Fulfilling Our Promise

California Lutheran University’s 50th anniversary gives us the perfect opportunity to acknowledge the accomplishments of the past and envision our future with new energy and enthusiasm. It is also the perfect occasion to share the many stories of why CLU is indeed a special place.

For the next 18 months, we will be commemorating the early years of Cal Lutheran and our progress during the last half century. There will be special Homecoming and Founders Day celebrations, including a birthday dinner, next month, followed by a number of activities for students, alumni, staff, friends and neighbors. We will partner with several organizations to plan 50 service opportunities that will benefit our region and allow us to share the many stories of CLU. The publication of College of Our Dreams, written by Professor Emeritus Fred Tonsing, will provide a pictorial and narrative history with a clear connection to the people who have made CLU what it is today.

Although we are observing our 50th year, the commitment to establish a Lutheran college in California took root much earlier. Nearly 100 years ago, Lutheran church leaders dreamed of such an institution. As they began in earnest to make it happen, one dedicated group after another overcame obstacles and triumphed in fulfilling their promise for a Lutheran college in the Golden State.

From the start, it was the actions of two men – Orville Dahl, the first president, and Richard Pederson, donor of the land – who opened the door to the land of promise. They were joined, and then followed, by generations of donors, alumni, congregations, students, faculty and staff who have helped Cal Lutheran become the academic institution it is today. They have all left an indelible mark on CLU – creating a place where faith and reason are embraced.

Though it is younger than many colleges, the University stands shoulder to shoulder with established schools across the country as we provide quality educational programs, close interaction with professors who are passionate about teaching, and a myriad of services to our greater communities.

This issue of CLU Magazine pays homage to our past 50 years with articles and a commemorative timeline that underscore our progress. The magazine will continue to print historical vignettes and alumni memories throughout 2010.

I invite you to visit the special 50th anniversary website at www.callutheran.edu/50 for an array of features as well as events. Please join us in the coming months for these celebrations.

If you are receiving CLU Magazine, you are part of our history in some way and we are most grateful. Because of you, we will continue to fulfill our promise in the years to come.

Chris Kimball