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As Northwest Nazarene University looks toward its centennial and beyond, it is appropriate to ask, what do we seek? To what should NNU aspire? By what should NNU be guided? What is the vision of Northwest Nazarene University for this generation?

In one sense, the academies of higher education hold many things in common: a place for intellectual pursuit, a repository of knowledge, a laboratory in which society’s young master facts and skills, and a forum for the observation and influence of culture.

Yet if you look more closely at college cultures, you soon discover that there are significant differences from school to school. Many schools claim to serve the greater good of society, yet they lack a central belief system. Their core values, upon which the institution was once established and its learning experiences organized, are now missing.

Generation after generation, universities have made choices. They have chosen to emphasize certain things and neglect others. In so doing, the higher education landscape America is now filled with institutions still claiming to provide students with understanding, values and ideals, yet the institutions no longer offer such direction. As the former dean of Harvard notes, “The students are not soulless, but their university is.” –Harry R. Lewis.

It is against this backdrop that NNU must choose. Beyond metrics, round numbers and statistics, we must revisit our values and reflect upon our mission; from that touchstone, vision will emerge.

What kind of university does Northwest Nazarene University seek to be? We seek a more excellent way!

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