Our history

On September 30, 1962, Lutherans from across Michigan gathered on the grounds of the former Earhart estate in Ann Arbor to install the cornerstone of a building that would soon become the centerpiece of a new college. The motto inscribed on the cornerstone, “That in All Things Christ Might Have Preeminence,” set the tone and function for the Chapel of the Holy Trinity and the surrounding buildings that would embody the college. Soon after the dedication, construction began and the college opened the following fall with 236 students and 24 instructors.

The institution was originally established as Concordia Lutheran Junior College, but underwent multiple name changes over time. The institution changed its name to Concordia College when it began offering four-year degree programs in 1976, and ultimately became Concordia University Ann Arbor in 2001.

In July 2013, a strategic partnership between CUAA and Concordia University Wisconsin became official. Within the first years after the merger, the campus underwent major renovations and enhancements, including to residence halls, the student union, athletic fields, and the dining hall.

In 2015, the university purchased a former law school building located just over two miles north of the main campus. The “North Building” now houses the campus’ School of Nursing, the first fully accredited academic school opened by Concordia since its merge with CUW.

Coupled with expanding academic programs and athletic offerings, enrollment reached an all-time high at Concordia University Ann Arbor during the 2017-18 academic year with a total of 1,081 students. Since 2013, CUAA’s enrollment has grown more than 60 percent, and in 2017 it earned a spot among the fastest-growing private universities in the Midwest.