NAU, Yuma partners in opportunity
College graduation is a time of looking forward. Lives change in college, and a new path is opened — for young adults and non-traditional students alike.
Clearing the way for such opportunity has long been a mission of Northern Arizona University. Nowhere does that mission find a clearer expression than at NAU-Yuma.
For nearly 25 years, in conjunction with Arizona Western College, NAU has worked hard to make a college education affordable and obtainable for all, with a focus on providing access to under-represented populations. Through innovative transfer programs, lower tuition rates and scheduling that is convenient for working professionals, we have opened doors that may otherwise have been closed.
The results are nothing short of astounding. Since 1988, the dream of earning a bachelor's degree has become a reality for more than 6,000 students.
Just consider what this has meant to Yuma and surrounding communities. Higher education is a powerful tool, and these graduates are making a difference by showing the way for others and advancing their own lives and careers.
But there is even more to the story.
NAU has spent more than $84 million — in state funding, locally developed money and grants —— in the Yuma community since 1988 on salaries, expansion, construction and program development. All of this spending has been aimed at providing educational opportunities locally.
We have made these investments in people and facilities because of the profound value of a vibrant, diverse and well-educated community. The ongoing record of achievement at NAU-Yuma is a success for all citizens of Arizona.
I hope all of you in Yuma and the region understand the important role you are playing in Arizona's future. The entire NAU community, of which you are a vital part, celebrates your accomplishments.
Be sure to congratulate this year's graduates, who I encourage to savor the moment. They have certainly earned it.
John D. Haeger is president of Northern Arizona University