Sanford College of Education is New Name for National University School

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Philanthropist Denny Sanford (right) with Michael Cunningham, chancellor of the National University System. Photo by Chris Jennewein

National University‘s education school was officially renamed the Sanford College of Education Friday in recognition of philanthropist Denny Sanford‘s growing contributions to education.

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“I am confident it’s going to be the number one school in the nation,” Sanford told a gathering of professors and administrators at at brief ceremony at National University’s campus in Kearny Mesa.

Sanford said that many of his philanthropic contributions were initally focused on medical research, but over time realized that education could have an even greater impact on future generations.

“What can I do to make more of an impact? There’s nothing better than education,” he said.

Sanford has helped secure $30 million in funding for national educational programs led by National University and focused on teachers in pre-kindergarten to grade 12.

The new Sanford College of Education offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as certificates and other credentials, in programs ranging from counseling and psychology to early childhood education and school administration.

The school prepares more teachers than any other institution in California and is fourth nationwide in awarding master’s degrees. A quarter of the principals in the San Diego Unified School District are graduates of the school administration program.

Sanford will celebrate his 80th birthday later this month, and the naming was timed to help celebrate that milestone.

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“What better way to celebrate Mr. Sanford’s 80th birthday than by taking this moment to celebrate his great generosity and to thank him for doing so much to improve the quality of teacher education and preparation,” said Michael Cunningham, chancellor of the National University System.

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