Northern Arizona University is a place so familiar to all of us and yet so different than it was 13 years ago. A remarkable evolution over that time span transformed the physical campus, our approach to academics and athletics, accessibility to higher education—little has remained untouched. Today, NAU stands as a model for how a thriving public university should look and operate in the 21st century.

Taking a moment to reflect reminds us that NAU is ideally positioned to move forward. Transformative change, through all its excitement and challenges, has set us on a long course of student-focused success and research excellence. We are here because of vision, commitment and hard work—driven by a visionary leader, President John Haeger. 

As NAU welcomes its 16th president, Rita Cheng, we pause to appreciate Haeger's achievements and celebrate his legacy.