One of the great joys of serving as North Central’s president for the past 21 years is watching young men and women I first knew as students build lives and careers in which their alma mater can take immense pride.
On the back cover of the North Central Now, there is a simple statement: “North Central College prepares students to be informed, involved, principled and productive citizens and leaders over their lifetime.” This is our mission, our reason for existence.
At the Princeton University graduation ceremony in early June where my daughter received her doctorate, there was an unanticipated highlight. The professor who many years ago was my undergraduate thesis advisor at Amherst College received an honorary degree. His name is George Kateb. Later in the day I caught up with him. After introducing him to my daughter Ty (“Professor Kateb, meet Dr.
One of the great privileges of serving as a college president is that you get to know some extraordinary peoplestudents, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, entrepreneurs, business executives and distinguished teachers, scientists and scholars. If you've been a president as long as I have—17 years—you may experience the joy of an acquaintanceship turning into frequent visits, lunches and dinners, and a close friendship; or watching a young person grow from student to alumnus to career success to trustee.
Location matters. It matters a lot. Every real estate agent knows this, and so do most parents and prospective students when looking at colleges. Yet it is a factor in the college choice process frequently ignored by the college guides, or in the rankings of institutions.
Many of America’s finest small colleges are located in the middle of nowhere. As this issue of the NOW highlights, North Central is in the middle of somewhere—and that location is an integral part of what makes us a great college…and a great choice.
It was an extraordinary year for North Central College … beginning with a record class of first-year students … ending with successful completion of the Kresge Fine Arts Challenge … and along the way producing an ambitious Strategic Plan destined to take the College to ever greater distinction as we celebrate our Sesquicentennial in 2011-2012.
And, yes, over the course of 2006-2007, we also won seven team athletic championships, the most of any school in our conference … including football, for the first time in 46 years!
There’s a song in my heart. If only I had the vocal talent of some of our fabulous students, faculty and alumni, I would record it on YouTube for the more than 2,000 alumni and friends who helped North Central College achieve something remarkable this spring.
On the lawn of the president’s house, there’s a forsythia bush whose spectacular blooms herald the arrival of spring. A few years ago—in the midst of a hard Illinois winter—my wife commissioned a full color picture of that forsythia to hang, when the snow falls, in a place of honor next to her desk, a daily reminder that spring is coming.
The strategic planning process is reaching the late innings. While there is still much to be determined, what is clear are major themes the campus has embraced in thinking through the next five years, which will culminate with North Central College's 150th Anniversary in 2011-2012. The College's mission, to prepare students to be informed, involved, principled and productive citizens and leaders over a lifetime, is reflected in a desire to better articulate, document, and reinforce the distinctive elements of North Central's identity and approach to education.