About the Scandinavian Cultural Center

What is the SCC?

Located at 12180 South Park Avenue in Tacoma, the Scandinavian Cultural Center is a 6,700 square foot facility housed on the first floor of the University Center at Pacific Lutheran University. Completed in May 1989, the Center features a great hall, three exhibit galleries, and a demonstration kitchen. A 25-foot-high, custom-carved Viking ship prow serves as a dramatic visual statement, welcoming guests to the Center.

The Cultural Center offers everyone, not just those of Scandinavian descent, a rich, broad and changing portrait of a living culture other than our own. The Center is a library, an art gallery, a lecture hall, a banquet room, a performance arena, a museum, a classroom, and a recital hall.

Mission Statement

In partnership with PLU, and in accordance with its educational mission, the purpose of the Scandinavian Cultural Center shall be to bring together individuals and organizations of the Pacific Northwest to support the University’s Scandinavian Studies Program and Scandinavian Immigrant Experience Collection; to promote development and understanding of Nordic immigrant and Scandinavian-American experiences, cultures, and heritage; and to promote ties with, and awareness and understanding of, contemporary Nordic cultures and societies.

PLU's Scandinavian Heritage

Scandinavian immigrants and their descendants have had a distinct influence on Pacific Lutheran University. Since its founding in 1890 by Norwegian minister Bjug Harstad, PLU has nurtured its Nordic roots. Today, evidence of these strong Scandinavian ties is seen in the Scandinavian Cultural Center, the Scandinavian Cultural Center Council, the Norwegian and Scandinavian Area Studies Programs, and the Scandinavian Immigrant Experience Collection (located in the University Library). Strolling across campus, one encounters numerous buildings bearing Scandinavian names and works of art reflecting the University’s rich Nordic heritage. In addition, PLU has cultivated exchange programs with faculty and students from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.