The University of La Verne was founded in 1891 as Lordsburg College by members of the Church of the Brethren. Historically, the Brethren are considered a “peace church” like the Quakers or Mennonites, and slots on the Board of Trustees are still held for Brethren members. The baccalaureate ceremony is held at the local Church of the Brethren in La Verne and the holder of the post of campus minister must be a member of the Church of the Brethren.
In 1917, the surrounding agricultural community of Lordsburgh renamed itself La Verne; the College followed suit shortly thereafter. La Verne College reorganized in 1977 as the University of La Verne. It awards undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees and many classes are available in person and online. U.S. News & World Report ranked the University 8th among private institutions in California and 18th overall in the state in its 2017 Best College Rankings.
La Verne conferred its first master’s degree in 1965 and began an adult education program in 1969; it awarded its first doctorate in 1979. In 1981, the University founded a campus in Orange County and has since opened locations throughout the area.