We pride ourselves on our service to Native American students and the communities they represent.
We are approaching the end of a memorable fall semester at NAU and I want to thank you again for your support of our Lumberjack family. I continue to feel honored to be a part of this wonderful community – a community that understands our enhanced focus on student access and success, to ensure that an affordable, high-quality education is available to all who entrust their educational futures to NAU.
In November, as we celebrated Native American Heritage month and honored NAU’s longstanding commitment to Native American students and communities, I announced another important step in these efforts: beginning in fall 2023, the Access2Excellence initiative will be expanded to provide full tuition coverage to all members of Arizona’s 22 federally recognized tribes.
This extension of A2E for members of Arizona’s 22 federally recognized tribes reflects NAU’s strategic priority of being the nation’s leading university serving Indigenous Peoples. Now, NAU will ensure tuition coverage is not dependent on family income level and will apply to all new and transfer students, including those who live outside of Arizona but are members of the 22 Arizona tribes.
We pride ourselves on our service to Native American students and the communities they represent. Extending A2E eligibility for our Arizona tribal members is an important step as we plant seeds for the success of future generations of Native American students at NAU.
Our Mountain Campus in Flagstaff is uniquely positioned to set the standard for Native American student access and success in higher education. We are located in close proximity to 11 tribal nations, including the Navajo Nation and our footprint in more than 20 statewide locations offers many access points to meet students where they live and learn. I am thankful for the collaboration and partnership that has made this initiative possible as we continue to elevate our excellence and seek Arizona’s engine of opportunity, vehicle of upward mobility, and driver of social impact.
Adding to this great news is the fact that nearly 2,400 students will graduate from NAU this month. This is a special life achievement for our students and they will carry with them the memories of being a part of the Flagstaff community – one of the best college towns in the nation – for the rest of their lives. Many of you are NAU graduates yourselves and remember the excitement of commencement, as you walked across the stage and heard your name called to the cheers of loved ones. I cannot wait for these celebrations and a fitting conclusion to the fall semester.
On behalf of all of us at Northern Arizona University, thank you for your support of our university and our students, and we hope you will join us in congratulating the fall Class of 2022 and welcome the next generation of Lumberjacks to the alumni family. FBN
By José Luis Cruz Rivera
José Luis Cruz Rivera is the president of Northern Arizona University.