|Motto||Lux et Veritas, Light and Truth|
|Type||Private liberal arts college|
|Affiliation||formerly Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, currently for-profit|
|Location||Forest City, Iowa, U.S.|
|Campus||Rural, 50 acres|
|Colors||Purple and Gold
|National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics – North Star Athletic Association|
Waldorf University is a private, coeducational liberal arts college located in Forest City, Iowa, United States, approximately 120 miles south of Minneapolis, Minnesota and 123 miles north of Des Moines, Iowa. Waldorf offers both campus and online degree programs. Waldorf University is a school with a strong Christian base and welcomes students of all faiths and denominations.
Waldorf University, founded in 1903 as Waldorf College, was a result of "The Great Hotel War of Forest City". This expression refers to a competitive battle between the only two upper class hotels of Forest City that were built at the same time. The end result was the Waldorf Hotel being left vacant after only four months of operation. The vacant Waldorf Hotel provided an opportunity for Rev. C. S. Salveson to put together the necessary resources in order to create a Christian college. Waldorf started out as an academy and business college and not just a preparatory program primarily for future pastors. From its earliest days, Waldorf viewed education sponsored by the church as being essential for success in society. The Waldorf mission has always stressed service to others as the means to achieve fulfilling lives. Since 1920, Waldorf's curriculum has gradually evolved to fully reflect a liberal arts emphasis. Today, almost all the students who enroll have the intent of ultimately earning a bachelor's degree. In the spring of 1994, Waldorf (College) was accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
On February 10, 2016 president Bob Alsop and other members of the Waldorf president’s council announced groundbreaking news for the future of the institution. "Today is an exciting and important milestone for everybody linked to Waldorf," Alsop said. “We are honoring our school’s rich history with a new position for which everyone associated with Waldorf can be proud. With the success of our graduate program and the diversity of academic offerings, we felt the title university best represents who we are and who we strive to be.”
As of March 17, 2016, Waldorf College became Waldorf University.
Waldorf University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the North Central Association. HLC is the regional accrediting agency for colleges and universities located in nineteen Midwestern and South-Central states, including Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming. In addition, Waldorf holds membership in the following associations: Council of Independent Colleges & Council of Higher Education Accreditation.
The Higher Learning Commission is one of six accrediting agencies in the United States that provide institutional accreditation on a regional basis, evaluating an entire institution and accrediting it as a whole. Other agencies provide accreditation for specific programs. Accreditation is voluntary. The Commission accredits approximately 1100 institutions of higher education in a 19-state region, and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
Waldorf University was featured in "Best College Reviews" as the Editors Choice of the Top 25 Best Online Colleges for 2015-2016. According to Best College Values, Waldorf University was ranked at number 15 in The 25 Most Affordable Online Colleges. In a 2015 report by Best Value Schools, Waldorf University ranked in the "50 Best Value Colleges for a Criminal Justice degree. The online B.S. program is #11 on the list in terms of affordability. Waldorf is on GetEducated.com’s list of Best Online Bachelors Criminal Justice. A study conducted by TheBestSchools.org selected Waldorf University as The 20 Best Online Bachelor's Programs in Psychology. The schools were chosen based on academics, student satisfaction, and opportunities for professional experience or specialized study at the undergraduate level. In 2015, BestValueSchools.com ranked Waldorf University #11 in their Top 14 Cheap Online International Business Degree (Bachelors). Its psychology program was also recognized by bestpsychologydegrees.com as #7 in the Top 10 Best Online Bachelors in Psychology Degree Programs for 2016. Fire Science Online ranked Waldorf University in their Top 20 schools for online fire science degrees.
According to a 2016 U.S. News & World Report, Waldorf University had an admissions acceptance rate of 50.7%. Peterson's - The Real Guide to Colleges and Universities ranked Waldorf College admission as being moderately difficult.
The Biology Department became a baccalaureate program in 2005 and grants B.A. or B.S. degrees, with tracks in conservation biology, cell and molecular biology and anatomy/physiology. The department equips four laboratories to provide student learning experiences in molecular studies, organismal biology, and ecology. In addition to maintaining high teaching standards, Waldorf faculty build and support federally funded research programs that allow students to participate in research at the undergraduate level, addressing questions in developmental and cancer biology, microbiology, field ecology, and physiological and ecological modeling. The department also features a GeoWall which creates a 3-D environment where students can examine landscapes and intricate structures like a cell, a section of DNA or an internal body organ.
The college is also known for the strength of its communications program which features intensive training in television, radio, public relations, web design and newspaper journalism. Its student-managed broadcast facilities (WAL-TV and 91.9 KZOW) were among the first in the nation built to operate with only digital media. Its multimedia facility was recently renovated to ensure it is fully compatible with high definition standards.
Waldorf University established a new human performance lab for its Wellness Department which features exercise technologies currently being used by NASA and the U.S. Olympic Training Center. The lab, also known as an exercise physiology lab, features a hydrostatic weighing system for the measurement of body density, a metabolic measurement system, and a Trackmaster treadmill that is programmable from the metabolic computer.
The university has one of the few undergraduate programs in the country to specialize in Shakespeare studies. The minor in Shakespeare allows students who complete a satisfactory course of study at Waldorf to continue into graduate work. They are able to complete this study at the Mary Baldwin College and American Shakespeare Center. (Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance program). The Theatre Arts Department offers four annual productions, including a Shakespeare play and a musical coordinated with the Department of Music. Waldorf University also offers a major in creative writing and boasts an excellent history program and a dynamic education program. Education majors are required to engage in practical experiences in area schools during each semester they are enrolled.
The Waldorf Choir is recognized as one of the oldest a cappella choirs in the midwestern United States. It tours annually (domestically or internationally) as does the Waldorf Wind Symphony.
Alpha Chi Honor Society
Waldorf University is home to Iowa Iota, Chapter 364 of Region IV of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society. Alpha Chi is a national college honor society that admits students from all academic disciplines. Membership is open to college juniors, seniors and graduate students who are in the top 10% of their class. Invitations to join the organization are issued directly to eligible students by faculty sponsors of active Alpha Chi organizations. The society inducts about 12,000 new members each year through its 300 chapters which are located in almost every state. Some notable members of Alpha Chi include: Jesse Lenz, Gina Trapani, Clayton Anderson, Dan Rather, Reuben Ironhorse Kent, Dr. Mary W. Gray, Carl E. Stewart, Susan Kyle, Dr. Swaid N. Swaid, and Greg Bibb.
Waldorf University teams are known as the Warriors. The college is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), competing in the North Star Athletic Association. The Warriors formerly competed in the Midwest Collegiate Conference and Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference. The men's sports include baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, football, golf, ice hockey, soccer and wrestling. The women's sports include basketball, bowling, cheerleading, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, volleyball and wrestling.
The Waldorf University Cheerleaders are a competitive squad recognized for all-female stunting routines. The university expanded athletics in 2010 by adding men's ice hockey and women's wrestling. The ice hockey began play during the 2011-12 academic year and plays an independent schedule of club programs, as the NAIA does not currently sponsor a championship for ice hockey. The program is coached by Brett Shelanski, former head coach at Minnesota Flying Aces junior A team. The college launched Iowa's first collegiate women's wrestling program in 2010.
- Brad Anderson, CEO of Best Buy, who received his A.A. from Waldorf College in 1969
- Greg Davids, Republican member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
- Karl Dehesa, Professional basketball player in the Philippine Basketball Association
- Lazaro Nyalandu, Tanzanian Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism
- Bob Backlund, a former professional wrestler and twice a wrestling All-American
- Josh Neer, wrestler; current mixed martial artist, formerly for the Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Henry Waechter, former American football defensive lineman in the National Football League for the Chicago Bears, Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts, and Washington Redskins.
- Rebecca Fjelland Davis, American Novelist and College Instructor
- Jeff Martin, Midwest Correspondent for USA Today
- Ian Beckles, American Football Player in the National Football League
Waldorf has been the recipient of many large donations from the John K. Hanson family, founders of recreation vehicle-maker Winnebago Industries, also located in Forest City. Brad Anderson, CEO of Best Buy, gave the college $5.5 million, its largest one-time financial gift.
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