Sanford National University


National University to be Renamed Sanford National University

In honor of renowned philanthropist and entrepreneur T. Denny Sanford, National University is pleased to announce that we will be renamed Sanford National University. Launching July 1, 2020, the newly-renamed Sanford National University will implement and advance a series of initiatives designed to transform the higher education sector for post-secondary students nationwide.

Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of Mr. Sanford, our organization intends to dedicate significant financial resources to advance five key focus areas to address some of the challenges facing higher education today, including:

  • Student Success
  • Access
  • Affordability
  • Innovation
  • Workforce Development
National University President Dr. David Andrews

A Letter From Our President

Dear NU Community,

National University has an unprecedented opportunity to advance its commitment to adult learners through a new partnership with one of the world’s most generous philanthropists, T. Denny Sanford. In honor of Mr. Sanford’s unwavering commitment to National University and his worldwide impact on children, families, education, and health, the Board of Trustees of National University has approved plans to rename National University to Sanford National University effective July 1, 2020.

Since 1971, for nearly half a century, National University has diligently served adult learners with a focus on innovation, access, student success, and the long-term sustainability of the institution. While we excitedly celebrate the first 50 years as National University, we are enthusiastically preparing for even greater impact in our next 50 years — and we will be doing so with renewed inspiration thanks to a generous gift that is among the Top 15 largest donations to a U.S. higher education institution.

Our mission as a private, nonprofit university mirrors the innovative spirit and philanthropic dedication of Mr. Sanford, who has dedicated his life to supporting people and programs that offer solutions to some of society’s greatest challenges. The degrees our students acquire have helped them find new jobs, advance in their current jobs, receive admission to graduate schools, completely change careers, and develop new ways to positively impact their own lives and lives within their communities and our society. Through this partnership, we now have an incredible opportunity to further advance our commitment to student success through access to a high quality education at an affordable cost.

Our new partnership will provide resources for us to substantially strengthen these shared commitments. Specifically, we will invest in:

  • Improving student success in both degree attainment and workforce aspirations
  • Increasing degree and credentialing access for adult learners
  • Addressing affordability in higher education
  • Using innovation to transform higher education
  • Expanding partnerships and pathways to address critical workforce needs

Mr. Sanford’s generosity and impact on communities across the world reaffirms the dedicated efforts of the National University community throughout the years, while challenging each of us to renew our commitment to create the university of the future. I hope you will join us in our excitement about the extraordinary and unprecedented opportunity to rename National University as Sanford National University.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at

President Dr. David W. Andrews

Learn More About the Exciting Announcement

Who is T. Denny Sanford?

Learn about one of the world’s most generous philanthropists and how he came to be National University’s greatest supporter.

About the New Sanford National University

Learn more about the newly-renamed institution and the important issues we intend to address.

Why Change Our Name?

Learn more about National University’s decision to honor philanthropist T. Denny Sanford.

Why Open Access Matters

Improving access to high quality, affordable education is at the heart of what we do.

Watch the Full Fireside Chat

National University and National University System leadership sit down with T. Denny Sanford to discuss the newly-renamed Sanford National University.

Read the Full Press Release

October 8, 2019 | San Diego, CA

Renowned philanthropist T. Denny Sanford and the San Diego-based National University are pleased to announce the University will be renamed Sanford National University, with a formal launch planned for July 1, 2020. In recognition of Mr. Sanford’s dedication to educational causes, the soon-to-be renamed Sanford National University will implement and advance a series of initiatives supported through a gift that represents among the Top 15 largest donations to a higher education institution. The initiatives will address some of the most critical challenges facing the education sector today and provide the private, nonprofit University unprecedented opportunities to create innovative solutions for post-secondary students nationwide.

Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of Mr. Sanford, and his major gifts to the University and the Sanford Programs, the newly-renamed university intends to dedicate significant financial resources to advance key areas of focus. Among the priorities will be increasing access to a quality education, tuition affordability, and student success. Through a focus on innovation, the University will further its efforts in developing a best-in-class, high-tech, high-touch student experience. Providing educational pathways for working adults in key industries will also be a cornerstone emphasis through workforce development. Another area of emphasis will be expansion of the Sanford Programs, which support societal advances through the education and nonprofit sectors.

The new University name honors the innovative spirit and philanthropic dedication of Mr. Sanford, who is recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the nation’s most generous philanthropists. As a signatory of the “Giving Pledge,” Mr. Sanford has committed to giving away most of his wealth during his lifetime — and has already donated approximately $2 billion, much of it to health care and education-related initiatives, including the Sanford Programs at the National University System.

Continue reading the full press release…

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T. Denny Sanford

Learn About T. Denny Sanford

“I am so excited and feel so honored that an organization as good as this will bear my name.”

T. Denny Sanford is a self-made businessman and philanthropist who supports and creates innovative solutions that address some of our society’s greatest challenges. To date, he has committed approximately $2 billion to causes that are positively transforming the lives of others. He shares National University’s vision to transform the higher education sector for post-secondary students nationwide.

Learn more about T. Denny Sanford

Share Your Thoughts

We welcome your feedback on the renaming of National University and the upcoming Sanford National University initiatives.

Share your thoughts at We look forward to hearing from you.