National University Reveals New Mascot and Moniker, Honoring the Dedication of its Diverse Students, Alumni, Faculty, and Staff

Pioneer in adult and workforce-relevant education National University introduces new mascot “Navi the Navigator” in a salute to lifelong learners navigating education, employment, and family commitments

SAN DIEGO (JUNE 9, 2023) — National University (NU), a nonprofit university serving more than 40,000 students that is one of the largest private Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) in the U.S., announced that it has selected the “Navigators” as its official moniker—an homage to the diverse students the university serves who balance academic, work, family and community responsibilities to achieve their education and career goals. The university also announced its corresponding official mascot, “Navi the Navigator,” a peregrine falcon symbolizing determination, vision, and speed as the fastest creature in the animal kingdom.

“When students feel a deep sense of belonging and support within a campus community, they’re more likely to thrive academically and persist on their education journeys,” said Dr. Mark D. Milliron, president and CEO of National University. “The mascot reflects the achievements of our striving students who demonstrate resilience, determination, and a commitment to navigating any obstacle in their way in pursuit of their education and career aspirations.”

The new mascot will mark its first appearance at National University’s commencement on June 9 and 10, in front of an expected crowd of more than 30,000 at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. In the future, the mascot will continue to appear at student and alumni events, community events, and sporting events throughout the region to serve as an NU ambassador to the broader community.

The arrival of Navi the Navigator represents an exciting—and in some respects, surprising—step for NU, which has no sports teams, dormitories or many of the other traditional hallmarks of residential campus life. Most NU students take the majority of their courses online, and the university also offers a remote and digital-first approach to work, employing faculty, expert instructors and staff throughout the country.

“We want all students to know NU is not just a virtual or physical place for learning, but a community that will rally around you every step of the way to ensure you are successful,” Milliron said. “This is about uniting our campus and community members, near and far, behind a symbol of support and empowerment for our students, alumni, staff and faculty. All of us know navigators in our lives. Whether they choose NU or another path, this is our salute to them.”

As a veteran-founded MSI, National University’s student population reflects the shifting—and highly diverse—demographics of higher education. Today, it is one of the largest private, nonprofit universities in the United States designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). Approximately 70 percent of National University’s students take the majority of their classes online. More than 25 percent identify as Hispanic, and 10 percent identify as Black. More than 80 percent of undergraduates are transfer students. The vast majority are working. The average age of NU students is 33. And about one in four students are servicemembers or Veterans.

Since its founding in 1971, NU has long been committed to meeting the needs of the “whole student,” focusing on student success in a more holistic sense—academically, financially, socially and emotionally, as well as through their family life and career. To that end, NU offers an array of support services and career-relevant academic programs that pair next-generation teaching and learning experiences to meet the needs of military students, working adults and students of all ages and stages, including its flexible four-week courses, offered online, on-site, and in hybrid-learning formats.

Check out NU’s new mascot here.

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 one of the nation’s largest private nonprofit universities, NU offers over 190+ online and on-campus programs and flexible four-week and eight-week classes designed to help students reach their goals while balancing busy lives. Since its founding, the NU community has grown to 40,000 students and 220,000 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, credential-rich education, and whole human education, visit

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