National University Leadership Named to 2023 List of 500 Most Influential People in San Diego

National University’s president and executive vice president of communications and community engagement were both named 2023 honorees

SAN DIEGO, CA (NOVEMBER 15, 2023) — National University President Mark D. Milliron, Ph.D., and Dr. Nancy Rohland-Heinrich, executive vice president of communications and community engagement, were both honored as one of the San Diego Business Journal’s 2023 500 Most Influential People in San Diego when the publication was released on November 13.

The SD500 list represents the influential members of the San Diego business community who have shaped how the region has grown over the years.

The publication made special mention of Milliron’s impact in the community through his work with the boards of organizations supporting the education field, including the Trellis Foundation, Bennett College, and The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice.

“Learning can open pathways to possibility for people at so many different ages and stages,” Milliron said. “At National University, we work hard to make traveling these pathways possible for nontraditional, working, and military students. By offering high-quality programs that lead to industry certifications and bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and law degrees—especially programs leveraging next-generation tech, flexible schedules, and strong support systems—we’re making a world of difference right here in San Diego. More importantly, we’re making sure more and more diverse students see that these pathways to possibility are open to them too!”

The Business Journal noted Rohland’s service as a board member with Junior Achievement of San Diego County, as well as other leadership roles in the community, including her work at USO San Diego and MANA de San Diego’s advisory group.

National University — a nonprofit Minority Serving Institution that serves 50,000 degree-seeking students and 80,000 workforce and professional development students annually — is deeply involved in the community, including close partnerships with the City of San Diego, the San Diego Community College District and the San Diego Padres.

Most of National University’s students are working adults, parents, members of the military and other non-traditional learners. NU is the largest conferrer of graduate degrees to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students in the country, and a top three conferrer of doctoral degrees overall. More than 50% of NU graduates are women, 50% of NU undergraduate students are active-duty military, Veterans, and dependents, and about 40% of NU students are first-generation college students.

“NU is dedicated to making a contribution that helps bring together and genuinely improves this region,” Rohland said. “NU was founded here more than 50 years ago by a former Navy captain who brought with him a spirit of service to other members of the military. Since then, our role has expanded, and we provide higher education to a very diverse population of adult learners. But that sense of service to the community is in our DNA, and it will always be at the core of our mission.”

Serving learners from all over the United States and the world in mostly online classes, NU strives to create a supportive atmosphere called Whole Human Education. This holistic approach encompasses five aspects of well-being that create a supportive ecosystem: financial, academic, social & emotional, family life & community, and career.

About National University:  National University, a Veteran-founded nonprofit, has been dedicated to meeting the needs of hard-working adults by providing accessible, affordable higher education opportunities since 1971. As San Diego’s largest private nonprofit university, NU offers over 190 online and on-campus programs with flexible four-week and eight-week classes and one-to-one graduate education models designed to help students reach their goals while balancing busy lives. Since its founding, the NU community has grown to 130,000 learners served per year—50,000 degree-seeking students and 80,000 workforce and professional development students—and 230,000 alumni around the globe, many of whom serve in helping industries such as business, education, health care, cybersecurity, and law and criminal justice. To learn more about National University’s new possibilities in education including next-generation education, value-rich education, and whole human education, visit

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