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SAU: 20 Moments In 2020

SAU Jesus Reactor covered in snow

As 2020 comes to a close, SAU is excited to share some of the many blessings God provided for our campus over the last 12 months, despite the pandemic. This year has been a challenge, but we couldn’t let the year pass by without celebrating some top moments with you. Check out some of the amazing headlines from SAU this year!

Bridging the Gap with Oberlin College

Nine SAU students participated in the inaugural Bridging the Gap program. The goal? Learning how to listen to others and to find common ground with peers that have different beliefs, life circumstances, and values. We can’t wait for this to return in 2021! Read about their experience!

First Robotics Competition Takes Over the MAC

SAU hosted 40 high school robotics teams from all over southern Michigan as they competed for the opportunity to attend the State Competition. Every inch of the McDonald Athletic Center was filled with teenagers, snack food and robots battling for victory.

You Provided for Students in Need

This spring, as lives changed daily due to the pandemic, SAU created the Emergency Student Relief Fund to assist families of students financially impacted by COVID-19 with tuition expenses. To date, $222,656.30 has been raised, and gifts continue to come in. Scholarship funds have already been awarded to 46 students, with more to come!

Spring Arbor student models the headband he created to attach to face masks for healthcare workers to wear

Engineering Student Uses 3D Printer to Help Fight COVID

Serving local frontline workers, Electrical Engineering major Noah Waldron used the 3D printer he built during his first year at SAU to create more than 300 plastic headbands for healthcare workers at Henry Ford Allegiance Health. Read more!

An Evening at the Arbor Goes Virtual

The 7th Annual Evening at the Arbor looked different this year; instead of inviting guests to campus, the event was hosted through Facebook Live. Alumni, faculty, staff, students and sponsors gathered together to celebrate the amazing work of our School of Social Sciences alumni. The evening raised $44,100 for Arbor Fund student scholarships.

First On-Campus Nursing Program Graduates

SAU is incredibly proud of the first graduates from our on-campus nursing program. They graduated in May amidst a pandemic and immediately went into the world to serve on the frontlines. Did we mention that 100% of the graduates passed their boards? Yeah, we’re extremely proud of them!

New Program: Master of Education in Trauma & Resiliency

In partnership with Starr Commonwealth, this new program equips teachers to better understand the impact traumatic situations have on students while learning essential social-emotional teaching strategies for the classroom and beyond! Read more.

Second-Highest Fundraising Year Ever!

The 2019-2020 fiscal year was the second-highest fundraising year in Spring Arbor University history as gifts totaling $6,111,133 were invested in SAU!

New Program: First SAU Doctorate Program Announced

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Strategic Leadership program, designed for practicing nurses looking to advance their careers, launched online in 2020! In addition, three online Post-Master’s Certificates for highly skilled nursing leaders are now offered through the School of Nursing. Read more!

Children’s Choice Initiative

The School of Education partnered with Children’s Choice Initiative, an organization dedicated to teaching educators how to unlock a student’s potential through teaching methods that help dyslexic children master the skill of reading.

SAU Open Has Record-Breaking Turnout

We hosted the 11th Annual SAU Open golf tournament in August. The response was overwhelming as $36,072.50 was raised to provide student scholarships through the Arbor Fund. That’s more than a $12,000 increase from 2019!

Fall Classes on Campus

With help from the hard work of our faculty and staff, SAU was able to welcome students back on campus for the fall semester. Our students enjoyed in-person learning until Thanksgiving. We look forward to welcoming them back in January!

Jaworski Nursing Lab Expansion

The nursing profession is growing at a rapid rate, and so is the nursing program at SAU. Earlier this year thanks to a generous gift, SAU added the Jacob & Lois Mol Nursing Simulation Labs to the Jaworski Simulation Center. This project helped renovate the lab, add state of the art equipment/hospital rooms, and will allow for the expansion of the nursing program capacity in the coming years as it grows.

SAU launches 89.3 The Arbor!

Officially on-air and online beginning this fall, 89.3 The Arbor features student broadcasters, Christian music and SAU news. You can listen locally, online, or through the app. Find out more at

New Program: Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering

The School of Engineering is growing! In Fall 2021, SAU will welcome its first class of mechanical engineers! This program is rooted in the liberal arts and offers a faith-based education for future mechanical engineers. Find out more! Find out more.

The Results are In!

The Donald J. Schneider School of Business & Economics conducted an economic impact study of SAU. The report states that “Spring Arbor University is an exemplar – as a generator of economic activity, and as a community of service-minded individuals.” See full results here.

SAU Receives Perfect Score

Each year the Dept. of Education (DOE) evaluates all institutions that receive Title IX funds and review all financial statements and determine if an institution is strong financially. The DOE then creates a composite score that shows the institution’s financial health. The scores range from -1.0 to 3.0, and this year, SAU received a perfect 3.0!

Available Now: Cougar Brew

SAU launched our own personal brew of coffee, curated by our community and roasted by alums. All proceeds go to the Arbor Fund to support student scholarships. Btw, we are now accepting 2021 orders!

Giving Tuesday was simply the best!

SAU had a successful Giving Tuesday in 2020. Every time we announced a new matching gift, you guys exceeded the goal! $24,838.73 was raised to provide Arbor Fund scholarships for 48 students…all in one day!

Welcome to SAU!

The M60 road construction provided the perfect opportunity for a campus entrance refresh! Thank you to incredibly generous donors who provided the funds for increased campus lighting, new trees along M60 and beautiful new entry ports welcoming everyone to campus.