This month holds so many wonderful traditions for families and communities. The drop of the Flagstaff pinecone on New Year’s Eve, the lighting of the Courthouse Square in Prescott, the celebrations that bring neighbors together – our traditions unite us during this festive season.
At Northern Arizona University, we understand the power of traditions to create a shared experience and common goal. We carry that throughout every day, because our tradition is not limited to any specific holiday or time of the year. Our university is based on our tradition of offering a unique experience that allows our students to succeed – both in college, and throughout their lives. It’s a tradition that began at the very start of our institution, when a dedicated teacher named Frances Bury used a horse and buggy to travel around Arizona recruiting students for an education at the just-founded Northern Arizona Normal School.
It’s a tradition that is at the heart of every member of our team, in every location where we serve and it is a tradition that has reached students at every step in their academic journey for more than 100 years.
Our tradition is a commitment to excellence, and to an accessible education that opens new possibilities across Arizona. It’s a desire to empower our Lumberjacks to be their best at every step, and to inspire those around them to do the same. It began in 1899 when our library featured only sheepskin-bound copies of Webster’s Dictionary and it continues today, when our university boasts the best and brightest of the academic world through programs in Flagstaff, Prescott Valley, online and around the state.
Our student-focused tradition continues because of our dedicated team and because of neighbors and supporters who understand that we are more than just a university. We are an experience, and a foundation on which our Lumberjacks are building a better world. Thank you for supporting our tradition and our students throughout 2017 – I am eager to join you for an even more successful 2018! QCBN
By Rita Cheng
Rita Cheng is the president of Northern Arizona University.