National University Celebrates 30 Years in Fresno

Close to 120 guests gathered at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in River Park on May 12, to celebrate National University's 30th Anniversary in Fresno.

“We’re marking three decades of service to this community,” said Dave Johnson, Director of Center Operations at National University’s Fresno campus. “We are also recognizing 30 years of graduates and saluting many of them who have risen to prominent levels of leadership here.”

Honored at the event were three distinguished alumni with impressive records of community service: Fresno County Sheriff, Margaret Mims; Fresno Fire Chief, Kerri Donis; and Clovis Fire Chief, Michael Despain.

Teacher Excellence Awards were also presented to five outstanding alumni educators in the Fresno area, and the Mayor proclaimed May 12 as National University Day.

More than $4,000 in prizes were raffled off, and everyone was offered a piece of 30th Anniversary cake. Associate Regional Dean, Bernell Hirning, was on hand at the event to greet community leaders, faculty, alumni, and their guests, and to remind attendees of the profound impact that National University has had in making higher education accessible to a broad portion of the San Joaquin Valley.

National University originally opened in Fresno in 1986. Between 1971, when the University was founded, and 1980, California’s population grew by 20 percent and Fresno’s population increased by 27 percent. In response to California’s boom, National University underwent an impressive period of expansion in the 1980s, with new campuses established in Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Jose.

With our core value of accessibility, our commitment to placing a bachelor’s or master’s degree within reach of thousands of working adults, and the dedicated work of the loyal staff and faculty in Fresno, National University has transformed families and communities from Visalia to Manteca, and enriched California’s fifth-largest city with a highly-educated workforce.