||This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2010)|
|Motto||Sapientes abscondunt scientiam|
|Motto in English||"Wise persons will carry away knowledge"|
|President||Rebecca L. Sherrick|
|Provost||Andrew P. Manion|
|Location||Aurora, IL, USA|
|Campus||268 acres (108.5 ha)|
|Athletics||19 NCAA Division III teams|
|Colors||royal blue and white|
Aurora College Complex (Eckhart, Davis & Wilkinson Halls)
|Location:||347 S. Gladstone Ave.
Aurora, Kane County, Illinois, United States
|Architectural style:||Tudor Revival|
|Added to NRHP:||February 16, 1984|
Aurora University is a private, not-for-profit, co-educational liberal arts college located in Aurora, Illinois, United States, 40 miles west of Chicago. Additional university locations include the George Williams College campus in Williams Bay, Wisconsin and the Woodstock Center in Woodstock, Illinois. Approximately 4,400 students enroll in bachelor, master's and doctoral degree programs at Aurora University. The institution describes itself as "an inclusive community dedicated to the transformative power of learning."
Aurora University offers 40 undergraduate majors, 41 minors, 17 master’s degrees, several graduate certificates in education, nursing and business, and doctoral degrees in education and social work. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accredits Aurora University at the bachelor, master's and doctoral levels.
The university is composed of four colleges:
- The College of Arts and Sciences includes the Division of Fine Arts, the Division of Humanities, the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
- The College of Education offers bachelor, master’s and doctoral degree programs in education. The college also includes the School of Health and Physical Education.
- The College of Professional Studies includes the Dunham School of Business, School of Nursing and School of Social Work.
- George Williams College of Aurora University offers 16 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, with most courses occurring on the George Williams College campus, in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. GWC also offers doctoral programs in education and social work.
The university states that its student-faculty ratio is 15:1, and that the average class size is 23 students.
Aurora University operates on a semester-based academic year. The school also offers an international- and service-focused “May Term” program at the conclusion of the spring semester, as well as summer courses.
Aurora University was originally founded as Mendota Seminary in Mendota, Illinois, in 1893. At that time, the school was focused on education and training rooted in the Advent Christian Church. Within a few years of its founding, the seminary changed its name to Mendota College, and broadened its programs into a traditional liberal arts curriculum.
In 1911, residents of the nearby town of Aurora raised funds to construct a new college, led by funding from businessman Charles Eckhart, who founded the predecessor company to the Auburn Automobile Company. Recognizing mutual benefits, administrators of Mendota College moved their operations to Aurora and the school became known as Aurora College.
In 1971, Aurora College separated from the Advent Christian Church, and in 1985, changed its name to Aurora University to better reflect the breadth of its academic programs.
The school grew further in 1992, when it entered into an affiliation agreement with nearby George Williams College (YMCA, and was named after Sir George Williams. As part of the merger, Aurora University took ownership of 133 acres of property and facilities on the shore of Geneva Lake in Wisconsin. The site, located 70 miles north of the university’s main campus, had previously been a retreat location for George Williams College and the YMCA. One of George Williams College's distinguished alumni, Arthur H Steinhaus, was recognized with a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1931.), which was followed by a full merger in 2000. George Williams College had been founded in 1884 to train young men for service in the
Aurora University added a third location in 2009 with the opening of the Woodstock Center, which offers part-time MBA and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs. The center is located in Woodstock, Illinois, approximately 50 miles north of the university’s main campus.
- J. Oscar Campbell - 1893
- A.W. Sibley - 1894
- C.V. Clum - 1895–1898
- M.L. Gordon - 1898–1901
- Nathan C. Twining - 1901–1906
- Bert J. Dean - 1906–1911
- Orrin Roe Jenks - 1911–1932
- Theodore Pierson Stephens - 1933–1962
- James E. Crimi - 1962–1973
- Lloyd M. Richardson - 1974–1978
- Allan Stone - 1978–1988
- Thomas Zarle - 1988–2000
- Rebecca L. Sherrick - 2000–present
Campus facilities 
The Aurora campus is based primarily around a traditional quadrangle and adjacent areas. In total, the campus is approximately 32 acres. All buildings constructed by the university have red tile roofs (with the exception of two, which continue the red theme on exterior wall panels), a stipulation of Charles Eckhart in his initial donation in the early days of Aurora College.
Alumni Hall: Includes the primary student dining hall, the University Banquet Hall, Thornton Gymnasium, athletic offices and a weight room. In 2010, construction began on a new wing for Alumni Hall, which opened in 2011 to house several academic programs and classrooms primarily for the nursing and social work programs.
Davis Hall and Memorial Hall: Originally built in 1912 to house male students, Davis Hall was renovated in 2004. Memorial Hall was built in 1955 as a women-only extension to Davis Hall, and was renovated in 2002. Both buildings are now co-educational residence halls.
Dunham Hall: Includes the university bookstore, Dunham School of Business, a student dining area and classrooms. Dunham Hall also is home to the Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures, which holds more than 8,000 Native American artifacts.
Eckhart Hall: Includes central administration functions, classroom space and Lowry Chapel. Along with Davis Hall and Wilkinson Hall, Eckhart was one of the three original buildings of Aurora College.
The Institute for Collaboration: Includes a partnership school with West Aurora School District 129, which provides classes for 200 local elementary students; the Caterpillar Center for Teaching and Learning; and classrooms. The Institute also houses the 500-seat Crimi Auditorium, which includes a new pipe organ that was dedicated in 2010.
Jenks Hall: Built in 1957, Jenks Hall is a residence hall primarily for upperclassmen, and also includes the university fitness center and wellness center.
Parolini Music Center: Named for alumni and supporters Roger and Marilyn Parolini, the facility includes a music ensemble room, art studio, two teaching studios and music practice rooms.
Phillips Library: Built in 1962, the library’s collection includes more than 99,000 books and 7,000 multimedia materials. The building includes a computer lab, the Center for Teaching & Learning and study rooms.
Stephens Hall: Houses the Aurora Foundation Center for Community Enrichment, Perry Theatre, the School of Nursing and the “Spartan Spot” student commons area.
Wackerlin Center for Faith and Action: Located in a restored modern home designed by the architecture firm Keck and Keck, the Wackerlin Center is home to the University Chaplain and the Department of Religion, and hosts public religious events and discussions.
Watkins Hall: The most recently built residence hall on the Aurora campus, Watkins Hall houses mostly freshmen.
Wilkinson Hall: One of the original residence halls on campus, Wilkinson Hall was built in 1912 and houses freshmen and upperclassmen.
Construction of a new residence hall between the Institute of Collaboration and Watkins Hall is underway. When completed in January 2012, the new hall will accommodate more than 100 students.
Student activities 
Dozens of officially recognized student groups exist at Aurora University. According to the school, they include:
Aurora University fields 19 NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletic teams. Approximately 40 percent of the student population participates in intercollegiate sports. All Spartan athletic teams compete in the Northern Athletics Conference, except for the men’s lacrosse team, which is part of the Midwest Lacrosse Conference. The primary athletics facilities are Thornton Gymnasium, located in Alumni Hall, and Vago Field, which serves as the football, soccer and lacrosse field. The Vago Field grandstand seats 600 people.
Aurora University athletic teams have captured 123 conference championships in school history. Since joining the NCAA in 1982, AU men’s and women’s teams have won 103 conference championships and appeared in 59 NCAA tournaments.
Men's Teams 
Cross Country 
Track and Field (Indoor and Outdoor) 
Women’s Teams 
Cross Country 
Track and Field (Indoor and Outdoor) 
- As of June 30, 2010. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2010 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2009 to FY 20010" (PDF). 2010 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 17, 2010.
- "About Us". "Aurora University Web Site". Aurora University. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- "Academics". Aurora University Web Site. Aurora University. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- "Directory of HLC Institutions". "The Higher Learning Commission Web Site". North Central Association of Schools and Colleges. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- "Academic Programs". "George Williams College of Aurora University Web Site". Aurora University. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- "Academics". "Aurora University Web Site". Aurora University. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- "Mission and History". "Aurora University Web Site". Aurora University. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- "About Us". "Aurora University Web Site". Aurora University. Retrieved September 9, 2011.
- "Residence Halls". "Aurora University Web Site". Aurora University. Retrieved September 9, 2011.
- "Residence Hall Construction". "Aurora University Web Site". Aurora University. Retrieved September 9, 2011.
- "A-Z List of Student Organizations". "Aurora University Web Site". Aurora University. Retrieved September 9, 2011.
- "Aurora University Athletics – Championship History". "Aurora University Athletics Web Site". Aurora University Athletics. Retrieved September 9, 2011.
- Official website
- Aurora University Online
- Official athletics website
- Aurora campus map
- George Williams College campus map