Concordia University-Irvine is a private institution in Southern California which runs undergraduate and postgraduate liberal arts courses in the Lutheran tradition.
It is based in Irvine, a medium-sized planned Orange County city named after the family whose real estate firm was largely behind its construction, and one of the safest urban areas in the South West. Irvine’s main landmark is a 108-foot wheel which offers views of the surrounding area.
CUI is the most recent Concordia institution to be created. Although the plan had been hatched in 1962, building work didn’t begin until 1975, with classes at Christ College Irvine, as it was then known, beginning a year later.
CUI acquired university status and its current name in 1993. Its postgraduate population has since outgrown that of undergraduates. As well as a range of academic buildings, its 70-acre campus consists of vast expanses of greenery and water.
Slightly under 50 miles south east of Los Angeles, but twice that north of San Diego and the Mexican border, CUI is nine miles from Newport Beach, a popular surfing and swimming resort with one of the biggest harbours in the area.
Los Angeles is, of course, most famous for Hollywood and the film industry, but others flock to America’s second-largest city for its coastline, sporting riches (baseball’s LA Dodgers and basketball’s LA Lakers and LA Clippers) and a cornucopia of neighbourhoods. More than three-quarters of CUI students have cars on campus, and LA is accessible in less than an hour via one of the area’s many freeways.
CUI alumni include Misty-May Treanor, a three-time Olympic gold medallist, and the most successful female beach volleyball player ever.