Nauvoo University will open its doors to freshman students for its inaugural semester during the Fall of 2009. As a result of a recent agreement, students in Nauvoo will also be able to register as students at Carl Sandburg College (CSC) in Galesburg, Illinois. This will allow them to transfer credits and apply for scholarships through CSC. Carl Sandburg College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Many young members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do not have the opportunity to attend LDS-owned colleges. Nauvoo University will provide another academic setting for these students. Nauvoo University will offer a strong academic program of basic classes coupled with spiritual development. This combination may be attractive to students who attend one or two semesters before an LDS mission, who want a year or two closer to home before attending BYU or some other college, or who would like to complete a two-year associate degree through CSC.
Nauvoo University hopes to have a freshman class of 50 students during the 2009-2010 year, with student enrollment increasing as the school expands. Although it is called Nauvoo University, it will not begin as a four-year institution.
Admission is open to LDS students and students of diverse faiths who meet these standards : morality and honesty, abstinence from alcohol and tobacco, clean and modest dress, and ecclesiastical endorsement. In addition, students will be expected to adhere to the standards of their particular faith.
The University of the City of Nauvoo was founded in 1840, but became dormant by 1846. It is being reorganized as an independent coeducational institution that adheres to Latter-day Saint standards but is not owned, operated, funded, or supported by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Evan L. Ivie, former director of the BYU Semester-at-Nauvoo Program, is spearheading this endeavor. Ivie noted that when the church discontinued the BYU Semester-at-Nauvoo program in 2006, numerous individuals expressed interest in a college in Nauvoo based upon its key role in church history and the reconstructed Nauvoo Temple.
In 1841, Joseph Smith stated that the mission of University of Nauvoo was to “enable us to teach our children wisdom — to instruct them in all knowledge, and learning, in the Arts, Sciences and Learned Professions. We hope to make this institution one of the great lights of the world, and by and through it, to diffuse that kind of knowledge which will be of practical utility, and for the public good, and also for private and individual happiness.” This is Nauvoo University ‘s mission statement.
Nauvoo University is looking for faculty and students with a pioneering spirit who want to leave an imprint on this new institution with its long-term goal to become a fully accredited four-year university. Most of the instructors will be retired LDS professors who volunteer their time to help Nauvoo University get started.
Prospective students have already voiced a desire to honor Nauvoo pioneers and “be part of starting something big.” One student said, “A good, clean, safe environment for learning and living is very important to me. I believe that Nauvoo University is headed for great things and will accomplish much good, and I look forward to being a part of it all.”
Another student said, “To attend a school which Joseph Smith himself has prophesied would be an incredible experience…. Nauvoo is not far from [home] and is still an LDS school…. I go to Nauvoo every summer and attend the pageant with my family, and can’t get enough of it.”
A third student observed that “Nauvoo is filled with such religious history that I know I will not only come out of there with a greater knowledge, but with a stronger testimony of my faith. I want so much to be able to feel of the spirit behind Nauvoo University and truly experience the lives of those saints who first came to Nauvoo.”
An academic institution in Nauvoo will benefit students, faculty, and the community. It will give the City of Nauvoo a much needed economic boost. Nauvoo University has the support of the community, Mayor John McCarty, and members of the City Council.
Initially, Nauvoo University will use existing facilities to house the students and staff, but will start a building program as soon as possible. During fall and spring semesters, classrooms and student living space are available because of decreased tourist population.
Nauvoo University ‘s Board of Trustees has started a campaign to raise funds for and solicit support of the University. Donations of real estate, funds for buildings, endowments for scholarships, and assistance in the organization and establishment of the university are needed.
” With the blessings of God, Nauvoo University will grow into the kind of institution that Joseph Smith envisioned it to be,” said Evan Ivie. “Please join us in the creation of this new university.”
To learn more about Nauvoo University or to apply online as a student, go to www.nauvoouniversity.com.