On July 1, Northwestern College officially changed its name to the University of Northwestern – St. Paul to reflect the broad diversity of its educational offerings and the high rigor of its academic programs.
The change to “University” status was also deemed important to support Northwestern’s global initiatives, which include expanding relationships with Daystar University in Kenya and Karunya University in India, as well as the institution’s historical partnership with a program in Ecuador.
“In many places around the world, the term ‘college’ actually means high school,” explained the school’s President, Dr. Alan Cureton. “So ‘university’ in our title translates into greater credibility on the international front. It also opens more doors for our students going abroad, and elevates our profile as a destination for foreign students and faculty.”
According to Northwestern, the process to change the name of the century-old institution began in March 2011, when Dr. Cureton created the “Presidential Commission on University Status.” The group – composed of representatives from faculty, senior administration, and alumni – gathered input from constituents and commissioned research on reactions to a variety of possible new names.
“The overwhelming majority of current and former students identify with the Northwestern name,” reported Dr. Cureton. “To avoid confusion with other universities that have Northwestern in their names, we added our location – St. Paul. The name also works well because the city of St. Paul has an excellent reputation in educational circles.”
In a letter to the Northwestern community, Dr. Cureton stressed that the change “is not a reflection of becoming ‘worldly.’”
“It is an accurate description of the institution at this time and setting,” he stated. “Rejoice with me as God’s Truth continues to permeate all aspects of this incredible institution.”
Founded in 1902, Northwestern today has a student population of more than 3,200 from 34 states and 11 countries. Furthermore, Northwestern Media, a ministry of Northwestern, operates 15 listener-supported Christian radio stations throughout the Midwest.
Published: July 18, 2013