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ASU History ASU Mission A New American University


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ASU Alma Mater
Where the bold saguaros
Raise their arms on high
Praying strength for brave tomorrows
From the western sky
Where eternal mountains Kneel at sunset's gate
Here we hail thee, Alma Mater
Arizona State!


ASU is a vanguard knowledge and discovery enterprise advancing transdisciplinary teaching and research focused on the major questions of our time and the most pressing challenges that confront global society.  The New American University now emerging at ASU represents a pioneering effort to redefine the American research university, and to provide for the region an institution that addresses its unique demands and dynamics while leveraging its competitive advantage through strategic global engagement.

A comprehensive public metropolitan research university enrolling more than 60,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students on four campuses, ASU is a federation of unique colleges, schools, departments, and research institutes that comprise close-knit but diverse academic communities that are international in scope.  ASU champions intellectual and cultural diversity, and welcomes students from all fifty states and more than one hundred nations across the globe. 

The irreducible core of a great university is the human relationships within its scope, and ASU is committed to fostering a collegial atmosphere with a distinctive “focus on the individual.”  ASU continues to produce more winners of top national scholarships and honors than almost any public university, but also admits students with differing interests and indicators of intelligence and creativity.  The faculty includes recipients of prestigious academic and professional honors, including the Nobel Prize and membership in the National Academies.

ASU has been moving at an accelerated pace to establish itself as one of the leading centers for cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in selected areas, both fundamental and applied.  Consistent with the vision of the research university as a catalyst for societal transformation, ASU favors a research enterprise dedicated to societal relevance and socially optimal outcomes of research.  But ASU is also a community of poets, artists, and musicians, a place where the expression of a personal vision is valued as highly as the design of a new molecule.

ASU offers outstanding resources for study and research including libraries and museums with important collections, studios and performing arts spaces for creative endeavor, and unsurpassed state-of-the-art scientific and technological research facilities.  In addition to the historic Tempe campus, the university comprises three newer campuses with more specialized missions:  ASU at the West campus balances the traditions of a liberal arts education with responsiveness to the dynamics of the workforce.  ASU at the Polytechnic campus integrates applied science and technology.  And with plans for a campus in downtown Phoenix focused on the public mission of the university, ASU is a key stakeholder in the revitalization of the historic urban core of Phoenix.

The transformation of ASU from a territorial teachers college to a world-class research institution parallels the transformation of metropolitan Phoenix from a frontier settlement to a dynamic and emerging world city.  ASU seeks to set a new standard for public service, and is an active partner with the private sector in initiatives to enhance the social well-being, economic competitiveness, cultural depth, and quality of life of metropolitan Phoenix and the state.