North Central College - Naperville, IL

150 Moments: Old Main, 1870-

Old Main, winter 1921
North Central College’s iconic Old Main building was dedicated Oct. 4, 1870, and refurbished and rededicated in October 1998.

After laying the cornerstone on May 17, 1870, Old Main came to represent the merging of North-Western College, which had just relocated from Plainfield, and the residents of Naperville. Old Main remains the oldest building on campus and one of the oldest buildings in the surrounding area.

150 Moments: President Gael D. Swing, 1975-1990

President Gael D. Swing, 1975-1990
North Central College’s eighth president was Gael Swing. Serving from 1975 to 1990, he introduced continuing education, Evening and Weekend College and more.

Gael D. Swing succeeded Arlo Schilling in 1975 to become the eighth president of North Central College. Born in Indiana, Swing received a bachelor’s degree from Franklin College in 1954 and a master’s degree from Indiana University in 1963.

After 15 years of working in admission and development at Franklin College, he joined Washington University (St. Louis) as director of special program services in the development office. He came to North Central College as executive vice president in 1973 before being named president.

150 Moments: President Arlo L. Schilling, 1960-1975

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Arlo Schilling, 1960
North Central College’s seventh president was Arlo L. Schilling, serving from 1960 to 1975, during the turbulent years of war, civil rights, student unrest.

Arlo Schilling was named North Central College’s seventh president on Nov. 11, 1960. Raised in an Evangelical United Brethren family in Indiana, Schilling served in the military during World War II before he graduated from Huntington College and earned a master’s degree from Indiana University and a doctoral degree from Purdue University.

150 Moments: President C. Harve Geiger, 1946-1960

President C. Harve Geiger, 1946-1960
North Central College’s sixth president was C. Harve Geiger, who served from 1946 to 1960 during the College’s post-World War II years.

Appointed North Central College’s sixth president in 1946, C. Harve Geiger was born in Indiana and attended Manchester College and the University of Chicago, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1922. He received an M.A. in education from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Geiger served as a faculty member at Iowa Wesleyan, University of Dubuque and Coe College before his inauguration as president.

150 Moments: President Edward E. Rall, 1916-1946

President Edward E. Rall, 1916-1946
North Central College’s fifth president, Edward Everett Rall, was the longest-serving president, from 1916 to 1946, whose tenure spanned major world crises.

North Central College’s fifth president, Edward Everett Rall, was born and educated in Iowa at the Iowa State Teachers’ College. He received a B.A. from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. from Yale University.

Rall became a professor of education at the University of Texas and chaired the education department at the University of Tennessee before his appointment as president of North-Western College in 1916.

150 Moments: A.A. Smith House, built in 1885 and restored to College in 2008

A.A. Smith House, restored
In the 1880s, the A.A. Smith House was a social center and home to the College’s first president. Its legacy continues today and into the future.

In 2008, Bart and Maricela ’99 Madden donated the A.A. Smith House at 28 S. Loomis St. and most of its contents to North Central College. The Maddens had purchased the house in 1999 and spent years renovating and furnishing it in the Eastlake Victorian style in which it was originally designed.

150 Moments: President Lawrence H. Seager, 1911-1916

President Lawrence H. Seager
North Central College’s fourth president was Lawrence H. Seager, a North-Western College graduate and minister, who served as president from 1911 to 1916.

North Central College’s fourth president was Lawrence Hoover Seager, a North-Western College graduate and minister, who served as president from 1911 to 1916.

Born in Fremont, Ohio, he came to Naperville with a desire to enter the ministry. Seager attended Ohio Northern University and graduated in 1886. He then enrolled at North-Western College as a senior in the Latin-Scientific Course and graduated in 1887 with a bachelor of science degree.

150 Moments: President Herman J. Kiekhoefer, 1889-1910

150 Moments: President Herman J. Kiekhoefer, 1889-1910

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Herman Julius Kiekhoefer was born in northern Germany and emigrated with his family to the United States as a child, settling in Wisconsin in 1862. He entered Galesville University and graduated in 1872.



150 Moments: President Augustine A. Smith, 1861-1883

150 Moments: President Augustine A. Smith, 1861-1883

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On Nov. 11, 1861, the Evangelical Association opened a new institution—Plainfield College—in Plainfield, Ill., and called upon Augustine A. Smith to be its first president.

Smith was born and raised in Massachusetts and started teaching at age 17. He served at two Evangelical institutions in Ohio, as a principal at the Grand River Institute in Austinburg and as president of Greensburg Seminary.



150 Moments: First Homecoming

150 Moments: First Homecoming

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In this edition of 150 Moments, leading up to North Central College’s 11.11.11 Sesquicentennial Celebration, the College’s first Homecoming is spotlighted.



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