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Letter From the Editor
If you’ve been on campus at all this semester, you’ve likely seen the banners and signs around campus that read “125 Years.” Perhaps you saw that the iconic “I Heart APU” Welcome Weekend shirt design was replaced with the new “APU 125 YRS” emblem — a change that I still haven’t accepted.
Even if you haven’t seen these ever-present reminders, you may know that APU was established in March of 1899. Do a little simple math — use your calculator app if you must — and you’ll find that during this school year, in March of 2024, to be exact, APU will have been an institution for 125 years.
It’s hard to fathom how long that really is and how much things have changed since then. To put it into perspective, APU was founded 34 years after the end of the Civil War and one year after the Spanish-American War. William McKinley was the president of the United States, and women didn’t have the right to vote. The population of Los Angeles was around 100,000. World War I and the Great Depression were still decades away. That’s the world in which APU (then the Training School for Christian Workers) was established.
A lot has changed since 1899, but this institution still stands with its “God First” mission. How does an institution maintain its identity for 125 years? How does it change? What stories have contributed to the institution we know today?
These are the questions we aim to answer through this issue of ZU Magazine. Inspired by the motto “God First Since 1899,” our writers have looked into the traditions, values and experiences that have shaped APU into what it is today and what it is on the trajectory to becoming. They have traced the history of APU Since 1899 to their experiences today.
Since 1899 traditions have formed. Since 1899 athletic programs have developed and thrived. Since 1899 APU has grown more diverse. Since 1899 APU has produced alumni who are difference makers.
This is not just a history of APU. It is a look at how this institution has shaped us and how identity is maintained. Through understanding our past, may we better understand our part in the story.