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From: Bonita J. Brown, J.D.
Interim President, Northern Kentucky University
Date: 05/31/2023
Subject:  Campus update and good news from May 2023


Dear NKU campus community,

I hope everyone enjoyed a relaxing first few weeks of summer and that the Memorial Day weekend was a good one for your family and friends. Memorial Day is a time for us all to pay our respects to those in our armed services who throughout our history have made the ultimate sacrifice. At NKU and across the country, we stand united in mourning the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military, and we honor them for that sacrifice.

While most of our learners are enjoying much-deserved time off for summer break, campus is still alive with summer classes and outreach events for local elementary and high school students. Among those are our CINSAM camps and academies and the upcoming Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs that will have its largest-ever class. Yes, it may be a bit slower than usual around here, but there is always something exciting going on.

Here are some highlights from May:

  • Commencement is the consummate highlight every semester — the ultimate realization of our student-centered mission and the fulfillment of our pillars of access, completion and career and community engagement. We should all take some time to reflect on the work we’ve done and the accomplishments of our more than 1,900 graduates from May 2023 as they embark on exciting lives ahead.
  • We are highly successful in guiding our students to graduation and NKU continues to be a leader in student success. In fact, we among the top three in performance in the state and this year’s distribution of performance funding reflects that. I am excited to announce that we will receive an additional $1.3 million over what we received last year, bringing this year’s distribution to $12.6 million. I am proud of the work of our faculty and staff and all our student-success efforts!
  • Just as we were saying goodbye for now to our newest alumni, we were also saying hello to many new Norse who will join us this fall from high schools right here in the region. I joined many representatives from NKU on a bus tour to Campbell County High School, Simon Kenton High School and Ryle High School to celebrate National College Decision Day with the newest Norse.
  • We will continue to welcome our new learners to campus beginning June 1 during Northern Exposure. This year, we have 11 of these in-person orientation sessions for first-time full-time freshmen, two virtual sessions and two sessions for transfer students. It is an opportunity for incoming students to learn more about NKU and what they will experience as a new student here. They will have the chance to interact with advisors and financial aid staff, to attend a browsing fair, interact with student organizations and to tour campus. I am happy to report the first five sessions are completely full. It is an exciting time for campus as we welcome our new class over the summer to NKU and I really cannot wait to see them all here as classes begin in August.
  • Our Norse Athletics teams set a school record for highest GPA in athletics history during the spring 2023 semester with a 3.52 department-wide GPA. It was the second straight semester NKU student-athletes broke their own record. It was the 24th straight semester with a department GPA of 3.0 or higher and the 18th consecutive semester of 3.2 or higher.

    The Norse enjoyed an abundance of success in competition as well. Congratulations to our softball team for winning Horizon League championship and participating in its first-ever DI NCAA Tournament earlier this month.
  • In baseballNoah Fisher was named the conference Player of the Year and was an All-League First Team selection, joining John Odom, Colton Kucera and Clay Brock on the first team and several others on the second team. While the Norse ended their season late last week at the Horizon League Tournament, their 30 wins this season are a new program record for wins in the Division I era, besting the program’s 25 wins in 2017. 

    It was a wonderful spring season for all of our Norse teams, and you can read all about the successes on the Athletics website.
  • NKU students, professors and professional archeologists have been working on an archeological survey of the historic Newport Barracks site this month. They are attempting to identify any surviving remnants of lost structures such as the officer’s quarters, the powder magazine and privies. The project is a continuation of the work Master of Public History students have been doing the past two semesters in researching the history of the Newport Barracks.
  • Congratulations to Professor Jack Harrison, who has been named the David and Nancy Wolf Chair in Ethics and Professional Identity. He is the first NKU Chase College of Law faculty member to hold an endowed academic chair in its 130-year history. The chair was endowed this past year by a $1 million gift from Chase alumnus David Wolf and Nancy Wolf. Thank you to the Wolf family.

Of course, those are only a few of the great things happening at NKU. As always, you can read about all the fantastic news about our university, students, faculty and staff, and our alumni in the NKU Magazineand the NKU Media Center.

Thank you for all you do for our university, our learners and the community, and I hope you continue to have a wonderful summer.




Bonita J. Brown, J.D.
Interim President