Welcome to Notre Dame de Namur University, a school like no other.
Founded on the principles of educational access and community service, NDNU has a rich history, a robust present, and an even brighter future.
The University, the fifth oldest in California, was founded in 1851 by the Sisters of Notre Dame, Catholic nuns from Namur, Belgium, who comforted people displaced by the French Revolution. Later, they established schools for women and children in Oregon and California at the outset of the California gold rush.
Today, as a fully-accredited master's university, we're big enough to host four separate schools School of Arts and Humanities, School of Business and Management, School of Education and Leadership, and School of Sciences offering 24 majors, seventeen graduate degrees, seven credentials, and thirteen certificate programs. We're also still small enough to boast a 12 to one student-teacher ratio.
The future has a number of dimensions. Besides a Master Plan calling for a comprehensive Campus Center, more residence hall space, site improvements, and enhanced financial aid packages, we're excited about our Centers of Excellence. Simply stated, these Centers – one in each of the four Schools – collectively represent an ambitious, aggressive, and ongoing curriculum enrichment initiative that will reinforce our core principles.
Some of the early tangible outputs of these centers will include university stage premieres of dramas and musicals, case studies of businesses engaging in ethical and community-oriented best practices, bold partnerships to address access and equity issues in education, and a software-based, multidisciplinary program to study complex economic, social, medical, and environmental concerns.
The intangibles also leave their mark. The deer grazing at dusk on the Ralston Hall lawn . . . the quiet conversations on the Quad . . . the look in the eyes of the students who believe in community service and are actively doing something about it.
We are an intimate campus with a big heart. We are a faculty who know your name and will make time to talk with you. Within our wide-ranging academic menu we have unique and innovative concentrations such as streetwise sociology, art therapy, and musical theatre. We have a broad assortment of extracurricular activities and hands-on, on-site, co-curricular programs because we believe that the learning process exists just as legitimately outside the classroom as it does inside.
As a Catholic institution, we value developing the whole person, living in a collaborative community, and working toward a just society. We also pride ourselves on our committment to racial, ethnic, and religious diversity. Understanding both our common human origins and our diversity promotes inclusiveness and respect for all people and their accomplishments.
Clearly there are other universities with bigger campuses, more sports, and more students. But there aren't any with the same measure of spirit, passion, and compassion as NDNU. If you take those ingredients and stir carefully with a nurturing environment, a dynamic faculty, and an energetic staff bristling with ideas, you've got the makings of a school that can seamlessly enable and prepare a student for the toughest challenges of the 21st Century. That is what makes us a school like no other.