 as California Lutheran College (the name was changed to University in 1986) on farmland donated by the Pederson family, who were among many Scandinavian immigrants populating the hills of Thousand Oaks. The Scandinavian influence has stayed with the school since its founding. Every spring, a cultural festival takes over the campus for a weekend. Also, many buildings on campus and streets in the area are named for prominent Scandinavians who helped to found CLU.

Orville Dahl, Ed. D. was the first president of the College from 1959-1962. Dahl had many ambitious dreams for what the college was to become. He originally thought that the Pederson and Thompson dormitories would be hotels for on campus guests and families of students. These dorms are still in use for present day freshman. Dahl had dreamed of developing a North campus near Mount Clef. He also brought the university's first football coach, Robert Shoup, to the campus in 1962. Shoup used an orange orchard for football practice and used the local high school stadium for home games for the first two seasons. He won 13 NAIA District 3 Championships in 17 years. The Kingsmen appeared in the playoffs five times, winning the NAIA National Championship in 1971. He was named NAIA Coach of the Year in 1971.As the head coach of the Kingsmen he was named in the Who's Who in America and the #1 winning university college football coach in California up to the time he quit coaching in 1988, and ninth among coaches at any level of college football nationally. His football teams were listed in the top 10 winningest college football teams over the last 50 years with a 182-81-6 record, and that included such large school giants at Oklahomamarker, Penn Statemarker, Alabamamarker and Notre Damemarker.

The G and F buildings, currently offices, are one of the few remaining vestages of CLU's past. The former chicken coops now house offices for several academic departments.

In 2007, California Lutheran University was also ranked 17th among all American Western Universities, which includes states ranging from Texas to Alaska, to obtain a Master's Degree. [48900].

Dr. Christopher Kimball, Ph.D. became the seventh President of California Lutheran University in April 2008 and was officially inaugurated into that position on April 26 2009 at 3:25pm. Dr. Kimball became President after serving as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.


The campus occupies a gently sloping hillside amid the rolling hills of Southern California. [48901]

the Centrum Cafe

the Enormous Luther statue, aka "Gumby"

the Samuelson Aquatics Center

Currently, the CLU campus is in the midst of an expansion. A new athletics center, The Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center, nearly doubled the size of the developed campus with its completion in 2006. Along with the new athletics center is the new outdoor, Olympic-sized swimming pool, dubbed the Samuelson Aquatic Center. A new dormitory, Grace Hall, was opened on the southwest side of campus in 2005.

It is notable that the former chicken coops mentioned above were converted into classrooms by Jefferson A. Elmendorf, the same architect who designed The Centrum. Elmendorf worked with Dr. Dahl in master planning the campus. He started in the chicken coops with a draftsman and eventually moved into the administration building where he eventually had five draftsmen/architects working for him. Elmendorf's architecture is quite distinctive and may be seen throughout Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

A new academic building, currently known as the Swenson Center for Academic Excellence, is also in the approval phase within the Thousand Oaks city government. This new facility will be built where the current tennis courts are located on the South side of campus, after they are transitioned to the North Campus athletic area.

The 50th Anniversary Year

The upcoming 2009-2010 academic year at CLU represents the school's 50th anniversary as an established university. Multiple new facilities are currently under construction, slated for completion in the Fall of 2009 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary. These include a new building for the KCLU radio station, a new Facilities Building and Yard, and Early Childhood Center. These three new facilities will be located on the rapidly expanding North Campus. Trinity Hall, a new 220-bed residence hall, will be located on the West side of campus near all the other upperclassmen residence halls, and take the title of the largest residence hall on campus away from the 180-bed Grace Hall, built in 2005.

Campus Layout

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 side facilities include: Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center, Samuelson Aquatic Center, practice field, Ullman Baseball Stadium, Hutton Softball Field, and a soon-to-be-completed community pool for the city of Thousand Oaks.

The East side is the primary location for freshmen residence halls and some administrative offices. Some East side facilities include: Mt. Clef Residence Hall (freshmen only), Thompson Residence Hall (freshmen only), Pederson Residence Hall (freshmen only), University Dining Commons, Alumni Hall, the Centrum Cafe, and the Pederson Administrative Building.

The South side, also known as the Academic Quarter, is the primary location for the academic buildings on campus. Some South side facilities include: Soiland Humanities Building, Ahmanson Science Center, Spies-Borneman Center for Education and Technology, Cafe A La Carte, Nygreen Hall, and Peters Hall (School of Business).

The West side is the primary location for upperclassmen housing, as well as the current Facilities Building and Yard before it is moved to the North side. Some West side facilities include: Grace Hall Apartments (juniors and seniors only), Mogen Hall Apartments (with the Mogen Market dining facility), Old West Complex (Afton, Janss, Rasmussen, and Conejo Residence Halls), New West Complex (North, South, West and Potenberg Residence Halls), Trinity Hall (2009 completion).


California Lutheran University claims to be a progressive liberal arts institution which encourages diverse programs of study, well-rounded student learning outcomes, and a commitment to learning about social, economic, and political justice. CLU boasts 36 academic majors and 31 minors, and students are allowed to double-major if they have the time. Students may earn a Bachelor's of Arts degree or a Bachelor's of Science degree, depending on their field of study. [48902]

College of Arts and Sciences

A vast majority of the school's academic departments reside in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), which has its home bases in the Soiland Humanities Building, the Ahmanson Science Center, and has other departments spread throughout the campus in other buildings. Students can major in many popular subjects including all the core academic subjects, but CLU also includes some non-traditional majors such as: Bioengineering, Computer Information Systems, and Theology and Christian Leadership. Students also have the option of selecting an Interdisciplinary Studies major which allows them to explore many different academic fields while at the same time earning a degree with an emphasis. The College of Arts and Sciences is headed by the dean, Dr. Joan Griffin. [48903]

Graduate Programs in the CAS

For graduate students, the College of Arts and Sciences contains Master's degree programs in Psychology, Computer Science, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Public Policy. 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 Business

Containing all of CLU's business-related programs, the School of Business employs many distinguished professors who have earned respect in their chosen fields prior to becoming professors, so therefore students enrolled in this department of CLU will benefit from real-world experience. The School of Business is based out of Peters Hall in the Academic Quarter. Students enrolled in the School of Business can major in Business Administration, Economics, or Accounting. The School of Business is headed by its dean, Dr. Charles T. Maxey. [48904]

Graduate Programs in the School of Business

The School of Business at CLU offers a traditional Master's of Business Administration (MBA) degree, as well as an International Master's of Business Administration (IMBA) degree. Many graduate students come to CLU from foreign countries to attain an IMBA degree and to work in the United States.

School of Education

California Lutheran University's School of Education is a integrated scholarly community of educators, administrators, and like-minded learners who all desire to cultivate teachers for the betterment of all children's schooling, either at the elementary, secondary, or post-secondary levels. 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. Carol Bartell. [48905]

Graduate Programs in the School of Education

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's of Education (M.Ed) degree. In addition to the Teacher Preparation program, students can obtain a Master's of Science in Counseling and Guidance or Educational Psychology, and a Master's of Arts in a wide variety of education-related administrative career fields, including Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, or School Site Leadership.

New to the California Lutheran University accredited curriculum is its first-ever doctoral program, introduced in 2006. Graduate students can 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, and graduates of the program usually go on to obtain careers in higher education or public school district leadership.

Residence Life

California Lutheran University maintains a policy of guaranteeing on-campus housing for all four years if students elect to do so. For incoming residential freshmen, they are required to live in one of three residence halls located in the Eastern part of campus: Mt. Clef Hall, Pederson Hall, and Thompson Hall. [48906]

Upperclassmen Housing

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 "upperclassmen side" of campus, which is the West end 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, and Grace Hall. Another residence hall, currently dubbed Trinity Hall, is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2009. Traditionally, New West attracts much of the sophomore housing, 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 and Grace.

Special Housing Options and Graduate Housing

Kramer Court is a special housing option for married undergraduate students. They are on the East side of campus and come 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 usually juniors and seniors occupy them. Recently, the third floor of Grace Hall has been converted to graduate student housing.

Student body

Cal Lutheran has been striving to increase the diversity of their relatively homogeneous student body consisting of approximately 3,298 students. CLU maintains close ties with several foreign organizations, and hosts exchange students from a variety of nations. A large portion of students come from out-of-state as well, including Arizona, Colorado, Washington, Hawaii, and Minnesota.[48907]

ASCLU-G Student Government

The student government of California Lutheran University is, as of the 2009-2010 academic year, divided into three branches, all which possess 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. On Programs Board, there are also two Marketers. 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. This year's Executive Cabinet is ASCLU President Reshai Tate '10, Senate Director Beth Peters Berry '10, Programs Board Director Ryan Strand '12, Executive Recorder Natasha Spiroff '10, and ASCLU Controller Chelsea Williams '10. Meetings are held Monday nights, and the entire student body is welcome to attend. Elections are held in Spring (for all positions for the next academic year), and in Fall (to elect the four freshmen positions and any unfilled spots from Spring). [48908]


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.

Programs Board

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 principle 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 is different; in the past, some Club Lu events have included rollerskating, on-campus dances, iceskating, 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.


California Lutheran University offers many scholarships, grants, and loans to students which makes CLU affordable to students of all financial backgrounds.

Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture

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. Established in 1984, the foundation has supported hospitals, schools, and homes for the elderly and mentally challenged.

Maria Lee was a member of the California Lutheran University Board of Regents, and is a prominent artist combining traditional Chinese techniques with certain qualities of Western art to produce large canvases of great expression and freedom. Katie Yang is a celebrated diva of Cantonese opera, and also a painter who uses quotations from famous Cantonese opera as subjects for her work. She is well-known for her rendition of peonies.

Recognizing her contributions to international business and philanthropic work, Maria Lee received a Doctor of Law degree from California Lutheran University, and Katie Yang, for her work as a businesswoman, artist, actress, and eminent performances in Chinese opera as well as film, received a Doctor in Humane Letters from the university.

The Kwan Fong Gallery inaugurated its role in providing a venue for art in the Conejo Valley by an exhibit of the paintings of the sisters, as well as resplendent costumes worn by Ms. Yang on stage.

Since its establishment the gallery has become an important center for art in Ventura Countymarker, exhibiting works by Cyn McCurry, Gary Palmer, Christophe Cassidy, Morgan Alexander, Christopher Marshall and many others. Recently the gallery has seen residencies by artists become part of its programming, the first in 2007 by Dallas / Fort Worth based figurative painter Cyn McCurry.

Student Research and Publications

CLU is a research-intensive campus that strongly encourages all students to present and possibly publish their original undergraduate research. Multiple opportunities exist throughout the year for students to align with their professors in their chosen field of study to get research published in notable ways. Because of the wide variety of publication options, CLU students who participate in original undergraduate research are highly encouraged to attend graduate school in their chosen field.

Athletic programs

CLU is a member of the NCAA at the Division III level, playing as part of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The following sports are offered for intercollegiate play on campus:

In all, there are ten men's sports and nine women's sports.


KCLU Radio, an award winning National Public Radio station located on California Lutheran University's campus. The station services Ventura County, Californiamarker at a radio frequency of 88.3 MHz and Santa Barbara, Californiamarker at a frequency of 102.3 MHz.

Notable alumni

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