Concordia, River Forest, adds `Chicago` to name

While “Concordia University” will remain the legal name of Concordia University in River Forest, Ill., beginning Aug. 21 the university will be known publicly as “Concordia University Chicago.”

The new moniker was adopted by the university’s board of regents after a research phase involvCU-Chicago logoing more than 1,000 people was completed.  An independent firm — Opinions Unlimited Inc. — also conducted research among key groups for the university.

Other names under consideration were “Concordia University of Chicago” and “Concordia University Illinois.”

“After all the research and discussion, the leadership and regents concluded that there is a need for a more aggressive and visible university presence and name,” said Concordia President Dr. John F. Johnson.  “[The name] Concordia University Chicago best serves the newly adopted vision statement of Concordia, which strives to become the university of choice for those seeking a Christian institution in the Midwest.”

Because the university offers a large number of courses at off-campus locations, more than two-thirds of its current students do not attend classes at the school’s main campus in River Forest, a suburb of Chicago.  Moreover, the school’s research showed that including “River Forest” in its name “did not provide instant name recognition, a critical factor in today’s recruitment and marketing strategies,” according to Dr. Alan C. Klaas, the school’s senior vice president for university advancement.

The new name “provides instant name recognition and is more descriptive of the university’s operational sphere,” Klaas said.

The school also has adopted a new logo to complement its new identity.  The new logo features:

  • the cross of Christ, “remaining at the center of Concordia,” according to a press release.

  • the Addison Hall pillars — a prominent feature of the River Forest campus — which represent the four tenets in the university’s seal: truth, discipline, freedom, and [the] Word.

  • a baptismal shell — a reminder of the school’s grounding in the faith.

  • the date 1864 — the founding year of the school.

Concordia University Chicago’s new Web site is and e-mail addresses of faculty, staff, and students, beginning Aug. 21, will end with “” instead of the current “”

Posted July 18, 2006

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