|Undergraduate Catalog 2004-2006|
History | Academic Structure | Mission
Aurora University is a private, independent, comprehensive institution with an enrollment of over 4,000 students. Over 500 students reside on campus, 1,000 are undergraduate commuters, 1,000 are graduate students, and over 1,600 students attend at off-campus sites. The majority of AU students come from the upper-Midwest region, but 20 states and over a dozen foreign countries are represented as well. Besides the main campus in Aurora, classes are offered at our campus in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and at our downtown Chicago site.
Aurora University had its beginning as Mendota Seminary, founded in Mendota, Illinois, in 1893 as an institution to train ministers and lay workers in the Advent Christian Church. Almost immediately, however, the name was changed to Mendota College and the school took on the much broader mission of providing a full collegiate curriculum with a liberal arts base.
By 1911, the college had outgrown its facilities and sought a new location closer to Chicago. Citizens of Aurora donated land on what was then the rural edge of the city, and Charles Eckhart, founder of the Auburn Motorcar Company, provided a donation that covered the cost of erecting the first three buildings of what would now be known as Aurora College - Eckhart, Wilkinson, and Davis Halls. Classes in Aurora commenced in the spring of 1912.
Aurora College grew substantially over the years and took on many new challenges. In 1938, it was one of the first small colleges to achieve regional accreditation. In 1947, the College's evening program was instituted - one of the nation's first adult education programs at a liberal arts college. In 1971, Aurora College became legally independent of the Advent Christian Church.
In January of 1985 Aurora College was reorganized into Aurora University, reflecting both the increased size of the institution and the needs of its many new programs. In the fall of 1992, Aurora University entered into an affiliation agreement with George Williams College. Under the agreement, the George Williams College of Aurora University was created to be the home of the School of Social Work, Recreation Administration, Physical Education, and Teacher Education programs. Through its merger with George Williams College, the university operates the 241-acre Lake Geneva Campus located in Williams Bay, Wisconsin.
The University is currently composed of three colleges:
Aurora University - an inclusive community dedicated to the transformative power of learning.
Statement of Core Values
Aurora University draws upon the rich legacies of Aurora College and George Williams College to welcome learners to our campuses in Illinois and Wisconsin. Here all become members of an inclusive educational community dedicated to the development of mind, body and spirit. Today, as in the past, we prize the twin virtues of character and scholarship and affirm our commitment to the values of integrity, citizenship, continuous learning and excellence.
We will adhere to the highest standards of integrity in every aspect of institutional practice and operation. Through this proven dedication to honesty, fairness, and ethical conduct, we will lead by example and inspire our students to do the same.
We will exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in an educational community, founded upon the principles of mutual respect and open discourse. We will live within our means and manage our resources wisely, while creating an environment that fosters teamwork and promotes service to others.
We will work and live as an organization dedicated to continuous learning. We recognize that the university exists in a rapidly changing world and know that we will succeed in helping students achieve their full potential only if we realize our own.
We will pursue excellence by embracing quality as a way of community life. Accordingly, we will set high expectations for ourselves, our students and our university and will work together to attain them.
The university's core values endure, even as our mission evolves and our vision for the future emerges. As members of the Aurora University community, we enter into a voluntary compact with one another to live and work in ways consistent with these ideals.
Aurora University will be known and experienced as an exemplary institution of higher learning. We will draw upon the values of integrity, citizenship, continuous learning and excellence to provide our students with life-changing educational experiences. As an inclusive and vibrant community, inspired by the traditions of the past, we will create a promising future for our university and our students.
Toward fulfillment of this vision, we will engage gifted faculty, staff and trustees in the work of the university and will recruit and graduate talented and dedicated students. Together, we will strengthen our educational programs and will improve the learning, living and working environments on our campuses. We will serve the needs of our students through strategic partnerships and will enhance the well being of the communities around us. We will manage our resources effectively and will deepen the financial foundation upon which our aspirations rest.
Through these initiatives, we will invest in our university and will endow a new generation of Aurora University graduates with the knowledge, skills, and values to transform themselves and their world.
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