Grand View University

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Coordinates: 41°37′14″N 93°36′15″W / 41.620546°N 93.604279°W / 41.620546; -93.604279

Grand View University
Grand View University.png
TypePrivate university
Endowment$19.7 million[1]
PresidentKent Henning
ProvostCarl Moses
Academic staff
1200 Grandview Ave.
, , ,
ColorsRed and White          
AffiliationsEvangelical Lutheran Church in America
MascotViktor the Viking
The Humphrey Center is the oldest building at Grand View and houses the university's administration.

Grand View University is a private liberal arts college in Des Moines, Iowa. Founded in 1896 and affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the university enrolls 2,000 students in forty undergraduate majors and four graduate programs.


Grand View College and Seminary was started in 1896 by members of the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 1912, Grand View opened a high school academy department; instruction at the junior college level began in 1924 and was accredited by the Iowa State Department of Public Instruction in 1938 following the dissolution of the academy. After receiving accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in 1959, the theological seminary was relocated to Maywood, Illinois, in 1960.

In 1975, nursing programs were added for the first time along with baccalaureate programs. The college, then known as Grand View Junior College, became known as Grand View College. In 2008, after adding graduate programs, the college renamed itself Grand View University.


Grand View offers 25 varsity sports for men and women; its teams are known as the Vikings. The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and competes in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, track & field, volleyball and wrestling; and women's sports include basketball, bowling, competitive dance, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball. Grand View also offers two additional co-ed sports: cheerleading and shooting sports.

The Vikings have won seven consecutive NAIA national championships in wrestling from 2012 to 2018.

In 2013, the Vikings won the NAIA national championship in football.

Campus traditions[edit]

"Bud the Bird"[edit]

Bud Jr. is unveiled by staff at the dedication ceremony of Bud's Place on October 1, 2005.

Since the 1930s Grand View students have participated in a campus tradition using "Bud the Bird," a large eagle statue, as the object of desire in the school's own version of "capture the flag."

A large, iron bird statue that stood at the entrance of a local White Eagle gas station was stolen by students, early in the college's history. "Bud the Bird," as the students affectionately called him, was passed from group to group on campus and with each new group, a new finding a new hiding place was to keep the statue. Verbal rules stated that the group in possession of Bud had to bring him to campus events, making it possible for him to be stolen again.

Over time, Bud has been replaced by clones. The first Bud was a casualty of the World War II effort when college president Alfred C. Nielsen donated the bird to the war effort for scrap metal in the early 1940s. The first Bud was replaced by Bud Jr., a 33-inch 200-pound replica. Sometime in the late 1940s, Bud Jr. was buried on the west end of campus, not to be unearthed again until over 50 years later in 1994 when maintenance crews were digging for fiber optic cables.

While Bud Jr. was hidden, students created new Buds in the 1950s and 1960s. In this time period, as many as ten replicas are believed to have been made. These replicas were made out of wood, metal, or glass, but all of the replicas carried on the trait of being large and heavy. In the 1950s, it also became a tradition to give Bud a funeral ceremony, including a casket and pallbearers. The students would carry the "deceased" to Birdland Marina, a small, city-owned marina located near campus that dumps into the Des Moines River. Students would pretend to throw the casket over a bridge and into the water below.

The competition over Bud became so intense in the 1960s, a brawl broke out between nursing students, on-campus residents, and commuter students.

Over the course of the 1970s and 1980s Bud the Bird's legacy was nearly forgotten. Bud's popularity returned with the discovery of the buried Bud Jr. in 1994 and the addition of the "Bud's Place" recreation room in the basement of the Nielsen dormitory. "Bud's Place" houses a permanent display of Bud's history.

Interesting places Bud has been hidden:

  • Former president Alfred Nielsen’s closet
  • Underneath coal in the basement of Old Main (now Humphrey Center)
  • Above a basketball hoop in the old gymnasium
  • On stage for a theater production
  • In a water drainage sewer
  • In the trunk of a professor’s car (Dr. Paul Brooke's car)

"The Rock"[edit]

“The Rock,” located in front of the Humphrey Center is one of the most prominent traditions of Grand View. When re-sodding the lawn of what was then Old Main (now Humphrey Center), students in the 1900s placed the rock on the lawn directly in front of Old Main's entrance. The only significant change made to the landmark was in 1915 when it was moved to make room for a new sidewalk to the entrance.

Students traditionally paint the rock in the darkness of the night whenever students feel the urge to express themselves. "In times of celebration, sorrow, or protest, The Rock is deemed a medium of the students," the Grand View student handbook states.

The rock is sometimes used to announce campus events, and on at least one occasion, has been used to propose marriage.


Residence halls[edit]

  • Hull Apartments - Houses 109 junior and senior students in four, five or six-person apartments. Students have the privacy of their own space but share a common living area which includes a kitchen and two bathrooms. Students can choose to cook in the apartment or take advantage of the nearby cafeteria.
  • Hull Suites - The newest and part of the largest residential facility on campus. Sophomore students live in suites which are fully furnished and contain two bedrooms as well as a living area and a bathroom. The building has an elevator and is connected to the Hull Apartments. Study rooms are available on the second and third floor with a main community lounge on the first floor.
  • Knudsen Hall - Houses up to 136 freshman residents. It was renovated in 2004 and boasts new modular furniture that can be arranged in 25 configurations. It is connected to the Johnson Wellness Center, giving students convenient access to athletic facilities.
  • Nielsen Hall - Nielsen is named after former college president Ernest Nielsen and his wife, Frances. Houses up to 118 freshman residents. Bud’s Place is a great hang out for playing ping pong, pool or shuffleboard, watching TV and movies, relaxing, or studying. Modular furniture can be arranged into 25 configurations.
  • Langrock Suites - The Langrock Suites houses 180 sophomore and freshmen students. Each suite has two bedrooms, equipped to house fourstudents (configurations vary), as well as a living area and bathroom. All residents have access to a second floor laundry room. The suites do not have kitchens, so students living there will have an on-campus meal plan. The building is named after former Grand View President Karl Langrock, who served from 1972 to 1988 and made the decision to turn Grand View into a four-year college. Langrock died in 2009 at the age of 82.[2]
  • L Apartments - L Apartments, a 232-bed complex, is designed for independent living by upperclass students. Each fully furnished unit is either a two- or four-person apartment. The shared bathroom is designed for private multi-person use. Laundry facilities are located in the lower level and a step-out patio overlooks the greenspace on campus. The "L" Apartments are 95,000 square feet. It has a total of four floors with an elevator, laundry mat, common areas on each floor, and vending machines and coin machines. Each common area also contains a television. Full-sized beds, island kitchen areas, and community rooms on each floor are what make the L Apartments the most popular housing option on campus!

All rooms have high-speed Internet access and cable TV; all buildings have electronic security systems.

Academic buildings[edit]

  • Cowles Center - Located at 1330 Morton Avenue, Cowles houses classrooms, faculty offices, photography studio, band and choir rooms and individual piano, voice, mixed-use and practice studios.
  • Elings Science Hall - Located at the corner of East Ninth Street and Grandview Avenue, Elings Hall is a two-story classroom building containing general purpose classrooms, science laboratories, faculty offices, a greenhouse, and two of the three large lecture halls on campus. One part of the building was completed in 1957 and an addition was connected to the first wing in 1968. A renovation of the 1968 wing was made possible in 2005 from a donation from alumnus Virgil Elings.
Old Main (now the Humphrey Center) circa 1900.
  • Humphrey Center - Formerly Old Main, the Humphrey Center is the oldest building on campus, built in 1896. The offices of Admissions, Business, Financial Aid, Registrar, President, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Finance and Administration, and Vice President for Advancement are all located here. Humphrey is on the National Register of Historic Places, and was built in three different phases (1895, 1898, 1904). The facility underwent a complete renovation in 1998 and was named in recognition of alumnus Alice (Olson) Humphrey. The college's maintenance division is based out of a garage directly north of the building.
  • Charles S. Johnson Wellness Center - Located at 1500 Morton Avenue, the 92,000-square-foot facility houses the nursing and kinesiology departments, recreational and athletic facilities, a community clinic, classrooms and faculty offices. The field house contains weight lifting equipment, a 1/10 mile track, and a double basketball court. Sisam Arena was renovated in 2002, while the wellness center was being constructed, and put in new bleachers, backboards, wall padding and a small media platform. The lobby of the arena showcases trophy cases featuring the Grand View Athletic Hall of Fame. Sisam Arena was named after David Sisam, longtime coach and athletic director. In 2008, a new two-level addition was added on the southeast corner bringing a new weight room, wrestling room and athletics staff offices.
  • Krumm Business Center - Located at 1330 Morton Avenue, and named after college benefactor and former Maytag CEO Daniel J. Krumm, this academic building houses general-purpose classrooms, a large lecture hall, computer lab, and faculty/staff offices. The university's information technology department is based out of the Krumm Center.
  • Library - Located at the corner of Morton Avenue and East 14th Street (U.S. Route 69), the two-story library was completed in 1968 with an addition added in 1992. The first floor contains a teaching classroom/computer lab, the reference collection, current periodicals and journals, the children’s and young adult collection, private study rooms, study tables, DVD and video viewing rooms, the information desk, and the bank of research computers. The Library’s collection of books and journals as well as study tables are located on the second floor, along with the Danish Immigrant Archives. The library is also home to Einstein Bros Bagels, offering a sophisticated blend of freshly baked bagels and sandwiches, hearty soups, specialty salads and gourmet coffee.
  • Rasmussen Center for Community Advancement Professions - located at 2800 East 14th Street U.S. Route 69), north of the library., the Rasmussen Center opened in fall 2008 and houses the departments of art, education, history, criminal justice, political studies, psychology and sociology, as well as general-purpose classrooms, art studios, computer labs, the ALT Center, faculty offices, and various student amenities. The building is named after Jim and Sandra Rasmussen, long-time supporters of Grand View who contributed $3 million to the building campaign.
  • Student Center - Located at 2811 East 14th Street (U.S. Route 69), the Student Center was renovated and expanded in 2015 to accommodate the communication and theater departments, student dining, academic and career success centers, the bookstore, the Viking Theatre, student services and recreation, plus the Robert Speed Lyceum, a large multipurpose performance area.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2015. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2014 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2014 to FY 2015" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers. January 26, 2016. p. 20. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  2. ^ "Former president passes away, new suites named in his honor". The Grand Views. 2010-09-10. Archived from the original (English) on 2011-07-17. Retrieved 2010-09-15.

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