North Central College - Naperville, IL

Dr. Mildred Rebstock ’42 feted for important antibiotic discovery

The North Central Now will continue to profile distinguished science division alumni as the College shapes its vision for a 21st century science facility.

President's Message

In his Commencement address to the Class of 2009, Blair Kamin (H) ’09, the Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic of The Chicago Tribune, urged every North Central College graduate to “Be a Builder.” After poking a little fun at himself (referencing the old TV show “Bob the Builder”), Kamin commented: “When I say, ‘Be a Builder,’ I am talking aspirationally, not vocationally. You can leave your legacy on anything from the visible public landscape to the private landscape of our emotions. You can build a friendship. Or a network of friends. A community. A business.

A Legacy of Science-Mildred Rebstock

From the science labs of Goldspohn Hall in the early 1940s came a scientist who was featured in Time magazine and honored in Washington D.C. Dr. Mildred Rebstock was given much of the credit for finding a synthetic form of chloromycetin. At the time, antibiotics had to be grown slowly from molds and the rarity of chloromycetin (discovered in 1947) limited its widespread use in combating diseases like typhoid fever and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. That changed with Rebstock’s discovery in 1949.

A Culture of Inquiry

One of the key goals of North Central College’s 2007-2012 Strategic Plan is to foster “a culture of inquiry” in which intellectually ambitious students can advance as far as their motivation and curiosity will take them.

Commencement 2009

“To ‘Be a Builder’ also means this: don’t ever be satisfied. Look at the world and see how you can improve it — in other words, ‘Be A Critic.’”
-Blair Kamin, Commencement Speaker

A Worship Leader Becomes a Political Leader

Leading up to the College’s 150th celebration in 2011-2012, the Archives is collecting oral histories of trustees, faculty and alumni, like the Reverend Nicholas Hood ’46. This story reflects the memories he recently shared.

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