Couple shares NAU spirit


Lynn and Steve Valbuena support Northern Arizona University because of the university’s commitment to athletics and to Native American students.

Lynn is a proud member of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and she was instrumental in the tribe’s support of NAU’s Native American Cultural Center. She also sits on the NAU Foundation Board of Directors, so she has an insider’s view of why Northern Arizona University is the right place to direct financial support.

As an assistant football coach for Fullerton College, Steve has many ties to NAU football. The Valbuena’s support reflects their shared values for NAU student athletes and the Native American Cultural Center, priorities which set NAU apart from its peer universities. 


Valbuena’s passion leads to support

Because of the Valbuena’s support of NAU Football, student-athletes like Chima Ike can focus on both academic and athletic goals. Chima is a senior defensive lineman for NAU Football and a political science major with plans to attend law school after graduation. He is inspired by the Valbuenas and promises to “definitely give back to NAU,” when he is able.

For the Valbuenas, the decision to give to NAU was easy. “We felt the need to invest in Northern Arizona University because of the outstanding academics. This university keeps students engaged and connected with the faculty,” says Steve.

Lynn and Steve care deeply about Northern Arizona University students, and they find their passion is matched by the university’s commitments to Native American students, including the Native American Cultural Center, which was built with donor and community support. It is a place where students from all over campus can network, study, and celebrate diverse cultures, especially those in northern Arizona. The Valbuenas have watched their gift blossom into student success, which makes it all worthwhile.

“I was impressed by the effectiveness of the university’s outreach to Native American communities. It was very encouraging to see Native American students successfully completing their studies at NAU,” says Lynn.

Ensuring student success

With donors like the Valbuenas, Northern Arizona University can continue to grow and provide support to students. Through the Campaign for NAU, you can help Northern Arizona University keep its promise to lead students to success for years to come. 

“I was impressed by the effectiveness of the university’s outreach to Native American communities. It was very encouraging to see Native American students successfully completing their studies at NAU.” – Lynn Valbuena