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Celebrating Accomplishments; Planning for Future Success at NAU

Having celebrated the end of 2018 and the achievements of more than 2,800 fall Lumberjack graduates, Northern Arizona University is looking to make 2019 another exceptional year.

However, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, I would like to thank Flagstaff and all the communities of Northern Arizona for your assistance and support. NAU experienced tremendous success because of our partnerships with residents, communities and business leaders.

I am proud of the warm and welcoming way Flagstaff and NAU started our fall semester – joining together to visit our neighbors as community and NAU leaders, students and Southside residents. I have enjoyed the many opportunities I’ve had this year to listen to and speak with members of our Flagstaff and campus communities. You continue to inspire me with your passion and your dedication to ensuring that we retain the high quality of life and vibrant college town we all love.

NAU’s 2025 Strategic Plan was created through broad input from our campus and Flagstaff communities, and is reflected in our mission, vision, values and goals. There are plans and initiatives related to these goals that are already underway, including our Campus Master Planning effort. A new campus master plan will guide our use of campus property, new facilities and upgraded spaces within existing facilities. An important part of this master planning process is the opportunity for the campus and Flagstaff communities to review potential plans and to provide input on those plans. I encourage you to participate in these discussions.

There are innumerable accomplishments and points of pride that we have celebrated together. Exceptional academic achievements, rising from 213 to 201 in the National Science Foundation national research rankings, 96th among universities without a medical school, our three-time national champion cross-country team, regional and national awards for our music and theater programs, and recognitions given to the Model UN and debate teams are just a few examples of our success.

Because of your continued support, we are already looking ahead to what we can accomplish this year. We will be working with our partners and donors to help us secure the resources necessary to meet our strategic priorities. One great example is the support we have received for the new Kitt Recital Hall, designed and built to meet the needs of NAU and our community.

I look forward to working with the leaders and residents of Flagstaff, Coconino County, Northern Arizona and our stakeholders throughout the state again next year to make more dreams come true for our students and to create even more possibilities for our communities and our state. QCBN

By Rita Cheng

Rita Cheng is the president of Northern Arizona University.

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