Six highlights of 2017

Last Updated 2 January, 2018

As we enter 2018 with anticipation of what is to come, we want to take a minute to reflect on some of the highlights of the past year. From a national champion to the deployment of Idaho’s first satellite, NNU has had an exceptional year. Celebrate these exciting changes and accomplishments with us as we look forward to many more in 2018!

May: Payton Lewis becomes an NCAA National Champion

Junior pole vaulter Payton Lewis competed at the NCAA National Championship in Florida, clearing a new school-record of 17 feet, 7 inches, and in the process winning just the third NCAA National Championship in Nighthawk history. "I just give all the glory to God," Lewis shared. "I didn't stress about anything today and just tried to relax and put my faith in God." The Nighthawks had a great fall semester as well with both Volleyball and Women’s Soccer competing in post-season tournaments!

May: Students serve communities around the world

NNU-on-a-Mission teams filled direct needs for communities in Liberia, Poland and Haiti. From engineering gasifiers to teaching English, students were able to serve others with their skills while experiencing a foreign culture. “I’ll always have this experience in the back of my mind when I work on other projects as an engineer,” said Levi Sligar (’17). “I’ll keep an eye out for processes and technologies that can be applied to other communities in need.”

June: Plans for the new Student Commons are announced

Then student body president Ross Martinson (’17) announced plans to construct the new Student Commons in 2018. We’re so excited for the impact this space will have on our campus community! As of the end of the year, we are in the final stages of fundraising. A new donation in December will match every dollar given between now and February 13, 2018, to raise the last $500,000.

July: NNU and PLNU alumni release book “I’ll Push You”

“I’ll push you.” When Patrick Gray (’97) said these words to best friend Justin Skeesuck, he didn’t fully know what he was offering, but he meant it. After a year of preparation, six weeks of pushing, pulling and soul searching, and a documentary film and book, those simple words have become life changing for both men.

October: New Nighthawk mascot announced

At the fall 2017 meeting of the Board of Trustees, there was a unanimous vote to change the university’s nickname and mascot from “Crusaders” to “Nighthawks”. President Joel Pearsall announced the change to the student body and campus community at chapel on October 16. As we turn this new page in our history, we remain committed to our mission and are excited for our future as Nighthawks!

November: MakerSat-0 is deployed into orbit

On November 18, a rocket carrying NNU’s cube satellite MakerSat-0 was launched into space aboard a Delta II rocket. The cubesat was deployed into orbit and has been rotating the earth 14 times a day at 17,000 mph. The student engineering team worked throughout the summer on this project, but they weren’t the only ones putting in extra time at the lab. From analyzing forest fire damages to frog bioacoustics, students were busy pioneering new areas of study and making breakthroughs in computer science, biology, chemistry and engineering.

Photo caption: Components of NNU’s MakerSat-1 float aboard the International Space Station. Photo courtesy of NASA.