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Pacific Lutheran University
Seal of Pacific Lutheran University
Motto Educating for Lives of Thoughtful Inquiry, Service, Leadership, and Care
Established 1890
Type Private Coeducational
Religious affiliation Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Endowment $61.8 million[1]
President Loren J. Anderson
Provost Patricia O'Connell Killen
Faculty 250
Students 3340
Location Parkland, Washington,  United States
47°08′41″N 122°26′34″W / 47.144854°N 122.442809°W / 47.144854; -122.442809Coordinates: 47°08′41″N 122°26′34″W / 47.144854°N 122.442809°W / 47.144854; -122.442809
Campus Suburban
146 Acres (590,841 m²)
Former names Columbia College
Spokane College
Pacific Lutheran College
Sports 20 Varsity teams
Colors Black & Gold         
Nickname Lutes
Mascot Lute
Website PLU Website

Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) is located in Parkland, a suburb of Tacoma, Washington. In September 2009, PLU had a student population of 3,582 and approximately 280 full-time faculty.[2] It currently consists of the College of Arts and Sciences (consisting of the Division of Humanities, the Division of Natural Sciences, and the Division of Social Sciences), the School of Arts and Communication, the School of Business, the School of Education and Movement Studies, and the School of Nursing.



Founded in 1890 by Scandinavian, mostly Norwegian, immigrants to further Lutheran higher education in the Pacific Northwest, PLU is an institution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The school merged with Everett's Columbia College in 1920, became a two-year school, and resumed operations as Pacific Lutheran College. Spokane College merged with Pacific Lutheran College nine years later. PLC resumed awarding four-year degrees in 1939. Pacific Lutheran gained university status in 1960. PLU retains strong ties with its Scandinavian heritage, having been visited multiple times by Norwegian and Swedish monarchs and the Norwegian Parliament, Stortinget[citation needed].


The university music department includes touring ensembles, such as Choir of the West. PLU has a reputation for diverse academic offerings including Schools of Business, Education and Nursing, as well as well-respected programs in Pre-Medicine and Pre-Law preparation. Many students are involved in the arts, including music, theatre, and dance. PLU's student media and organizations have won many awards and the forensics team is nationally ranked. Prominently highlighted in all academic programs is the opportunity for international education. International education is built into the curriculum. [3] PLU became the first American university to have students studying abroad on all seven continents at the same time [4]



PLU offers the following degrees:

  • Bachelor's: Bachelor of Arts; Bachelor of Science; Bachelor of Arts in Education; Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education; Bachelor of Arts in Recreation; Bachelor of Business Administration; Bachelor of Fine Arts; Bachelor of Arts in Communication; Bachelor of Music; Bachelor of Music Education; Bachelor of Musical Arts; Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Bachelor of Science in Physical Education.[citation needed]
  • Master's: Master of Arts in Education; Master of Arts in Education with Initial Certification; Master of Arts in Social Sciences, Marriage and Family Therapy; Master of Business Administration; Master of Science in Nursing; Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.[5]

Athletic Programs

PLU is a member of NCAA Division III, as well as the Northwest Conference. PLU has a rich tradition of athletic success: in the Northwest Conference, no other school has won the All-Sports Trophy as many times as PLU has. [6]

University Rowing Blade Design

Varsity Sports

  • Baseball
  • Basketball (Men's and Women's)
  • Cross Country (Men's and Women's)
  • Football- most well-known for coach Frosty Westering, head coach from 1973-2003.
  • Golf (Men's and Women's)
  • Rowing (Men's and Women's)
  • Soccer (Men's and Women's)
  • Softball
  • Swimming (Men's and Women's)
  • Tennis (Men's and Women's)
  • Track and Field (Men's and Women's)
  • Volleyball

Club Sports

  • Lacrosse
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Skiing


The campus of PLU is unofficially divided into two sections, Upper Campus and Lower Campus, with Hinderlie Hill dividing them. Upper Campus is home to:

  • Harstad Hall, or "Old Main", the oldest building on campus, once housed the whole university but is now used primarily as a residence hall. It is an all-female hall, the only single sex hall on campus.
  • Phillip Hauge Administration Building
  • University Center, which has recently been renovated. This houses the all-campus cafeteria, called the University Commons, and the Old Main Market. In addition it houses the offices of Campus Ministry, Student Involvement and Leadership (SIL), Residential Life, the Diversity Center, the Scandinavian Center, Student Media (KCNS, the Mast Newspaper etc.), Resident Hall Association, the Associated Students of PLU (the student government), Dining Services, Conferences and Events and the Chris Knutzen Lecture Hall.
  • Eastvold Chapel
  • Mortvedt Library
  • Xavier Hall, which houses the Philip Nordquist Lecture Hall
  • Ramstad Hall
  • Ingram Hall
  • Mary Baker Russell Music Center and Lagerquist Concert Hall, which houses the Gottfried and Mary Fuchs Organ
  • Stuen Hall
  • Ordal Hall
  • Kreidler Hall (Originally West Hall)
  • Hinderlie Hall (Originally South Hall for Women) became the men's hall on campus, officially Hinderlie, but widely nicknamed after a local beer, "Rainier" or "Rainier House" from the 1970s to the early '90s. "Rainier" housed primarily new students and members of the varsity football team in the 1980s. Hinderlie became co-ed in 1993.
  • Hong International Hall (Originally North Hall) has five language wings (Norwegian, Chinese, French, German, and Spanish) and the International Honors wing.
360° panorama of Pacific Lutheran University's campus as seen on a summer afternoon.

Lower Campus includes:

  • Rieke Science Center
  • Olson Auditorium
  • Memorial Gymnasium
  • Names Fitness Center
  • Columbia Center
  • Morken Center for Learning and Technology
  • Foss Hall
  • Pflueger Hall
  • Tingelstad Hall
  • South Hall
  • University Golf Course
  • Keck Observatory

Additional buildings off campus are also used for University purposes, including offices, the Wang Center for International Studies, East Campus, the Women's Center, the Faculty House and Trinity Lutheran Church.

The rose window, located in Eastvold Chapel, has been a symbol of PLU since its dedication in 1952. The stained-glass window is eight feet in diameter and contains many elements symbolic of Christian theology.

The rose window


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 26, 2010. 
  2. ^ Kari Plog, "PLU's Fall Enrollment Defeats Dismal Economy," The Mast (Parkland, WA), Sept. 25, 2009, p. 1; Undergraduate-Graduate Course Catalog, 2009-2010, pp. 234-45.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links


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