NWU Welcomes Largest Class in University History

Largest incoming class

This year's incoming class is the largest in university history.

When Nebraska Wesleyan University begins classes on Monday, August 20, it will welcome its largest incoming class in school history.

The incoming class includes 490 first-year students from 19 states, and more than 60 transfer students. Total enrollment for the 2018-2019 academic year will near 2,100 undergraduate and graduate students.

“We’re experiencing tremendous momentum at Nebraska Wesleyan,” said President Fred Ohles. “It is a true testament of our exceptional faculty, our devoted staff and our high-achieving students who have collectively contributed to our success.”

Ohles credits a variety of factors for the university’s growth including:

  • Bold Designs Campaign: A $62 million capital campaign that impacts every student. The campaign has increased student scholarships, created premier learning spaces like the new Duane W. Acklie Hall of Science, and advanced life-changing student experiences including internships, collaborative research, service, and study abroad opportunities.
  • Duane W. Acklie Hall of Science: the $29 million facility will house the biology, chemistry and psychology departments, and opens in January. The building was fully funded through the Bold Designs campaign.
  • Community College Partnerships: NWU has partnered with five community colleges in Nebraska and Iowa on the Pathways Scholarship Program, which provides a smooth transfer process with financial benefits for traditional undergraduate and the accelerated degree-completion program for adults. Over 30 new transfer students are enrolled this fall thanks to this partnership.
  • Athletic success: A NCAA III national championship in men’s basketball, nationally competitive men’s and women’s programs in track & field and cross country, and continued success in Academic All-Americans (NWU ranks 8th in the country among all schools), has led to great campus momentum. 

Bill Motzer, vice president for enrollment management, also attributes the enrollment increase to successful outcomes.

“We are producing outcomes that families and students value the most and have come to expect of a college education,” said Motzer. “Every student at Nebraska Wesleyan, for example, completes at least one internship and in many cases, those experiences are leading to job offers. That’s reassuring to our students and their families.” 


Other highlights for the new academic year include:

  • Jennifer Ziegler has been hired as the inaugural Dean of Graduate Programs. She will oversee all existing graduate programs as well as the development of new programs. She comes to NWU from Valparaiso University where she was Dean of the Graduate School and Continuing Education.
  • Construction has begun on the new quad that will connect Old Main with the new Duane W. Acklie Hall of Science. The area will include landscaping, lighting, picnic tables and outdoor event area.
  • NWU welcomes 10 new full-time faculty in art, math, social work, education, criminal justice, business and physics.
  • NWU has added a new computer science minor.
  • NWU added a new sister school, Katholsche Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt in Eichstätt, Germany, further expanding student’s study abroad opportunities.