Home / University News

University News

Spring breakers take inventory of life, love and leadership

For students across the country, spring break is an opportunity to reset mid-semester and let loose from school. But for 18 Arizona State University students, the week of March 7–13 was a chance to reflect on larger-than-life questions and to engage in activities to achieve a fulfilled life experience. They enrolled in CEL 394 — Leading a Life of Meaning, an experiential course offered annually by the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership . The group traveled to Prescott, Arizona, for an immersive six-day program of extensive readings, dialogue, bonding and community service. ”This course has made me think differently about every aspect of my life,” wrote student Sophia Herman. “The blend of liberal and experiential education changed something in me. It was exactly what I needed to get out of the rut I’ve been in.” Through this course, students from a variety of schools retreated to Prescott...

Founders' Day honors pioneers, captains of industry

On March 17, ASU Founders’ Day returned to an in-person format at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. The annual event honors faculty, alumni and philanthropists who drive Arizona State University's mission of innovation and entrepreneurship forward. Held every spring since 1960, Founders’ Day is an homage to commemorate the March 7, 1885 anniversary of when the institution, then called the Territorial Normal School, received its charter from the Thirteenth Territorial Legislature. In his award acceptance speech, Brian Swette, who along with his wife, Kelly, were named Philanthropists of the Year, reminded attendees that even the initial charter ensured that access and inclusivity in education were paramount to ASU. In part, that charter directed that “the instructions shall be, nearly as possible, free.” Although Arizona would not become a state until Feb. 14, 1912, ASU was at the forefront of discovery with its mission always rooted in the spirit of innovation...

With $25M gift, ASU's Thunderbird School of Global Management aims to educate 100 million worldwide by 2030

Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management announced plans today to educate 100 million learners by 2030, thanks to a historic $25 million donation. Phoenix philanthropists Francis and Dionne Najafi are funding an accredited online Global Management and Entrepreneurship Certificate, consisting of five world-class courses in 40 different languages, as part of the Francis and Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative . The certificate will be covered by full scholarships, thus at no cost to learners. The courses, which include subjects such as global leadership, customer experience and global entrepreneurship, launch in April. “There is a large body of people around the world who have no access to education,” Francis Najafi said. “My wife and I think of education as part of your basic human rights. ... As an immigrant some five decades ago, I learned the value of education. I learned my basic management skills and leadership...

Creating the future of Arizona

For generations, every Arizona schoolchild learned that the state’s economy is based on the five Cs: cattle, cotton, copper, climate and citrus. While they worked well for the Grand Canyon State in its first hundred years, the 21st century requires coders and engineers for Arizona to stay competitive and resilient through the type of shocks the past 20 years have dealt. Gov. Doug Ducey and the state Legislature have funded a plan for the state’s three universities to develop a coordinated response to attract high-tech industry, drive job creation and make Arizona families prosperous. It’s called the New Economy Initiative . Its goals are to create 40,000 new high-wage jobs by 2041, increase economic output to $6.9 billion by 2032 and double the return on the state’s investment by the same year. The endgame is to pivot Arizona’s economy away from housing growth and tourism to something that is resilient...

Chris Howard, president of Robert Morris University, joins ASU Enterprise leadership

Chris Howard, president of Robert Morris University and a national expert in higher education policy, will join Arizona State University as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the ASU Enterprise. Howard will start in the new role in February. He will join President Michael Crow and other ASU executive vice presidents as part of the ASU Enterprise leadership team to design, build and oversee a new model for a national university dedicated to access, excellence and impact. Howard will work closely with Crow and the other executive vice presidents to coordinate enterprise-wide initiatives and advancement, oversee ASU Enterprise affiliates, advance new enterprise relationships and opportunities, and integrate ASU Enterprise planning and strategy. Chris Howard “To say that it has been both an honor and a privilege to serve as the eighth president of Robert Morris University these past six years would be a gross understatement,” Howard said. “(My...

ASU's Skysong Innovations startups surpass $1B in external funding

Editor’s note: This story is featured in the 2021 year in review . This story was updated on Dec. 8 to reflect an additional $50 million in external funding raised by OncoMyx. Arizona State University just passed a milestone with more than $1 billion raised in external funding by the startups in its portfolio at Skysong Innovations, the entity that brings ASU research into the marketplace. In addition, in fiscal year 2022 so far, industry partners acquired some of those startups for around $125 million in combined transaction value. Inventions shepherded from lab to market include mechanical trees that pull carbon dioxide from the air and capture it for downstream use in construction, agriculture and industry; an engineered virus that attacks cancer cells; and an enzyme-based solution that cost-effectively reduces dust emissions at construction sites. “A billion dollars of investments is an incredible milestone that signals enormous accomplishment, but the...

Uber-ASU partnership surpasses 100 graduates

The Uber and Arizona State University partnership has passed a significant milestone — its 100th graduate. To date, 118 drivers, delivery people and their family members have graduated from ASU Online through the program, which launched as a pilot in eight cities — including Phoenix — in 2018. The program went nationwide in 2019. “The partnership with ASU is one way we are able to help support those working on Uber who want to further their education but don't want to go into debt in order to pursue their dreams,” said Carrol Chang, head of driver operations for the U.S. and Canada at Uber. “We are honored to celebrate the 118 people who have graduated from this program, and we wish them continued success in the opportunities that lie ahead.” The Uber and ASU partnership offers full tuition coverage for drivers, delivery people and their family members who pursue an...

Reimagining of higher education inspires alumni to support ASU's mission

It's a long list, Shelly Udall insists, and she doesn't know where to begin. "It's so many different facets," she said after a pause. "We could probably talk for an hour about different things that we're proud of at ASU." Her husband, Trace Udall, shares his heartfelt thoughts on the university's makeover under President Michael M. Crow. "Dr. Crow is saying, ‘We want to be a university that's willing to take anyone as long as they're willing, and we can figure out a way for them to pursue a better education, a better life,'" Trace said. “ASU looks at how they can educate people to improve not only the individual but the family, the community, the state, the country, the world, in that order, rather than saying, 'You're not good enough for us,' or, 'You don't have enough money to pursue a degree.’ “That would be, at my core, the...

ASU named most innovative university 7 years running

Editor’s note: This story is featured in the 2021 year in review . The number seven is often associated with good fortune, but luck had nothing to do with ASU’s latest accomplishment: For the seventh year in a row, the university is ranked No. 1 in innovation by U.S. News & World Report, a feat borne of a long history of creative reimagining — along with a healthy dose of tenacity and resilience through a period filled with obstacles and uncertainty. “This past year and a half has been a time of great challenges. It has tested our creativity, our resilience and our humanity," ASU President Michael Crow said. “Through it all, the university community persevered and innovated in order to continue to be of service. As we have done and will continue to do, we pulled together in novel ways to keep our mission of access, excellence and impact...

Pages