Putting Passion Into Practice
National University was started from a workforce and educational demand that had not been met. In 1971, Dr. David Chigos was the director of employee training at General Dynamics, a global organization in San Diego. As a retired Navy Captain, he wanted to help working adults — including veterans and military servicemembers — advance their careers by providing access to higher education, so he established National University. The mission was to launch a non-traditional university that offered degree programs designed to be both flexible and achievable to increase accessibility for working adults. At the time, the unique one-course-per-month format distinguished National University from other institutions.
The world has changed drastically over the past 50 years, but our mission has remained the same: to provide affordable, accessible, and achievable higher education to adult learners everywhere. Today, our community has grown to more than 28,000 students and over 180,000 alumni worldwide. Through innovative learning pathways and career-focused programs, our students and alumni are achieving their goals and making an impact in their lives and their communities.
Join us in celebration of 50 years of achievement as we look to the future and prepare for the next 50 to come.
Hello and Welcome
Thank you for celebrating National University’s 50th anniversary with us. As we mark this occasion, I feel deep pride for the milestones we’ve reached as an institution and as a community.
Fifty years ago, retired U.S. Navy Capt. David Chigos set out to provide education opportunities to adult learners. Today, National University serves students from across the U.S. and around the globe as the largest private nonprofit university in San Diego — and it’s all thanks to our incredible faculty, staff, alumni, and students.
To celebrate this milestone, I am proud to announce the 50th Anniversary Scholarship — an opportunity for our alumni to return to NU by December 2021 with a 50% tuition reduction. Additionally, our alumni may gift a 25% scholarship to a new, degree-seeking student who enrolls by December 2021.
Thank you for being a part of our university’s history, and again, thank you for taking the time to celebrate this occasion with us. We look forward to continuing to impact more lives and communities as we look to the future of National University.
Here’s to the next 50 years!
Interim President, National University
Thanks to National University, I am able to have a multifaceted career that has enriched my life. I am proud to say that National University is my alma mater.
– Lorena S., Class of 2016