Celebrating 75 Years Young


Technically, the day you are born is your true “birth day.” After that, each year is the anniversary of your birth. Anniversaries mark an annual day or year of significance, and date of birth is certainly significant.
However, at a certain point in each person’s life, birthdays, unlike other anniversaries, invite anxiety not celebration.

Take 75 years for example.

Meaning no disrespect to the septuagenarians among us, when marked in birthdays, 75 is, well, considered less young. Most adults, even while enjoying birthday celebrations, would put them off if that were possible.

Anniversaries, however, invite a different reaction altogether. Some anniversaries mark remembrance of specific historic events. Other anniversaries celebrate longevity and experience.

75 years ago, there are examples of both.

In 1941 the United States entered World War II after an attack on Pearl Harbor, a day we set aside each December in remembrance.

In celebration of longevity and experience, National American University is proudly marking 75 years of providing higher quality education opportunities. NAU is in good company. Also celebrating 75 years is Jeep, M&Ms, Mt. Rushmore, COACH, and Wonder Woman.

A company’s history often includes humble or unique beginnings. Before M&Ms were M&Ms, soldiers in the Spanish Civil War enjoyed candy-covered chocolates that held up better in the heat. Jeeps too had a military origin. Wonder Woman, now the most popular female comic-book hero, faced critics who found her outfit to be too revealing for 1941 sensibilities. And, COACH, known for its luxury handbags, started in a family-run workshop with just 12 handbags that were inspired by the craftsmanship in baseball gloves.

National American University is no exception. In 1941, the then-named National School of Business was founded with just four students who met with Clarence and Katherine Jacobson at their Rapid City, South Dakota home. The group gathered around a kitchen table for academic instruction toward college certificates in secretarial training and bookkeeping.

75 years and four name changes (see below for the timeline) later, NAU has expanded to more than 30 locations across the central United States, with over 60 degree programs, including business, information technology, healthcare, and more. Tens of thousands of college graduates from 49 states and 27 countries count NAU as their alma mater.

NAU is proud of its 75 year history of educating college graduates who went on to fulfilling careers. Even as NAU celebrates being 75 years young, we are looking forward to offering quality higher education opportunities to all who desire it for many more anniversaries to come.

The Name Game

National American Universities name changes over the years reflect its evolution from a small school offering secretarial and business degrees to a regionally accredited university offering more than 60 degree programs in a variety of fields from diplomas to doctorates.

1941: National School of Business

1965: National College of Business

1980: National College

1997: National American University





Tillett, G., Milestones: The 70-year progression of National American University (National American University, 2010).

About the author:
Tamie Hopp is the Director of Alumni & Foundation Services for National American University. She can be reached at thopp@national.edu. For more information on alumni relations, visit nauconnect.com. Information about the NAU Foundation can be found at naufoundation.org.


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