Northwest Christian University is changing its name to Bushnell University.
James A. Bushnell co-founded the university and was the first chairman of its board of trustees, the university said on its website. The name change will help the school in Eugene, Ore., reach beyond the Northwest part of the country to students across the United States and internationally.
The change will take effect this year, after students graduate in May.
The university said its faith commitment remains unchanged.
“Our mission, vision, and values are founded upon a faith in Jesus Christ. Our commitment to Christian higher education remains the same,” the school said. The school’s historical roots are with the churches now comprising the three streams of the Restoration Movement.
It will be the school’s fourth name. In 1895, Bushnell and Eugene Sanderson co-founded Eugene Divinity School. That name was changed to Northwest Christian College in 1934, and then to Northwest Christian University in 2008. About 800 students attend the school.
The name change won’t affect the college’s mascot—the Beacons—or its blue and gold school colors.
After co-founding the school, Bushnell served as the president of its board of regents until his death in 1912. He came to Oregon from the East Coast via the Oregon Trail. Bushnell founded a bank and built a hotel. He also launched the first chamber of commerce in the area and helped start several churches.
“James A. Bushnell and his family truly emulate all that we aspire to be missionally as a university,” the school said.