The story of Walden University is the story of effecting change. In 1970, our founders established the university on the belief that higher education should be more accessible so that more people could make the world a better place. That ideal has driven us ever since, leading to innovations, expanded opportunities, and countless student, alumni, and faculty success stories. It’s a history worth celebrating—and retelling.
1971 - Ratification of the 26th amendment, lowering the voting age to 18.
1972 - Ray Tomlinson invents e-mail for sending messages between computer users.
1979 - Creation of the U.S. Department of Education under President Jimmy Carter.
Walden University founded.
First classes held in Naples, Florida, at the Cove Inn.
Dr. Harold “Bud” Hodgkinson is appointed first dean of Walden University.
First commencement ceremony is held.
Walden earns license to grant doctorates from Minnesota Higher Education Coordinating Board.
1980 - Ronald Reagan elected U.S. president. Concern for the country’s standing in the world leads him to push for massive educational reforms.
1981 - Sandra Day O'Connor sworn in as first female Supreme Court justice.
1982 - U.S. Supreme Court rules in Board of Education vs. Pico that school libraries cannot remove books because administrators find them to be offensive.
1989 - Tim Berners-Lee invents World Wide Web.
Walden moves headquarters to Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Social change curriculum established.
New individualized doctoral program launched.
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association grants Walden candidacy status.
Dr. Harold Abel becomes Walden’s second president.
1990 - First Gulf War starts.
1994 - Amazon.com launched.
Walden is granted accreditation.
Glendon Drake is named president of Walden.
Bernie and Rita Turner retire from Walden University.
Lt. Gen. Dave Palmer named president of Walden.
Turners awarded honorary doctorates at 25th Commencement Ceremony.
Walden begins offering the first fully online master's program in education.
Kent Morrison becomes president of Walden University.
2001 - Wikipedia launched.
2001 - September 11 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.
2004 - Facebook founded.
Sylvan Learning Systems makes first investment in Walden.
Dr. Robert Scales becomes president of Walden University.
Dr. Paula Peinovich named president of Walden University.
Walden University becomes part of the Laureate Education, Inc. network of universities.
Walden merges with National Technological University.
Diverse ranks Walden as top granter of master's degrees and doctorates to minority students in the U.S.
First fully online School of Public Policy and Administration launched.
Jonathan A. Kaplan, JD, named president of Walden.
Magazine ranks Walden in top 20 for higher education of Hispanics.
2010 - iPad released.
2015 - NASA's New Horizons spacecraft performs a close flyby of Pluto.
CCNE accredits Walden’s BSN program.
Walden University Alumni Association formed.
Walden leads in granting doctorates to African Americans in the U.S.
Walden receives accreditation for its business programs.
Dr. Cynthia G. Baum named president of Walden.
The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership and its educator preparation programs accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
Walden receives reaffirmation of regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which grants accreditation to Walden for 10 more years.
Walden’s MS in Project Management receives accreditation.
DNP program receives CCNE accreditation.
50th Commencement held in Minneapolis.
Jonathan A. Kaplan, JD, named president of Walden for the second time.
Counseling programs receive CACREP accreditation.
Dr. Condoleezza Rice speaks at Walden commencement.
MSW program receives CSWE accreditation.
Walden is designated as a Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.
Center for Social Change founded.
Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program receives CSWE accreditation.
Walden receives CAEP accreditation.
Dr. Ward Ulmer named president of Walden.