Blog Community

University of Northwestern – St. Paul: Scenic, Safe, and Spiritually Strong

By Tami R. Rangel on Friday, June 21, 2024


The breath-taking campus of University of Northwestern – St. Paul, in many ways, demonstrates who we are as an institution—deeply rooted in our unwavering commitment to Scripture; pristine care in growing Biblically-grounded leaders who are flourishing in their homes, churches, communities, and world. 

University of Northwestern – St. Paul proudly holds the distinction of being voted #2 on Niche.com’s list of 2024 Best College Campuses in Minnesota. This accolade reflects not only the stunning natural beauty and meticulously maintained grounds of our campus but also the vibrant and supportive community we foster. Our commitment to excellence in all areas, from academics to campus life, has earned us this prestigious recognition, making Northwestern a top choice for students seeking both spiritual and educational growth in a picturesque setting.

Situated on the southern shore of Lake Johanna and surrounded by beautiful, old trees, deeply rooted in the ground where they were planted, our campus is a sight to behold. Anyone who has visited can attest to its beauty and the history that exists here. Some prominent buildings on campus include the Island Chapel, Nazareth Chapel, and Nazareth Hall

Grounds Director, Jeff Hintz, and his team work tirelessly to ensure a campus that is not only clean, but pristine. He has no tolerance for weeds, misplaced mulch, unmanicured grass, or trees that need to be trimmed. His attention to detail, including potted plantings that are gorgeously full in every season of the year, create a feel on campus that mimics our standard campus-wide— We see. We care. We tend to. We nurture. We prune. And We watch flourish. People who visit our campus can see that, because of Hintz and his team. Those who send their children to Northwestern (and the students who attend here), experience that through relationships with our staff and faculty as well as with their peers. President Corbin Hoornbeek is steadfast in both holding to our mission and building a strong rapport with the entire Northwestern community, including the students. 

Since we’re on water, it would only make sense to provide opportunities for students to enjoy that amenity. Kayaks, paddle boards, and a canoe are available for students and alumni to use.

In addition to its beauty, our campus is far enough away from the city to provide a quaint, safe, and serene environment, yet close enough to both the heart of downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis, to provide a myriad of entertainment and restaurant options. Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is close as well, offering a zoo, a park, and beautiful gardens to explore.

Animals are in abundance on campus. Squirrels are plentiful, deer can often be seen hanging around our woods, and Roy, the campus dog, can be found daily on the campus grounds or inside one of our many campus buildings. “Roy sightings” occur regularly; Roy pettings are even better—a win for both the students and for Roy. Students often show their excitement through and exclamation like, “It’s Roy!” whenever they are graced with this special dog’s presence. 

Roy belongs to Jeff Hintz, previously mentioned. This sweet-natured, hunting dog has been coming to campus Monday through Friday every week of the year since he was a 7-month-old puppy. Roy turned 12 on May 21 and knows this campus like the back of his paw. Wherever Jeff is, Roy is sure to be close by. Roy loves to start his day by chasing squirrels into a tree that he will guard until called away. He enjoys laying in the Green, taking naps on a chair in a nearby office space to Jeff’s, and attending employee meetings (until he gets bored and might randomly walk into a nearby classroom before going back to find Jeff). He is an important part of our campus and is well-known by many. Jeff tells of a story when he was at a store where the employee (and Northwestern student) helping him noticed his UNW polo shirt. When she asked if he worked at Northwestern and what his role was, he simply responded with, “Well, do you know Roy?” Of course, she did and that commonality helped introduce Jeff and his roles on campus. 

Roy keeps the campus safe, but leaves the responsibilities of this important role up to Bill Owen, Director of Public Safety, and his team. Aside from the fact that he is an alumnus, he is committed to the safety of students and those who are visiting campus in variety of ways. There is round-the-clock security presence on campus, every day of the week. As a previous Minneapolis police officer, he has an eye and a mind to identify anything that is suspicious and deal with any situation professionally, pointedly, and completely. It should be said that our campus is a very safe place, but that does not negate the importance of having an active and present security team committed to keeping it that way.

Northwestern’s campus is a sight to behold and signifies in so many ways who we are as a university. Like our many trees, we, too, are rooted in the nutrient-rich soil of God’s Word. We are vibrant like the many flowers planted in the ground and in pots, and we find rest in our security found in Christ alone, our Rock, our Fortress, and our Hope. There’s no place like Northwestern. There’s no place like home!