North Central College - Naperville, IL

Russell Wilson

Class Year: 
1963

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1993

Russell Wilson is president and founder of Jeffrey Russell Inc., also known as Koontz Hardware. He started this family business back in 1978 as an old-fashioned hardware store, selling everything from dishes to power tools, in the center of Hollywood, Calif. In 2002, Wilson ventured into a new business in addition to the hardware store. Along with a partner, Wilson created a company called FFA making designer toilet handles and towel bar/bath accessories. They developed a patented “designer” line of toilet flush handles, which compliment other items, such as designer drawer pulls now found in home fashion stores like Expo and The Great Indoors.


Richard Wilkey

Class Year: 
1962

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1992

Richard Wilkey spent most of his professional life in city government and was regarded by colleagues and employers as “a person who can turn vision into reality.” Under his leadership as city manager, Des Moines twice received the “All America City” Award. Since 1990, Wilkey has been a management and development consultant and serves on numerous boards. He has been the Midwest regional vice president, has served on the executive board of directors for International City Management Association from 1981-83 and is a past member of the board of directors for Boatman’s National Bank of Des Moines and the Metropolitan Des Moines YMCA.


Dennis K. Wentz

Class Year: 
1957

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1990

Dennis Wentz received a M.D. degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and graduated from the Program for Health Systems Management at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration and has enjoyed an extraordinary career. He is chairman of the research committee of the Association of American Medical Colleges, a member of the standing committee on multi-media programs at the Southern Medical Association and secretary of the Public Service Satellite Consortium. He is also a member of the governing council of the Alliance for Continuing Medical Education and chairman of the committee on health for the University of the World. Wentz retired from the American Medical Association in December 2003 and formed a new company called Wentz Miller and Associates. Today, he serves on many cultural and educational boards and holds membership with several professional organizations.


Richard F. Wehrli

Class Year: 
1956

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1977

Richard Wehrli has been a North Central College Trustee since 1981. While a student, he was a four-year letter winner in basketball, one of the team’s top scorers in 1955-56 and served as co-captain his senior year. In 1960, he established Naperville Ready Mix, a firm that supplies concrete to the Chicago market. Over the years he has established or revitalized several other related businesses, including Naperville Excavating, Easy Street Construction, Mustang Construction and DuKane Precast Company. In 1999, Wehrli was a co-recipient of North Central’s Gael D. Swing Award for Meritorious Service, which recognizes alumni, trustees and friends whose service to the College exemplifies the quality and integrity that were hallmarks of Gael D. Swing’s tenure as president. Wehrli and fellow alumnus, Al Benedetti ’48, were instrumental in heading a major fund drive to rebuild the College’s stadium after a devastating flood in July 1996. The state-of-the-art complex holds 5,500 spectator seats, a modern press box, track and field facilities, athletic training rooms, and new classrooms and offices for several college departments. In 2003, Cardinal Stadium was renamed Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium in honor of these alumni.


William Warden

Class Year: 
1954

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1989

Bill Warden earned a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Bradley University in 1960. Warden then moved to Morgan Park High School on Chicago’s South Side, where he spent 20 years coaching and teaching physical education. The high point of his Morgan Park career came in 1976 when the school’s basketball team became the Illinois High School Association Class AA State Champions. He was named head basketball coach at North Central in 1981. In his 16 years as head coach at the College, Warden won more than 200 games and led his teams to four NCAA Division III playoff appearances and three College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Championships. Warden has served on a variety of committees including the National Organization of Basketball Coaches and the Illinois Basketball Association. In 2004, Warden was inducted into North Central College’s Athletic Hall of Fame.


Joan Thompson Uebele

Class Year: 
1961

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1991

Joan Uebele is a practitioner/teacher in the operating room and an instructor of nursing at Rush University in Chicago. She received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Northwestern University and a master of science degree from the University of Illinois Medical Center. She is the past president of the Chicago Chapter of the Association of Operating Room Nurses and a member of the American and Illinois Nurses Association. Uebele is the author of numerous professional articles and has frequently given presentations at workshops and seminars throughout the state.


Gordon Streib

Class Year: 
1943

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1994

Gordon Streib is a retired professor of North Central College. During his professional career, he received many awards including Distinguished Contributor to Sociology of Aging from the American Sociological Association, Distinguished Academic Gerontologist from the Southern Gerontologist Society, Outstanding Faculty Award from Students for the Advancement of Gerontological Education at the University of Florida,  Gerontologist of the Year Award from the Gerontological Society of Florida, and the Robert W. Kleemeier Award for Outstanding Research from the Gerontological Society of America. Since 1994, Streib has authored or co-authored 10 articles, book chapters and professional journals. In 2002, he was guest editor of Research on Aging, v. 24, no. 1, and from 1994-2000, he was a member of the board of trustees with the AARP Andrew Foundation.


G. Ward Stearns

Class Year: 
1956

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1988

G. Ward Stearns was president and chief executive officer of Harris Bank in Naperville. After graduating from North Central College with a degree in business administration, Stearns pursued graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin, Graduate School of Banking. Prior to his 1970 appointment as president of the Bank of Naperville, later Harris Bank, he was a bank examiner for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, vice president of Naperville National Bank, and president of the Bank of Westmont. He has been involved in numerous Naperville civic organizations and serves several area bank boards. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1950-54 and is a licensed commercial pilot. For the College, Stearns has served on the College’s Board of Trustees since 1984 and has been a Life Trustee since 1996.


Roberta Schaeffer

Class Year: 
1938

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1983

Roberta Schaeffer worked alongside her husband Everett – the medical director and chief of staff at Red Bird Mission Hospital in Beverly, Ky. – as a missionary and served as editor of the mission newsletter, The Cardinal. In 1980, she wrote the book titled The Story of Red Bird Mission. She has participated in United Methodist Women, and the Woman’s Club, where she served as president for three years, and is a volunteer at the Madison County Pregnancy Health Center. In 2003, she wrote a second book, Bedside Manor: One Doctor’s Family, as a sequel to her earlier book.

After his retirement from Red Bird in 1984, Everett became a volunteer at Berea Hospital and a chaplain with the board of trustees of Body Recall, Inc. He is a member of the American Medical Association, Kentucky Medical Association, Madison County Medical Association, the Christian Medical and Dental Association and Family Practice Medical Society. Schaeffer has been recognized by the board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church for his mission work and medical practice and as chief of staff of Red Bird Mission Hospital. He was awarded the Heroes, Saints and Legends plaque in 1999 and honored with the naming of the medical clinic building of Red Bird Mission Hospital as the E.W. Schaeffer Medical Clinic.


Everett Schaeffer

Class Year: 
1939

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1983

Everett Schaeffer was the medical director and chief of staff at Red Bird Mission Hospital in Beverly, Ky. After his retirement from Red Bird in 1984, he became a volunteer at Berea Hospital and a chaplain with the board of trustees of Body Recall, Inc. He is a member of the American Medical Association, Kentucky Medical Association, Madison County Medical Association, the Christian Medical and Dental Association and Family Practice Medical Society. Schaeffer has been recognized by the board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church for his mission work and medical practice and as chief of staff of Red Bird Mission Hospital. He was awarded the Heroes, Saints and Legends plaque in 1999 and honored with the naming of the medical clinic building of Red Bird Mission Hospital as the E.W. Schaeffer Medical Clinic.

Roberta Schaeffer worked alongside her husband as a missionary and served as editor of the mission newsletter, The Cardinal. In 1980, she wrote the book titled The Story of Red Bird Mission. She has participated in United Methodist Women, and the Woman’s Club, where she served as president for three years, and is a volunteer at the Madison County Pregnancy Health Center. In 2003, she wrote a second book, Bedside Manor: One Doctor’s Family, as a sequel to her earlier book.


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