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 educated young women 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 26 majors, 15 graduate degrees, seven credentials, and six certificate programs. We're also still small enough to boast a 10 to one student-teacher ratio.
The future is shaped by our Strategic Plan, which calls for even stronger ties with our regional community. NDNU has long helped to build the infrastructure of this area through our education of teachers, police officers, community servants, small business owners, therapists, and many others. We are intent on strengthening our relationships in the community and meeting area needs even more effectively.
We are also excited about the launch of the Sister Dorothy Stang Center for Social Justice and Community Engagement. Sr. Dorothy was a Sister of Notre Dame who was martyred in Brazil in February of 2005 for her work defending indigent farmers and the enviornment in the Amazon rain forest. She inspires us to continue the work of social justice on behalf of the poor and oppressed who live among us.
The intangibles of NDNU 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 pursuing 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 enable and prepare a student for the toughest challenges of the 21st Century. That is what makes us a school like no other.