View contributions that helped expand UNW’s academic and athletic programs in the early 2000–2020s.


2000 | A partnership with MacLaurin Institute on the University of Minnesota campus enables Northwestern faculty to teach Bible courses to university students for transferable credit. The Urban Bible Institute in downtown Minneapolis succeeds the North Minneapolis Campus as a Christian discipling outreach.

2001 | Northwestern receives NCA accreditation for the Christian Center for Communications, a degree site in Quito, Ecuador, offering a three-year program in radio, TV and journalism. Northwestern conducts its first-ever fall commencement to accommodate growing enrollment.

2002 | Dr. Alan S. Cureton becomes Northwestern’s eighth president as the college celebrates its centennial with special events and observances throughout the 2002–03 academic year.

2003 | The Mel Johnson Media Center is completed as the headquarters for Northwestern Media and KTIS. The building also houses the academic department of communication.

2004 | The Riley Hall gym undergoes a renovation which adds more classroom space, faculty offices, two computer labs and a lounge area. Residence Life implements the integration of all class years (freshmen–seniors) throughout all of its residence halls. Antioch residence is established. Katrina Custer ’04 is awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, becoming UNW’s first Fulbright Scholar.

2005 | The Center for Graduate Studies begins, offering a Master of Organizational Leadership. The Department of Science & Mathematics opens a new Research Lab facility. The Robertson Student Center remodels the annex into a coffee-house-style study lounge. Julianna Scheumann ’05 becomes UNW’s second Fulbright Scholar.

2006 | Majors in Urban Studies, Digital Media, and Criminal Justice are added. Total student headcount reaches 3,500. Endowment reaches $15 million. The Center for Graduate Studies introduces the Master of Arts in Theological Studies.

2007 | The Eagle Scholars Honors program expands. Academic entrance standards rise. Graduates accepted to Harvard and Chicago law schools. Northwestern Office Center building at 2803 Lincoln Drive is acquired, adding needed office space. Public phase of Envision Excellence capital campaign is launched. Jessica Peterson ’07 becomes UNW’s third Fulbright Scholar.

2008 | Construction of a new parking lot and the ring road behind Riley prepare for the Community Life Commons. Former hotel property in Arden Hills is leased for additional student housing. New college logo is unveiled to communicate the college’s brand and identity. UNW adds three more Fulbright Scholars to the growing list when Ahna Boyum ’08 receives a Fulbright Scholarship and professors Dr. Sally Harris and Dr. Lisanne Winslow are awarded faculty Fulbright Scholarships for Teaching and Lecturing Overseas.

2009 | Meets fundraising goal with a $750,000 challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation for the Envision Excllence capital campaign. Groundbreaking for the Billy Graham Community Life Commons. KTIS radio holds its 60th anniversary celebration with special guests at the Xcel Energy Center.

2010 | Varsity men’s basketball team wins the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) championship. From over 1,000 organizations surveyed, Northwestern is named to the top 100 list of Star Tribune Top Workplaces, ranking 10th overall. Rachel Grammer ’10 becomes Northwestern’s seventh Fulbright Scholar.

2011 | Charity Straszheim ’10 is named Northwestern’s eighth Fulbright Scholar. Center for Graduate Studies begins two new graduate degree programs: Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Human Services. Online graduate programs are introduced. On October 7 the Northwestern community celebrates the Grand Opening of the Billy Graham Community Life Commons.

2012 | Master of Arts in Education is added to Center for Graduate Studies’ offerings. Unique new Dual B.A./M.Div. in Pastoral Ministry begins, allowing students to earn a bachelor’s degree and Master of Divinity in just five years. Charissa Doebler ’12 becomes the ninth Fulbright Scholar in nine years. Northwestern is named to the Star Tribune Top Workplaces list for 2012.

2013 | Men’s Basketball team makes its third NCAA tournament appearance since becoming a Division III school. Anastasia Pederson ’13 becomes Northwestern’s tenth Fulbright scholar in a decade. Northwestern College becomes University of Northwestern – St. Paul on July 1.

2014 | New $10.7 million Reynolds Field athletic complex is added to campus and includes synthetic turf fields for football/soccer/lacrosse, baseball and softball, as well as six regulation-size tennis courts, updated bleacher seating and new locker rooms. UNW is ranked 10th among Regional Midwestern college by U.S. News & World Report.

2015 | President Alan Cureton serves as chair of the NCAA Division III Presidents Council. UNW Men’s Basketball team wins first-ever spot in the NCAA Division III Sweet 16 Tournament. Katelyn Lee ’14 and Emily Herlinger ’15 become Northwestern’s 11th and 12th Fulbright Scholars. The baccalaureate degree program in nursing is granted full accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

2016 | UNW launches a new Z-degree, becoming one of few colleges nationwide to offer a zero-cost textbook degree program. Begin offering a four-year Bachelor of Science in Engineering. Volleyball advances to NCAA D-III Final Four led by AVCA National Coach of the Year Beth (Lambright ‘02) Wilmeth and National Player of the Year Lindsey Peterson ’17. Football earns first-ever NCAA playoff spot. Women’s Lacrosse, UNW’s 19th athletic program, begins varsity competition. Dr. Wendy Richards named 13th Fulbright Scholar. 

2017 | Maranatha Halls is renamed Beverly & John Lord Knight Performance Halls, with renovations and upgrades to the performance hall and foyer of the Totino Fine Arts Center. Lakka Benti ’17 named 14th Fulbright scholar. Men’s Lacrosse begins varsity competition—UNW’s 20th varsity-level sport. Endowment reaches $20 million. Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics begins. UNW and Northwestern Media host first Northwestern Christian Writers Conference.

2018 | New major of Politics, History & Economics offered. UMAC Academic All-Conference list includes 127 UNW student-athletes. UNW receives $63,000 Dash Emergency Grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates to serve students in the midst of financial crisis. UNW completes its 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation process through the Higher Learning Commission. 

2019 | Hayley Loehlein ’19 named 15th Fulbright scholar. Rosedale Square North is renovated for engineering labs. UNW’s production of Alice in Wonderland receives national awards at the Kennedy Center American Theatre Festival. Dr. Alan Cureton, Dr. Matt Hill ‘89, Beth Wilmeth ’02 receive UMAC 10-year service award. UNW hosts archaeological artifacts from a Biblical site in Israel, with excavation led by Dr. Boyd Seevers. A new Biology lab is added to Nazareth Hall, featuring a state-of-the-art Anatomage digital cadaver system.

2020 | Dr. Joanna Klein and Hannah Flowers ’16 named 16th and 17th Fulbright scholars. The School of Nursing is named the number one nursing school in Minnesota by RegisteredNursing.org. The Pilot alumni magazine celebrates 100 years. Northwestern launches a new MBA concentration in Data Analytics and a new M.A. in Ministry Leadership. Men’s Basketball coach Tim Grosz was named UMAC’s Coach of the Year for the second year in a row and 10th time in his career.

2021 | Moriah Maunu ’20 named the 18th UNW Fulbright scholar. UNW launched a new online program in Healthcare Management. UNW Baseball won its first UMAC championship since 1996 and advanced to its first NCAA Division III regional tournament. Men’s Basketball won the 2021 NCCAA championship—the third in program history. Softball Coach Alicia du’Monceaux ’09 was honored as the NCCAA Game Plan 4 LIFE Female Staff Character Award winner. UMAC names 162 Eagle student-athletes to the Academic All-Conference honors list during the 2020–21 season. Northwestern Media donates equipment and assists with the installation of eight radio production studios at Daystar Academy in Nairobi, Kenya. Ericksen Center undergoes renovations to create a new golf training facility.