Mission and History

Mission: Aurora University is an inclusive community dedicated to the transformative power of learning.

Throughout its history, AU has adapted and grown to meet the needs of its students and community. Founded in 1893 in Mendota, IL, as Mendota Seminary to train ministers and lay workers of the Advent Christian Church, the institution soon took on a broader mission and changed its name to Mendota College.

By 1911, it had outgrown its facilities and moved to the western edge of Aurora, where its students could take advantage of a thriving business environment and easy access to Chicago. In the 1940s, the university entered a period of growth as World War II veterans flocked to the campus to enroll in the college's innovative evening degree program. Over the years, the institution continued to expand its curriculum and to award advanced degrees in various disciplines.

In 1971, Aurora College separated from the Advent Christian Church. While the college maintained a strong emphasis on faith and values in building on its Judeo-Christian heritage, the university became independent from any particular domination. In 1985, Aurora College changed its name to Aurora University to better reflect the magnitude of its academic offerings.

In 2010, the Aurora University Woodstock Center opened to meet the needs of students in McHenry County and surrounding communities. The Woodstock Center provides students with academic opportunities, a professional network and a convenient location for educational pursuits.

Today, Aurora University and the Woodstock Center are thriving places of higher education, rooted in a long tradition of values-based education, where students prepare for lives of meaning, leadership and service to others.