NKU celebrates 53rd birthday with series of events

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HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (WTVQ) – Northern Kentucky University celebrates its Founders’ Day and 53rd birthday with a day of philanthropy to honor the past and support the university’s future on March 10.

The Founders’ Day celebration will recognize NKU’s remarkable growth and culture of giving throughout the years.

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The celebration features a series of matches and challenges throughout the day for alumni, faculty, staff and parents to maximize their impact in the campus community and donate to their favorite department, scholarship fund, Norse team or student support initiative. Local businesses are also pitching in to support the university’s efforts, including AAA Club Alliance donating two Delta Air Lines tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S.

“Fifty-three years ago, a dream was realized. Our visionary founders came together with a singular purpose to serve the region by transforming the lives of our students and heeding the needs of the community. While the world is very different today, our commitment to serving diverse learners so they can achieve their educational goals remains unwavering,” said NKU President Ashish Vaidya. “One of the best ways to make a difference in our world is by investing in those who have the ideas to change it.”

NKU’s Founders’ Day celebration builds on the momentum and one-year anniversary of launching its COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund last March.

NKU created the fund to ensure students had the necessary resources to address any financial challenges they endured throughout the pandemic. The fund has raised nearly $149,000 and assisted 539 students working to support themselves and their families while pursuing their degrees at NKU.

“Giving to NKU can do so much to help a student earn a degree,” said Jodi Zerbe, director of Annual Giving at NKU. “Whether it’s helping address food insecurity through FUEL NKU or closing the gap with paying tuition, we have something for everyone in the community to connect with across our campus. We also have a one-of-a-kind retro NKU logo t-shirt to thank you for your support.”

NKU’s rich history began in 1946 at the Trailways Bus Station in Covington, Kentucky.

A handful of students and instructors participated in classes offered through the University of Kentucky’s educational extension services.

In the years that followed, community members lobbied for a new institution and paved the way for creating Northern Kentucky State College in 1968. Both the campus and enrollment quickly grew, and the institution became a university in 1976.