North Central College - Naperville, IL

Joe Birkett '77

Joe Birkett ’77 in December was sworn in as a justice of the 2nd District Appellate Court in Elgin, IL. He was formerly DuPage County State’s Attorney and a prosecutor for nearly 30 years. Birkett’s wife Patty watched the oath, which was administered by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Bob Thomas. Daily Herald photo by Daniel White.

D-Term Trip to Berlin: Bad weather turns to opportunity

When Heathrow International Airport closed due to bad weather a week before Christmas, it posed quite a dilemma for 18 students, their professor and a staff member, Brian Rainville, who were stranded in Berlin at the conclusion of a D-Term course. The group was supposed to transfer flights in London.

A Thriving Global Community

On any given day at North Central College, students are sharing travel stories from D-Term, learning about new study abroad options to places like Jordan and Peru, practicing German at a language table, taking flamenco lessons and viewing a documentary film about India. They may encounter an English professor who grew up in Romania and a student organization comptroller from Haiti.

President's Message

One of my theories about great colleges is that they must include a few “magnificent crazy zealots.” Too many MCZs, and the institution could implode. Too few, and the school has a tendency to settle for good instead of great. The MCZs are the professors and coaches who refuse to accept constraints … whether they be resources, attitudes, “turf” or time … in their pursuit of excellence.

New American Colleges and Universities Fellow Adds to Science Lore

J. Burton Kirkwood, professor of history at the University of Evansville in Evansville, IN, used his sabbatical as a New American Colleges and Universities fellow at North Central during fall term 2010. While observing the College’s senior administrative leadership, he also researched North Central’s rich legacy in the sciences and its many distinguished alumni.

Dr. Carl C. Gamertsfelder '35: A Witness to the Launch of the Nuclear Age

"It seemed a little magical to me,” was how the late Dr. Carl C. Gamertsfelder ’35 described the nuclear reaction that took place at the University of Chicago on December 2, 1942.

Kai Ruggeri ’06 in Europe

In five years since graduation, Kai Ruggeri ’06 has studied in Ireland and England, lived in Austria, Spain and Germany, completed a postdoctorate in Portugal and worked in Belgrade, Serbia. Not bad for someone who never studied abroad as an undergraduate majoring in psychology. “I had too many commitments, played football and changed majors late in the process so I never had the opportunity to go abroad,” says Ruggeri, who’s been living in Serbia.

Jeff Seaberg '80

Jeff Seaberg heads up the children’s theater program in Danville, CA, and was director of the campy Danville classic, “Wigged Out,” for many years. During the school year he runs an after-school program called Theatre Performance Workshop, which ends with performances. He has up to 50 kids in each class in what he calls “controlled chaos.” He writes the plays for the group and publishes them as an inexpensive resource for other after-school programs. He says he’s improved his skills at populating his stories with interesting characters, better dialog and good plots.

A Legacy of Building Friendships Abroad

From as early as 1875, the College had developed ties with Japan and China through the mission work of the Evangelical Church. The exposure to the Church encouraged students in Japan and China to attend North Central College for their education. Henry Tayama, Class of 1893, became the first student from Japan to graduate. Fumiko Miyagi ’24 returned to Tokyo to become a renowned artist and humanitarian and a professor of art at Japan Women’s University.

Paul Lankenau '83

Paul Lankenau owns Lankenau Architecture in Naperville, specializing in residential and commercial architecture. He’s a member of the Association of Licensed Architects (ALA), Exchange Club of Naperville (board member seven years, Exchangite of the Year 2003, and chairman of Naperville’s Ribfest twice) and past chair of the City of Naperville Disability Advisory Board. He may be reached at paul@lankenau-architecture.com.

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