George Fox University

George Fox University
Former names
George Fox College, Pacific College, Friends Pacific Academy
Type Private
Established 1885
Affiliation Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends[1]
Endowment $16.1 million[2]
President Robin E. Baker
Academic staff
195 (full time)
Undergraduates 2,406[3]
Postgraduates 1,433[3]
Other students
301 degree completion[3]
Location Newberg, Oregon, USA
45°18′13″N 122°58′06″W / 45.303629°N 122.968254°W / 45.303629; -122.968254Coordinates: 45°18′13″N 122°58′06″W / 45.303629°N 122.968254°W / 45.303629; -122.968254
Campus Suburban, 108 acres
Colors Old Gold, Navy Blue         
Nickname Bruins (1890s - 1950s; 1970 - present)
Quakers (1950s - 1969)[4]
Mascot Bruins (reinstated in 1970)[5]
Affiliations Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, Northwest Conference, NCAA Division III, Christian College Consortium

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 3,900 students combined between its main campus in Newberg and its centers in Portland, Salem and Redmond. Graduate studies include psychology, social work, 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 level 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.[6] 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.[5] 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.[7] 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 Bruin Jr.[8]

In 1893, the school was incorporated as a joint-stock company and became a four-year school in 1925.[9] Herbert Hoover’s uncle Dr. H. J. Minthorn served as the school’s first president, and Hoover was an early student at the academy.[9] The school’s name was changed to George Fox College in 1949 to honor George Fox, the founder of the Quaker movement.[9]

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.[10] Dwight Kimberly, an associate professor of biology, received the Carnegie Foundation's Oregon Professor of the Year award in 2000.[11] 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.[12] With more than 4,100 students in Newberg, Portland, Salem, and at other teaching sites in Oregon, George Fox is now the second-largest private university in Oregon.[3][13]

In 2014, prompted by a housing dispute involving a transgender student, George Fox University sought and received an exemption from Title IX's requirements with respect to transgender students. [14]

In 2015, the school completed construction of a new residence hall, Brandt Hall, named in honor of former school president David H. Brandt and his wife, Melva. [15] Construction work also began in 2015 on a new dining hall, Canyon Commons, that opened in the fall of 2016.


The Stevens Center on the Newberg campus

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.[16] George Fox offers study-abroad opportunities through the "Best Semester" program offered by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).[17][18]

Undergraduate majors

Students may pursue a career in the following majors:[19]

Accounting, 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, Exercise Science, 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.

Graduate programs

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.[19] 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[20] and a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree.[21] A Master of Social Work (MSW) program was launched in autumn 2015.[22]

In addition, George Fox Evangelical Seminary confers a Doctor of Ministry program[23] in three tracks: Leadership and Spiritual Formation, Semiotics and Future Studies, and Leadership and Global Perspectives. Also offered are a Master of Arts in Ministry Leadership (MA),[24] a Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation (MA),[25] a Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MA),[26] a Master of Divinity (MDiv),[27] and a certificate in spiritual formation and discipleship.


George Fox's athletic teams are known as the Bruins.[28] The university offers 17 varsity sports – nine for women, eight for men – and competes in the nine-member Northwest Conference at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III level.[29] George Fox offers baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, and track and field for men. Women compete in basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

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."[30][31] 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.[31] In winning, George Fox claimed the first Division III national women's championship for any program west of the Rocky Mountains.[32] Head coach Scott Rueck was named the NCAA Division III national coach of the year.[32] More recently, the 2011–12 [33]and 2014-15 [34] women's basketball teams reached the championship game of the NCAA Division III tournament.

Football was reintroduced as a varsity sport at George Fox in the fall of 2014 after a 45-year hiatus from the sport. The head coach for the resurrection was Chris Casey, brother to former Bruin and current Oregon State Beaver Baseball coach Pat Casey.[35][36]

Student life

Wood-Mar Hall.

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.[37] 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.[38] 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.[39] 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.[40]

George Fox University is a center for Quaker thought, although only about 5% of the student body are Quakers,[37] 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.[41] 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.[42]

Campus locations

In addition to its main campus in Newberg, the university teaches classes from four locations:

Newberg Campus Portland Center Salem Site Redmond Site
414 N. Meridian St.
Newberg, OR 97132
12753 S.W. 68th Ave. #185
Portland, OR 97223[43]
4910 Brooklake Road N.E.
Brooks, OR 97305[44]
4555 Elkhorn Ave.
Redmond, OR 97756[45]

The Newberg campus includes two structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[46] One, Minthorn Hall, was built in 1886 and is still used for holding classes.[47] The other, Jesse Edwards House, was constructed in 1883 and serves as the residence for the university president.[48]

There is a variety of student housing available on Newberg's campus including 23 houses, 10 residence halls, and four apartment buildings.[49]


Centennial Tower

Forbes included 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 then 111-member Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).[50]

George Fox University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier regional university in the West.[51] According to data compiled by that magazine for its 2014 "America's Best Colleges" issue, George Fox ranks No. 58 out of approximately 1,800 accredited institutions in the nation in percentage of students (49%) studying outside the country before graduation.[52]

In 2011-12, Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine rated George Fox among the top four Christian colleges and top 80 private schools nationwide in its "Best Value" assessment.[53]

Notable alumni and educators

Those who have attended or graduated from George Fox include:

Those who have taught at George Fox include:


  1. "What Friends Believe > A Brief History of Friends". The Work of Northwest Yearly Meeting. Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends. Retrieved 2012-04-06.
  2. As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "George Fox University breaks 4,000 enrollment mark for first time in its 125-year history". George Fox University. Retrieved 2016-09-29.
  4. George Fox University website, accessed 23 July 2009
  5. 1 2 Athletics at George Fox University: The Bruin Mascot from George Fox University
  6. Horner, John B. (1919). Oregon: Her History, Her Great Men, Her Literature. The J.K. Gill Co.: Portland. p. 255.
  7. "Bruin Beginnings Spring 2008 - George Fox Journal Online". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  8. Felton, Rob (George Fox Journal, Spring 2008). "Bruin Brawl - A 110-year-old school tradition keeps creating new memories... and a few bruises too"
  9. 1 2 3 Corning, Howard M. (1989) Dictionary of Oregon History. Binfords & Mort Publishing. p. 98.
  10. Tsao, Emily (May 22, 1998). "Man who led George Fox to renown dies at 57". The Oregonian. pp. D3.
  12. "George Fox University breaks enrollment record - News Releases". News Releases. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  13. "George Fox University in Newberg grows to 3,700 students". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  14. "Housing Dispute Puts Quaker University at Front of Fight Over Transgender Issues". Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  15. "George Fox University hosts dedication ceremony for new residence hall Aug. 26". Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  16. "Richter Scholars Program". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  17. "Center for Study Abroad". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  18. "Council for Christian Colleges & Universities - Beyond the Classroom: How service learning works in BestSemester programs". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  19. 1 2 "George Fox University - One of the Top Christian Colleges in Forbes & U.S. News rankings". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  20. "Doctor of Psychology". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  21. "Doctor of Physical Therapy". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  22. "Master of Social Work". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  23. "Doctor of Ministry". Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  24. "Master of Arts in Ministry Leadership". Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  25. "Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation". Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  26. "Master of Arts in Theological Studies". Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  27. "Master of Divinity". Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  28. "Bruin Mascot". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  29. "NCAA Division 3 University in Oregon - George Fox University Athletics - George Fox Athletics". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  30. "Baseball - Bruins' 2004 NCAA Title Named One of "50 Greatest Moments in Northwest Sports History" - News Releases". News Releases. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  31. 1 2 "George Fox (Ore.) goes undefeated, takes home D-III women's title". USA Today. 2009-03-21. Retrieved 2009-03-28.
  32. 1 2 "Undefeated George Fox Women Win NCAA Basketball Title". 2009-03-21. Retrieved 2009-03-28.
  33. "A Season to Remember". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  34. "Forty Minutes From Perfection". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  35. "Return of a tradition: Football kicks off in 2014". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  36. "Chris Casey - Football Coach - George Fox Athletics". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  37. 1 2 "Quick Facts". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  38. George Fox University Chapel » What Is Chapel?
  39. "Service in the community - Christian faith in action - George Fox University". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  40. "About". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  41. Official website of the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends
  42. Offices and Services: Center for Peace and Justice from George Fox University
  43. "George Fox University Portland (Tigard) Center, Oregon - An accredited college ranked among America's best by Forbes". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  44. "George Fox University Salem Site - College in Salem, Oregon". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  45. "Redmond campus of George Fox University - Central Oregon colleges near Bend". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  46. "Oregon National Register List" (PDF). State of Oregon. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
  47. Historic Campus Architecture Project: Minthorn Hall. The Council of Independent Colleges. Retrieved on October 1, 2008.
  48. Historic Campus Architecture Project: Jesse Edwards House (President's House). The Council of Independent Colleges. Retrieved on October 1, 2008.
  49. "Interactive Map". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  50. "America's Best Colleges". Forbes. 2009-08-05.
  51. "George Fox University". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  52. "George Fox a national leader in study abroad participation - News Releases". News Releases. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  53. "Rankings". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  54. About the Coach - Bio

Further reading

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