Pacific Lutheran University is located in the Parkland suburb of Tacoma, Washington. As of September 2006, PLU had a student population of 3,640 and approximately 250 full-time teachers on its faculty. It currently consists of the College of Arts and Sciences (consisting of the Division of Humanities, the Division of Natural Sciences, and the Division of Social Sciences), the School of the Arts, School of Business, the School of Education, the School of Nursing, and the School of Physical Education.
Founded in 1890 by Scandinavian immigrants to further Lutheran higher education in the Pacific Northwest, PLU is an institution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The school merged with Everett's Columbia College in 1920, became a two-year school, and resumed operations as Pacific Lutheran College. Spokane College merged with Pacific Lutheran College nine years later. PLC resumed awarding four-year degrees in 1939. Pacific Lutheran regained university status in 1960. PLU retains strong ties with its Scandinavian heritage, having been visited multiple times by Norwegian and Swedish monarchs and the Norwegian Parliament, Stortinget.
The university is particularly known for its music department and touring ensembles, including the Choir of the West, and the Christmas concerts held each December. PLU's sports teams are called the Lutes.
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