George Fox University (GFU) is a Christian university of liberal arts and sciences, and professional studies located in Newberg, Oregon, United States. Founded as a school for Quakers in 1885, the private school has more than 3,500 students combined between its main campus in Newberg and its centers in Portland, Salem, Redmond and Boise. Graduate studies include psychology, business, education, counseling, physical therapy and seminary. The 108-acre (0.44 km2) main campus is located near downtown Newberg, near the junction of Oregon Route 99W and Oregon Route 219. George Fox competes athletically at the NCAA Division III in the Northwest Conference as the Bruins. The school colors are navy blue and old gold.
The university was founded in Newberg, Oregon, in 1885 by Quaker pioneers, originally serving as Friends Pacific Academy for several years before becoming a college in 1891 as Pacific College. The Bruin mascot name comes from a real bear cub found in 1887, in the Coast Range's foothills near Carlton, about 15 miles (24 km) west of Newberg. The cub's mother had been shot and a student from Pacific Academy found the young bear and brought it back to campus. Years later, the bear hide became an unofficial mascot for the senior class and other students often attempted to steal it away. After the hide deteriorated, a leather replica was created and called Bruin Jr. Students today still participate in student-government-sponsored class competitions called "Bruin brawls" for possession of the Bruin Jr.
In 1893, the school was incorporated as a joint-stock company and became a four-year school in 1925. Herbert Hoover’s uncle Dr. H. J. Minthorn served as the school’s first president, and Hoover was an early student at the academy. The school’s name was changed to George Fox College in 1949 to honor George Fox, the founder of the Quaker movement.
From 1991 to 2010, George Fox provided each traditional undergraduate student with a computer. In 1996, the college merged with Western Evangelical Seminary to form George Fox University. Dwight Kimberly, an associate professor of biology, received the Carnegie Foundation's Oregon Professor of the Year award in 2000. Rhett Luedtke, an associate professor of Theatre, was one of just three faculty members chosen nationally to receive a National Directing Fellow Award from the John F. Kennedy Center in 2010.
The university student body has grown more than 500% since 1986, when enrollment was 549. With more than 3,500 students in Newberg, Portland, Salem, and Boise, Idaho, and at other teaching sites in Oregon, George Fox is now the third-largest private college in Oregon.
George Fox grants bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. The university is a participant in the Richter Scholars program, which sponsors 15-25 students per year to perform original research. George Fox offers study-abroad opportunities through the "Best Semester" program offered by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).
Students may pursue a career in the following majors:
Accounting, Allied Health, Applied Science, Art, Athletic Training, Biblical Studies, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Christian Ministries, Cinema/Media Communication, Cognitive Science, Communication Arts, Computer Science, Economics, Elementary Education, Engineering, English, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Global Business, Health and Human Performance, History, Information Systems, Interdisciplinary Studies, International Studies, Journalism, Management, Marketing, Mathematics, Music, Music Education, Nursing, Organizational Communication, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, Spanish and Theatre.
School of Education programs include a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), a Master of Arts in Counseling (MA), a Master of Education (MEd), a Doctor of Education (EdD), a Master of Arts in School Counseling (MA), a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MA), Administrative License Programs and both a Library Media Endorsement and Reading Endorsement. The university's School of Business offers full- and part-time Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs and a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree. George Fox also confers a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree and a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree.
In addition, George Fox Evangelical Seminary confers a Doctor of Ministry degree in three tracks: leadership and spiritual formation, semiotics and future studies, and global missional leadership. Also offered are a Master of Arts in Ministry Leadership (MA), a Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation (MA), a Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MA), a Master of Divinity (MDiv), and a certificate in spiritual formation and discipleship.
George Fox’s athletic teams are known as the Bruins. The university offers 15 varsity sports – eight for women, seven for men – and competes in the nine-member Northwest Conference at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III level. George Fox offers baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer, tennis, golf, and track and field for men. Women compete in basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis, golf, track and field, and volleyball. In Spring 2014 women's lacrosse will debut as George Fox's 16th intercollegiate sport. Football is expected to return Fall 2014.
After four decades in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), George Fox University and the Northwest Conference switched affiliation to the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 1998.
The Bruins have enjoyed recent success at the national level. The baseball team won the 2004 NCAA Division III national championship, a game that was named one of the top 50 moments in Northwest Sports History by Portland radio station KFXX AM 1080, "The Fan." In 2009, the school’s women’s basketball team went unbeaten (32-0) and capped the season with a 60-53 defeat of Washington University in St. Louis in the title game. In winning, George Fox claimed the first Division III national women's championship for any program west of the Rocky Mountains. Head coach Scott Rueck was named the NCAA Division III national coach of the year. More recently, the 2011-12 women's basketball team reached the championship game of the NCAA Division III tournament.
George Fox University is a full member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. As such, students sign a "lifestyle" agreement, attend required chapel/current-event gatherings, and participate in service projects. No statement of faith or religious preference are required to attend, although the student body is overwhelmingly Christian. Faculty members and staff are required to sign a statement professing faith in traditionally Christian doctrines.
The university hosts dozens of Christian speakers each year through twice-weekly chapel/current-event gatherings. Hundreds of students each year participate in Winter and Spring "Serve trips" throughout the Western United States, Mexico, and Canada. In groups of 10-25, students give a week of either break to provide volunteer labor for missions, homeless shelters, nonprofits, and other charitable causes. Faculty, staff, and students also participate in "Serve Day" each September. A weekday off from work and classes allows over 90% of eligible individuals the opportunity to volunteer at local churches, schools, nonprofits, etc. performing manual labor and maintenance work.
George Fox University is a center for Quaker thought, although only about 5% of the student body are Quakers, and houses an extensive library of historical Quaker and non-violence literature. The Northwest Yearly Meeting gathers each summer on campus and is headquartered adjacent to GFU. In 1984, the university founded its Center for Peace Learning, now known as the Center for Peace and Justice, as an outgrowth of its connection to the Friends peace testimony.
In addition to its main campus in Newberg, the university has four centers:
The Boise Center will be closing down within the next few years.[when?]
The Newberg campus includes two structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One, Minthorn Hall, was built in 1886 and is still used for holding classes. The other, Jesse Edwards House, was constructed in 1883 and serves as the residence for the university president.
There is a variety of student housing available on Newberg's campus including 23 houses, 10 residence halls, and four apartment buildings.
Forbes includes George Fox in its 2009-10 ranking of the top 100 "America's best colleges." George Fox ranked 58th, highest among colleges affiliated with the 111-member Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
George Fox University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier regional university in the West. According to data compiled by that magazine for its 2012 “America’s Best Colleges” issue, George Fox ranks No. 37 out of approximately 1,400 accredited institutions in the nation in percentage of students (53%) studying outside the country before graduation. The magazine also listed George Fox as a "Best Value" school.
Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine rates George Fox among the top four Christian colleges and top 80 private schools nationwide in its "Best Value" assessment.
Notable alumni and educators
Those who have attended or graduated from George Fox include:
Those who have taught at George Fox include: