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Opening Thoughts, Messenger Winter 2019

January 11, 2019

When I began this role in late August 2017, I was told it was time to begin speaking of our strengths—especially in academics—and to stop being inappropriately humble, to be bold in describing who we are. I took that as both a challenge and a directive. And so, the journey to boldness began.

Since 1913, NNU has remained unchanged at our very core, and yet we continue to change. Continue to adjust. Continue to sharpen our focus on the ever-evolving horizon. We are not content to remain the same. We are unwilling to grow stagnant. To not be moving forward is synonymous with going backward, and backward is unacceptable. We find it somewhat nauseating to settle for business as usual; therefore, we choose to be bold in our claims of who we are.

This kind of audacious thinking led us to plant our flag and make the bold proclamation that NNU is “Here for Good.” That single, simple statement not only summarizes our history, but also describes our present reality and illuminates the brightness of our future. It augments our mission and summarizes our values while giving us aspirational language that is true to our never-changing core. It defines our position in the marketplace and describes the kinds of students best suited to thrive in our environment, the students we want to attract. As a statement, it’s both simple and nuanced, both subtle and bold.

Perhaps our tendency toward humility is somehow rooted in our theology. Yet I believe our Wesleyan theology allows the appropriate space for us to be proud of who we are and what we’ve accomplished. We believe there’s a marked difference between being proud and being prideful. We want the world to know how good we truly are!

We are proud that after 105 years we continue to thrive in the Boise Valley. We’re proud that we don’t just offer an excellent academic education but that our students flourish in every area of life. We’re proud that our Christian beliefs are infused into everything we do, inside and outside the classroom, and that our students strive to live out their calling to love God and love their neighbors well. We’re proud that our holistic education prepares students to think critically, solve problems creatively and influence the world for good regardless of major or course of study.

We are proud that our students not only learn from experts, but also from each other. Living in community with people who live out their Christian faith and are committed to serving others is just who NNU is. We believe the world can be a better place. Each day our graduates are making that happen: teaching, healing, innovating, researching, preaching, caring and serving in communities everywhere. We are grateful for our rich heritage, but we’ve got our eyes on the future, too—a future all of us will help create. We’re not just here; we’re here for good!

Mark B. Cork
Associate Vice President, 
Marketing & Communications

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