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News Releases
Photo by Lucas Pauly
Photo by Lucas Pauly
Bushnell University Celebrates Enrollment Surge for 2023-24 (Photo) - 09/25/23

EUGENE, Ore. – Bushnell University is thrilled to announce record-breaking enrollment figures for the 2023-2024 academic year, marking a monumental achievement in the institution’s history. The university has seen unprecedented growth in various enrollment categories, reinforcing its commitment to academic excellence and student success. 

Michael Fuller, M.S., Vice President for Enrollment and Special Assistant to the President for Strategic Planning expressed his excitement, stating, “We are delighted to witness such a continued surge in enrollment at Bushnell University. Our record number of undergraduate and graduate students reflect the dedication of our faculty and staff, the appeal of our programs, and our commitment to providing an exceptional education.” 

The record enrollment for the 2023-2024 academic year includes many impressive highlights and milestones. 

Bushnell University is proud to report an all-time high in graduate enrollment, with 223 students choosing to further their education at the institution, besting the former high of 213 in 2019. This reflects the growing demand for advanced degree programs and the quality of education Bushnell offers. 

One particular program of note is the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, which has achieved an extraordinary enrollment of 134 students, a significant increase from the previous high of 91. This dramatic increase showcases the university’s dedication to training mental health professionals. 

Bushnell University also continues to be a top choice for undergraduate students, with a record-breaking enrollment of 403 for the upcoming academic year, beating last year’s high of 395. The institution’s strong academic programs and vibrant campus community continue to provide strong draws for undergraduates. 

The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program has also shattered previous records with an enrollment of 42 students, compared to a former high of 26. The university remains committed to meeting the demand for skilled nurses in the healthcare sector by providing a variety of pathways into the industry. 

Alongside the traditional undergraduate programs, there has also been a remarkable growth of online and evening undergraduate programs, with 88 students enrolling this year, compared to 80 last year. 

The strong growth of these varied programs highlights Bushnell’s adaptability and forward-thinking in meeting the needs of our students. The university’s commitment to supporting diverse student needs is particularly pronounced with regard to two student demographics: transfer students and student-athletes. 

Bushnell has seen the highest number of transfer students in over two decades, with 59 new transfers joining a community that strives to facilitate a seamless transition to a new academic home. 

Bushnell has also seen record-breaking enrollment in the number of student-athletes. Further, athletics now boasts all-time high rosters in baseball, men’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s track and field, and indoor volleyball. The university’s support of athletics and student-athlete development is evident in the growth of these teams. Furthermore, the diverse range of sports reflects the university’s commitment to supporting all students. 

Kacie Gerdrum, M.A., Dean of Admission, commented on the growth of these programs: “Our dedicated staff and faculty have worked tirelessly to recruit and retain a diverse and talented group of students. These record-breaking numbers are a testament to our collaborative efforts across campus in building a strong, vibrant community.” 

To learn more about Bushnell University, visit www.bushnell.edu.  

Read more stories behind Bushnell’s record enrollment figures: 

Bushnell Launches Sports Management Graduate Program  

Bushnell’s Master of Arts in Leadership Degree Ranked as One of the Most Affordable in Oregon 

ABSN Enrollment Expansion and PeaceHealth Partnership 

Douglas ESD and Bushnell Partnership Provides Expansion of Counseling and Mental Health Programs 

Attached Media Files: Photo by Lucas Pauly
15 Teams Earn NAIA Scholar Award (Photo) - 09/18/23

EUGENE, Ore. – As part of NAIA National Awards Day, the NAIA Scholar Teams were announced last week. All eligible Bushnell University teams, 15 in total, have been selected for the 2022-2023 season from among over 2000 total teams across the association. NAIA Institutions earn Scholar Team recognition for having a collective team GPA, including all players on the active roster, of at least 3.0.

Bushnell continues to be among the top schools in the CCC year-after-year. Ten Beacon teams landed top-five finishes in the conference and seven were among the NAIA Top-40 for their sport.

The Beacon indoor Volleyball team and the women's cross country teams both led Bushnell with a 3.72 GPA. The Men's Cross Country team had Bushnell's top male GPA at 3.46.

2022-2023 NAIA Scholar-Teams

TeamGPACCC RankNAIA Top-40
Women's Cross Country3.723rd16th
Beach Volleyball3.63--4th
Women's Outdoor
Track & Field
Women's Indoor
Track & Field
Men's Cross Country3.463rd23rd
Women's Basketball3.456th 
Men's Golf3.394th 
Women's Soccer3.397th 
Men's Basketball3.332nd21st
Men's Soccer3.185th 
Men's Outdoor
Track & Field
Men's Indoor
Track & Field

To learn more about Bushnell Athletics, visit www.bushnellbeacons.com.

Attached Media Files: NAIA_Scholar_Award.jpg , sign.jpg
Nick Askew makes a guest appearance at the Beacons annual
Nick Askew makes a guest appearance at the Beacons annual "Beacon Madness"
A Journey in Sports Information with Nick Askew (Photo) - 09/14/23

Longtime Beacon Nick Askew has been overseeing the Athletic Communications office at Bushnell University since 2006. In that time, BushnellBeacons.com has been named one of the top-ten websites in the NAIA three times, most recently in 2020. Askew gives a glimpse into his role in athletics and shares why he has supported Bushnell for so many years.

What is your position, and what do your daily tasks consist of?  

As the Assistant Athletic Director for Communication, I am responsible for the oversight of all marketing and communication efforts that come out of our department. This includes website maintenance, graphic design, photography, media relations, writing, statistics, and much more. I work with conference and national groups on awards, oversee game contracts, and am the official historian for the athletic department. I am also on the Integrated Marketing Council, the Hall of Fame selection committee and a member of the statistics and history committee for the NAIA Sports Information Directors Association. I have specific sport oversite for men’s and women’s cross country, men’s soccer, indoor volleyball, beach volleyball, men’s basketball, softball, and track & field while our assistant SID oversees women’s soccer, men’s and women’s golf, women’s basketball, baseball, and esports.

What skills are important to be successful in a position like yours? 

Obviously, the biggest requirement is the ability to communicate, in many different ways to many different audiences. A broad knowledge is necessary in a wide variety of computer software for photo editing, website management, and recording statistics for sports. A wide knowledge of all the sports we offer is also essential.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? What is the best?  

Time management and a solid work/life balance are always a struggle as certain times of year demand a lot of hours depending on which sports are “in season”. The best aspect of my job is getting to work with student-athletes and celebrate their successes on the field, in the classroom, and as champions of character.

What led you to this career path and to working at Bushnell?  

I started working with the Sports Information office when I was an undergrad at Biola University. I fell in love with the job, and directly out of college was hired as the SID at Concordia University in Irvine, California. After five years there and a brief stint at a junior college in Southern California, I answered the call to move to the Pacific Northwest as Bushnell (Then NCC) had just created their first full-time position in Sports Information.

What is your favorite thing about Bushnell? 

Having a close-knit community. Our core athletic staff has been together for over 16 years and we are more family than just co-workers and it has made this an incredible place to work.

Bushnell’s 2023-24 fall sports seasons are well underway, with basketball season just around the corner. For more information and the full athletics schedule, visit www.bushnellbeacons.com.

Australian Olympian Speaks at Bushnell University (Photo) - 09/12/23

EUGENE, Ore.  – The Bushnell athletic department partnered with campus ministries on Tuesday for a special chapel presentation from Olympian Nicola Olyslagers, who is in town for the Prefontaine Classic.

Olyslagers is an Australian high jumper who won the silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and recently took home the bronze medal at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary back in August. She holds the Australian record in the event at 2.02 meters (6'6.5")

She spoke her path from childhood to Olympic medalist, how God is limitless and how her faith in Christ influenced the trajectory of her life.

Olyslagers also had the chance to meet with and pray over Bushnell's Chaplain Captains, the members selected from each Beacon team to help with facilitating spiritual growth on their rosters.

Olyslagers is one of eight track & field athletes who will also be taking part in Hear the Glory-Stories of Truth and Triumph at Matthew Night Arena on Monday, September 18 at 7:00 pm.

Hear The Glory brings together Olympic medalists, world-record holders and professional track & field athletes, who will come together to share their stories of overcoming hope, personal freedom, and triumph.

This event, being sponsored by One Hope, is the first of its kind and is free to attend.

Bushnell University Partners with PeaceHealth to Tackle Local RN Shortage (Photo) - 09/01/23

EUGENE, Ore. – In April 2023, the Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN) approved an enrollment expansion for Bushnell’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program, doubling the student nursing population. The ABSN program is a 12-month full-time clinical curriculum which leads to registered nurse licensure. It is designed for individuals who have earned a prior bachelor’s degree in a related science field. Bushnell’s ABSN launched in January 2022 with 16 students per cohort and two cohorts per year (starting annually in either January or August). The program achieved immediate success with the first cohort graduating in December 2022, celebrating a 100% passing rate on the N-CLEX nurse licensure exam and 100% job placement upon degree completion. The OSBN approval immediately doubles the program enrollment to up to 32 students per cohort (up to 64 students per year).

Bushnell and PeaceHealth recognize the strategic opportunity to partner in this endeavor. The leadership team at PeaceHealth offered a timely and generous solution with a lease donation of 11,300 square feet of clinical lab space on their University District campus, strategically located across the street from Bushnell University. The new space will house multiple nursing skills/simulation labs, classrooms, faculty offices, student study and lounge spaces, and conference/training rooms. Bushnell’s School of Nursing has moved into their new home on the second floor of Peace Health’s Center for Medical Education and Research (CMER) facility and students began their training in the new location on August 28.

Leading this program expansion is Karla Larson, Ph.D., MSN, RN. Dr. Larson recently joined the faculty of Bushnell as Dean of the newly established College of Health Professions and Associate Professor of Nursing. Dr. Larson comes to Eugene from her previous role as the Assistant Dean for Nursing at Maryville University’s Catherine McAuley School of Nursing, a program with over 3,200 nursing students. She is a 20-year plus veteran of nursing education and is excited to move the program into a new state-of-the-art clinical nursing skills lab and grow Bushnell’s impact on nursing in our region.

Returning to the PeaceHealth campus downtown is a historic moment for Bushnell University. On the heels of the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 and World War I, the University founded the six-story Pacific Christian Hospital on the very same ground exactly 100 years ago in 1923. The University trained the student nurses in classrooms on campus and in the wards of the hospital. It was a response to the need for better healthcare in the region and as a way for the University to serve the community. While the hospital was sold during the Great Depression to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace (later becoming PeaceHealth), the return to training clinical nurses in partnership with PeaceHealth is a moment of both emotional and practical celebration. To be doing so in the wake of yet another worldwide pandemic and in the midst of a national nursing shortage is a clear expression of Bushnell’s historic and ongoing call to serve.

If you would like to receive regular future updates on the growing School of Nursing at Bushnell, please fill out a contact form.

To learn more about Bushnell’s School of Nursing, visit www.bushnell.edu/academics/schools/school-of-nursing.

Photo by Lucas Pauly
Photo by Lucas Pauly
Beacons Launch Service Efforts for 2023-2024 (Photo) - 08/30/23

EUGENE, Ore. - With the arrival of the fall semester at Bushnell University, and a new athletic and academic year, the Beacon Athletic department has set the tone for a strong Tri-Athlete focus in 2023-2024 with multiple endeavors related to community service and character.

Sarah Freeman, Bushnell's Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Leader said, "As part of our tri-athlete focus, service is a main component to our character building initiatives. We start in August with service projects to set the tone for the year. We aim to be Beacons in our community and our student-athletes have done just that."

New-Student Orientation and Fall Move-In day took place last week and Bushnell athletes were heavily involved in the process on multiple fronts. Having already been on campus for a few weeks, fall-sport returning student-athletes did the heavy lifting, literally as they helped out teammates and non-teammates alike with the move-in process to campus living. In addition, Bushnell's Orientation Team of students featured a wide variety of student-athletes on the staff, helping make the transition to college a successful one for new Beacons.

On Sunday, The Beacon Athletics Fall Service Day took place on Sunday with another incredibly successful "reverse shopping" canned food drive to benefit FOOD for Lane County. Returning student athletes set out across multiple neighborhoods in Eugene with shopping carts in hand, going door-to-door to collect canned food, dry goods, toilet paper, and paper towels. The teams were able to once again break their all-time record as they brought in 1562 pounds of food.

While returning athletes participated in the canned food drive, all new student-athletes (freshmen and transfers) participated in Get Your Serve On, the culmination of orientation weekend. Those student athletes were sent to multiple locations around Eugene and Springfield to assist with Project Hope, an annual event which distributes, backpacks, school supplies, shoes and more to those in need in the community.

For the Bushnell athletic department, performing community service is more than just a way to "check a box" as part of the NAIA Champions of Character initiative. Instead, being a champion of character is a core component of the Beacons mission to develop student-athletes as "Tri-Athletes" giving equal focus to their endeavors on the court, in the classroom, and through service, with all parts centered around Christ.

Last year, Bushnell student-athletes, coaches, and staff served over 4000 hours including team community service projects, missions trips, and internships with non-profit organizations. This amounted to over 17 hours of service per student-athlete. The mission for 2023-2024 is for every student-athlete to complete 20 hours of service.

Associate Athletic Director Sarah Freeman said, "I am proud of the hard work our student-athletes have already put in to make a difference for individuals dealing with food insecurity, families preparing to send their children back to school with proper resources, helping move in new Beacons, and orientating new students to Bushnell. Our student-athletes and staff have shown what it means to live lives of service and we're excited to continue to make a difference in our community and around the world throughout the year."

To learn more about the Beacons Tri-Athlete model, visit www.bushnellbeacons.com/sports/tri-athletes.

Attached Media Files: Photo by Lucas Pauly