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History & Heritage

Learn how we began in Minneapolis in 1902 as Northwestern Bible and Missionary Training School, with just seven students. Read about boom years and challenging years and meet some of the amazing people God has included on our journey to become the Northwestern of today.
Northwestern History
Learn about our rich history dating back to 1902.


  • Northwestern Bible And Missionary Training School building in 1902


    Beginning with only seven students in 1902, Northwestern Bible and Missionary School was founded. Follow our history through location and name changes through 1947 when Rev. Billy Graham becomes...

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  • First KTIS broadcast with Billy Graham in 1949


    See the timeline of growth, leadership changes, and the temporary closing of the college.

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  • 1967-1999

    Follow our history as we find our permanent home and the "New Northwestern'' emerges. Long-awaited accreditation transforms the institution into a liberal arts college.

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  • Current image of Northwestern


    View the most recent contributions that helped expand UNW's academic and athletic programs.

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Campus Heritage

The Getty Foundation awarded Northwestern a generous Campus Heritage Grant in 2004 which led to extensive research on our historic buildings and the development of a preservation plan for them. Discover the shared history of many of our buildings and how our beautiful St. Paul campus came to be.
  • Outside of Nazareth Hall

    Nazareth Hall

    The crowning architectural centerpiece of our campus, Nazareth Hall, has a rich history dating back to the 1920s. Today, it serves as the hub of our academic and administrative activities, as well as...

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  • Inside of Nazareth Chapel

    Nazareth Chapel

    Learn about the deep consideration and incredible intentionality that went into the creation of the Annunciation Chapel, now known as Nazareth Chapel.

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  • Island chapel

    Island Chapel

    Description and history of the Island Chapel on the University of Northwestern campus.

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  • A diverse group of students on Northwestern's campus green.

    About Us

    University of Northwestern (UNW) is a Christ-centered liberal arts university located in the heart of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Since 1902, students have come to Northwestern to...

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  • Aerial view of Northwestern lakeside campus.


    In addition to a stunningly beautiful campus located on Lake Johanna—complete with a private beach and canoes to enjoy it—you can experience all of the above plus four seasons (we won't lie, it...

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  • Hotel near Northwestern

    Nearby Hotels

    Hotel accommodations in proximity to University of Northwestern campus.

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  • crowd in Knight Performance Hall

    Conferences & Meetings

    Having a conference or meeting and need a place to host it? Northwestern has several rooms available for rent. We also feature lodging, catering, transportation and more. Learn more about how to...

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