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Northern Kentucky University celebrates its Founders’ Day and 54th birthday with a day of philanthropy to honor the past and support the university’s future on March 16.

The Founders’ Day celebration will honor NKU’s past while investing in its future. The celebration features a series of matches and challenges throughout the day for alumni, faculty, staff and parents to maximize their impact in the campus community and donate to their favorite department, scholarship fund, Norse team or student-support initiative. Local businesses are also pitching in to support the university’s efforts, including AAA Club Alliance donating two Delta Air Lines tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S. The winner will be drawn on March 17.

“It is remarkable to think of all that NKU has achieved since the founders came together 54 years ago with a vision of transforming the lives of students and making a profound impact on the community,” NKU President Ashish Vaidya said. “As we continue on our quest to becoming more student-ready and regionally engaged, the investments in NKU will accelerate the realization of that vision.”

This is the second year NKU is celebrating its founding with a giving campaign. Founders’ Day 2021 raised $316,296 for NKU colleges, programs, and experiences from a record-breaking 601 donors.

“We are thrilled to host our second annual NKU Founders' Day event after breaking records last year for the most gifts to NKU in a single day,” Jodi Zerbe, NKU director of annual giving, said. “The passion and energy from our alumni, faculty, staff, students and community members continue to improve the reputation of our institution, the lives of our students and the experience they have on our campus. Giving back truly makes a difference here and we can't wait for you all to join us once again on March 16.”

NKU’s rich history began in 1946 at the Trailways Bus Station in Covington, Kentucky. A handful of students and instructors participated in classes offered through the University of Kentucky’s educational extension services. In the years that followed, community members lobbied for a new institution and paved the way for the creation of Northern Kentucky State College in 1968. Both the campus and enrollment quickly grew, and the institution became a university in 1976.

To learn more about Founders’ Day and the complete schedule of challenges, or to make a gift, go to the Founders' Day webpage

About NKU: Founded in 1968, NKU is an entrepreneurial state university of over 16,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus nestled between Highland Heights, Kentucky and bustling downtown Cincinnati. We are a regionally engaged university committed to empowering our students to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. While we are one of the fastest-growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit