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ASU renames West campus to better reflect connection to the community

Announced at the WESTMARC Best of the West event, ASU West Valley serves 14 cities in a fast-growing area

View of the ASU West Valley campus from above

The ASU West Valley campus. Photo by Samantha Chow/Arizona State University

October 19, 2023

Editor’s note: This story is featured in the 2023 year in review.

Arizona State University has renamed its West campus as ASU West Valley to better reflect its position as a centerpiece of life in the fast-growing area.

The updated name was announced at the WESTMARC Best of the West awards dinner on Thursday night at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale. WESTMARC, the Western Maricopa Coalition, is a public-private partnership of the 15 communities, the business community and the educational sector in the West Valley.

ASU West Valley Vice Provost Todd Sandrin, who spoke at the event, noted that the campus is marking its 40th anniversary in 2024.

“The location may be the same but most everything else is different. It is remarkable how much things have grown on campus and around the Valley in four decades,” he said.

“This is exactly why ASU tonight is renewing our commitment to the West Valley and investing in meaningful ways.”

Man speaking at lectern

ASU West Valley Vice Provost Todd Sandrin announces the new name of the West campus during the WESTMARC Best of the West awards dinner on Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

In 1984, much of the land west of Interstate 17 was agricultural and sparsely populated. Now, the area is home to 1.8 million residents.

Sandrin said that the campus was known as West only because it was a geographic orientation — the campus was west of Tempe.  

“But the evolution of the West campus calls for a refined name,” he said.

“This dynamic place of cutting-edge learning, innovation and research is not simply west of the Tempe campus — it is a key centerpiece in the life of the West Valley,” he said.

“That’s why ASU West will now be called ASU West Valley. It’s a subtle change that conveys a big statement about the university’s place as a partner in the western area of Maricopa County.”

Map of Phoenix's West Valley cities

While the name is new, Sandrin said that the campus has already been making a big impact.

“Just as one example, ASU scientists were at the forefront of developing new COVID-19 tests that were deployed Valleywide. And our ASU West students, staff and faculty volunteered at nearby State Farm Stadium, where millions of vaccines were delivered to our West Valley neighbors,” he said.

He noted that the campus added three new schools and is constructing two buildings.

“A 500-bed residence hall will open in 2024 — it’ll be our third residence hall. And a new academic building will open in 2025,” he said.

The three schools that were added this semester are:

  • The School of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the W. P. Carey School of Business, which is designed to help students develop an entrepreneurial mindset, offers two new bachelor’s of arts degrees, in entrepreneurial leadership and in applied business and technology solutions.
  • The School of Interdisciplinary Forensics in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, which houses three undergraduate and two master’s programs and focuses on the interdisciplinary nature of forensics.
  • The School of Integrated Engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, which offers a bachelor of science degree in engineering science — a flexible, multidisciplinary program.

“Today, 5,000 students learn in person on campus. We aim to grow that to 15,000 students in the coming years," Sandrin said. “Through all of these efforts, ASU is educating learners of all ages to help build the regional workforce now and into the future.“

Banner that says The West Valley's top research university

A banner hangs at the ASU West Valley campus. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

ASU President Michael Crow spoke to the crowd via video.

“The West Valley is evolving at light speed — new communities, new designs, new industries, new ways of making things happen,” he said.

“It is one of the most important areas of economic and social development in the United States. We’re so happy that our ASU West Valley campus is evolving with the West Valley.

“We’re very, very excited about where we are, where we’re headed, where the opportunities are, and we’re changing our name along the way.

“We’re excited about that, excited to be connected to WESTMARC, excited to be part of the West Valley itself. And we are all in.”

Sintra Hoffman, WESTMARC president and CEO, said that ASU’s investment in the campus “will ensure we have a strong talent pipeline to meet the needs of the targeted industries we’re trying to grow and continue making the West Valley the best valley.”

Hoffman noted that the awards dinner celebrates the people and projects that drive economic growth in the region, and that the region has drawn top entertainment acts, major sporting events, a new resort and thriving restaurants.

“This is like the West Valley’s prom,” she said.

“We’re not getting there. We’re here. We have arrived in the West Valley.”

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