Valparaiso University is located in Valparaiso, IN, just 20 miles from Gary and 15 miles south of Lake Michigan. Valpo, as it is affectionately called, was founded in 1859 as Valparaiso Male and Female College; it is one of the first coeducation colleges in the United States. Impact from the War between the States caused the school to close in 1871; it reopened 1873 as Northern Indiana Normal School and Business Institute. In 1900 the school took its current name and in 1925 Valpo was purchased by the Lutheran Church to become the largest independent Lutheran university in the country. Among its graduates, Valpo has educated many state politicians and government officials.