At least 1 out of every 6 Newberg residents is a George Fox student, employee, donor, parent, alumnus or spouse. Visit a local business and it’s quite possible a George Fox logo can be found on a car in the parking lot or on clothing worn by a customer. But even when invisible, George Fox is contributing to the community and economy. The university’s presence ripples through the community. Newberg wouldn’t be Newberg without George Fox, and George Fox wouldn’t be George Fox without Newberg. Together, each makes the other stronger.

“I’ve lived in two college towns and people were always happy to see the students go home in the summer. Not here. George Fox students are great kids.

“We do a lot of business with the school and their students. We even have parents of students coming in. We had one dad from Atlanta who came in to research us to make sure he could trust us with his little girl’s automotive needs. She’s about to go to an internship in Boston and he wishes we could follow her to her next adventure.”

Larry Birtcher, Store Manager
Newberg Tire Factory / Point S

Brittani Johnson, Co-owner
Critter Cabana

“Before we started Critter Cabana, my husband and I were both pet hobbyists. As students at George Fox, we snuck a bunch of animals into campus housing. We decided to open our first store in Newberg because we really liked the community and especially this building. We now have about 30 employees in two stores.”

Dennis Lewis, President
Lewis Audio Video

“We’ve done work with George Fox for about 15 years. We provide a good percentage of their campus video displays, and we installed the projection systems in George Fox’s Bauman Auditorium. It was one of two major projects that shored up our business during the recession of 2008.”

Maureen Rogers, Co-owner
Chapters Books and Coffee

“Probably about half of our business and 100 percent of our employees come from George Fox.

“I’ve had people come in and see all the young people and say ‘Uh-oh, you must have issues.’ On the contrary, George Fox students are so nice.”

What's a College Worth to a Town?

Economic Impact Illustration

In dollars and cents, it’s worth millions to Newberg. A recent economic impact study showed George Fox University’s students, visitors and employees annually contribute more than $100 million to the surrounding community. That big of a number is hard to comprehend without considering the many almost-hidden ways George Fox brings value to the city.

Student money from outside the community flows into Newberg even before classes start. More than 5,500 prospective students, family and friends annually come to Newberg to tour campus. Of those, more than 1,000 prospective undergraduate students annually spend the night on campus in Newberg. Two out of every three prospective students come from beyond 50 miles from campus, meaning many family and friends book a hotel room and eat meals nearby.

George Fox enrolled 4,140 students this past fall at four sites in Oregon. More than 2,700 are taking classes in Newberg. Their year-after-year effect on the local economy adds up. Undergraduate students annually spend nearly $5,200 each on retail, food, recreation, real estate and other services.

Students are not the only ones supporting Newberg businesses. Alumni, parents and other family and friends often show up multiple times a year, making visits for Family Weekend, Homecoming, extracurricular events and eventually for graduation. They come for sporting events, as do thousands of opposing fans and family members. George Fox home football games averaged 2,400 fans last fall. Restaurants, hotels and retailers all benefit from the traffic.

After graduation, it’s not uncommon for out-of-town students to settle down in town. More than 1,200 of George Fox’s 27,000 alumni live in Newberg’s 97132 ZIP code. Friendsview Retirement Community has found that having George Fox next door is a big selling point. More than 200 of their residents are directly connected to George Fox as alumni, former employees or as spouses.

Even in the summer, the Newberg campus remains a magnet for visitors. More than 30,000 summer guests come to campus for conferences, camps and other events.

Additionally, George Fox employees receive more than $45 million in taxable salaries and benefits. More than 460 current and former George Fox employees live in Newberg, and many are homeowners who pay property taxes to support city services.

Economic Impact Illustration

“The George Fox community played a big role in the creation of Newberg Bakery. I’d wanted to start a bakery for a long time, but I only got serious after I saw a market research project by George Fox students that showed it could work downtown. I actually quit my job at George Fox to start the bakery and more than half my employees are connected with the university. I’d estimate about half my business is from George Fox people, maybe more.”

Brenda Burg, owner
Newberg Bakery

Frank Engle, director of marketing
Friendsview Retirement Community

“Having George Fox in Newberg is a selling point for people considering joining our community. They can walk on the George Fox track, attend sports and musical events or even take classes. A university in town is a big draw that’s contributed to our growth. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship.”

Jessica Brittell, co-owner

“I moved to Newberg to study art and design at George Fox. I stayed, we started a family and opened Velour. It wasn’t my plan, but we really like being part of the renaissance of downtown Newberg.”

Jeff Lane, President
Newberg Steel & Fabrication

“George Fox has been a good customer for Newberg Steel. We’ve done their football scoreboard, the supports for their bleachers, their baseball stadium, a remodel of a dorm and several other projects with their engineering, theatre and maintenance departments.”