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‘A Panoramic History’ tells NKU’s story through the eyes of photographer Thomas R. Schiff


University Marketing + Communications 

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Northern Kentucky University has come a long way from the day in March 1971 when community and state leaders put the first shovels in the ground to turn dirt on what would become the Highland Heights campus.

Not even those visionaries could have foreseen what the coming decades would bring: booming enrollment, a fast-growing campus, Division I athletics, and groundbreaking programs such as the College of Informatics.

The University’s remarkable growth over the past five decades is chronicled in the new book, Northern Kentucky University: A Panoramic History

“This book showcases the evolution of our University – the history, the events, and the people that have been integral in our transformation. It is a beautiful story of humble beginnings, great promise, and nearly five decades of innovation,” said NKU President Geoffrey S. Mearns. “It also shows that we are poised for an even brighter future.”

Nationally-acclaimed panoramic photographer Thomas R. Schiff of Cincinnati turned his lens upon NKU’s Highland Heights campus to capture its remarkable, and at times unexpected, beauty.

Juxtaposed against historic images of the campus through the years, the images tell a compelling story about the University’s evolution. But it is through the words of those who know NKU best – professors, staff, and alumni – that its story truly jumps off of the page.

“Northern Kentucky University’s evolution from an educational extension branch of the University of Kentucky into a major university is a story that stirs the heart and challenges the imagination,” writes Professor Emeritus James C. Claypool. “How could the handful of students and instructors attending classes in 1946 at the Trailways Bus Station in Covington have ever imagined what the next seven decades would bring?”

Today, NKU serves more than 15,000 students and employs more than 2,000 faculty and staff.  Founded in 1968, the University will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2018.

Northern Kentucky University: A Panoramic History will be published in late November.

The 147-page book is published by The University Press of Kentucky in partnership with Northern Kentucky University. It will be for sale at booksellers such as Barnes & Noble and Joseph Beth Booksellers, as well as online retailers such as