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Shaping Arizona’s Future 

The start of a new academic year is a reminder of the power of education. Our students start the semester full of dreams and ambitions, and through education, we prepare them to pursue those goals.  Whether Lumberjacks join us in Flagstaff, Prescott Valley, Yuma, at a community campus around the state or online, we know each academic year is our chance to shape the future of Arizona. 

An education at NAU is especially powerful because of our connection to students.  We provide a strong and unique college experience that helps our Lumberjacks learn and grow, so they have the skills and knowledge to thrive in college and careers. 

We never tire of hearing the stories of our graduates’ success, and soon we will share more details on their accomplishments. We worked with Strada-Gallup to survey NAU graduates, to ask about past Lumberjacks’ experiences and obtain additional insight into how we can strengthen the experience we provide to current and future students. The survey clearly shows that armed with the power of an NAU education, our graduates are growing Arizona’s economy and transforming the fields where they serve.  They are making our communities more vibrant. They are following their dreams. 

Every year we want to enhance the NAU experience. This year, we have two new facilities that will create even stronger connections to our students. We opened the NAU Honors Residential College to provide more than 200,000 square feet of space for Honors students to live and learn. Soon we will hold a grand opening for the new NAU Recital Hall that will transform the opportunities and experiences for our students in art, music and theater programs – and enhance the great events we offer our Flagstaff community. 

Our new College of Engineering, Informatics, and Applied Science and College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences will expand our ability to prepare the workforce of the future and connect our students even more closely to experts in their degree programs. 

Every step we take toward excellence in NAU’s programs, facilities and community partnerships helps enhance the power of education. As our students gather for this new academic year, I hope you will join me in celebrating their enthusiasm – and take pride that you are a part of building a strong foundation for their future. FBN 

By Rita Cheng 

Rita Cheng is the president of Northern Arizona University. 

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