North Central College - Naperville, IL

U.S. News & World Report ranks North Central College among America’s Best Colleges

U.S. News & World Report magazine ranks North Central College among America’s Best Colleges for 2015.

U.S. News & World Report magazine ranks North Central College among America’s Best Colleges for 2015.

North Central College is ranked No. 14 in the Midwest in the Regional Universities category—schools that offer a full range of undergraduate and master’s degrees. This is the 21st consecutive year U.S. News & World Report has ranked North Central College among America’s Best Colleges.

Chronicle of Higher Education names North Central a 2014 Great College To Work For

North Central College ranks among 92 of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

North Central College ranks among the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Colleges of Distinction says North Central excels at preparing graduates for success

North Central College is recognized for excellence in the 2014-2015 Colleges of Distinction directory.

North Central College is recognized for excellence in the 2014-2015 Colleges of Distinction directory.

Colleges of Distinction is a guide that considers the views of guidance counselors, educators and admission professionals to honor colleges that excel in four areas of undergraduate education: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes.

The 15th annual edition praises North Central College and its commitment to those four core values.

North Central College welcomes three new members to Board of Trustees

North Central College welcomes three new members to its Board of Trustees: Kathryn Birkett, Robin Boren and Thomas Harter Sr.

North Central College has welcomed three new members to its Board of Trustees: Kathryn Birkett of Geneva and Naperville residents Robin Boren and Thomas Harter Sr.

Birkett has served as superintendent of schools for Indian Prairie School District 204 since July 2009. She retires in June after dedicating more than three decades to the district, including serving as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and assistant deputy superintendent.

President Emeritus Harold Wilde named North Central College Life Trustee

President Emeritus Harold R. Wilde
North Central College has named President Emeritus Harold R. Wilde, who served for 22 years as the College’s ninth president, a Life Trustee.

Harold R. Wilde, President Emeritus of North Central College, has been named a Life Trustee of the College. Wilde served as trustee and president for 22 years before his retirement in 2012. Life Trustees are retired from active board status and provide ongoing counsel to the College.

President Emeritus Harold Wilde in the news as online author, radio guest

Harold Wilde, North Central College’s president emeritus, has op-ed about procuring commencement speakers picked up by NPR, Time.com, zocalopublicsquare.org.

Harold R. Wilde, North Central College’s president emeritus, has been in the news as an online author and radio guest.

His April 7 op-ed story about the unique challenges college presidents face in securing Commencement speakers was first published on zocalopublicsquare.org. It was subsequently published by Time.com and NPR, resulting in wide online distribution and an on-air interview on NPR’s “All Things Considered” weekend program Saturday, April 12, with guest host Tess Vigeland.

Dr. David Fuentes delivers Rall Symposium keynote address about music as research

David Fuentes, Ph.D., delivered the keynote address for North Central College’s 16th annual Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research.

Every culture in human history has created music and experienced its power to shape thoughts and feelings, David Fuentes, Ph.D., said in his keynote address for North Central College’s 16th annual Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research.

Fuentes, professor of composition and theory at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., spoke about music’s inherent connection to the human experience in his address, “Do You Hear What I Hear? Listening as Research,” May 14 in the College’s Wentz Concert Hall.

Troy D. Hammond to be inaugurated May 17 as 10th president of North Central College

The May 17 inauguration of Troy D. Hammond as 10th president of North Central College is part of a week that includes concerts and a fireworks display.

The May 17 inauguration of Troy D. Hammond as the 10th president of North Central College is part of a week that includes honors ceremonies, concerts and a fireworks display.

The inauguration occurs during Cornerstone Week, May 13-19, an annual celebration that commemorates the College’s 1870 move to Naperville from Plainfield and the laying of the cornerstone for Old Main. Some events will be webcast live. The week includes the following events:

Harold R. Wilde

1991-2012, Ninth President

Harold R. (Hal) Wilde became the ninth president of North Central in 1991.

Raised in Milwaukee, he attended Amherst College before earning a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University. After serving as executive assistant to Wisconsin Governor Patrick J. Lucey, Wilde became insurance commissioner for the State of Wisconsin and then special assistant to the president of the University of Wisconsin system. After his service in state government, Wilde became vice president for external affairs at Beloit College. During his tenure at Beloit, the school quadrupled its endowment and grew substantially.

In his inaugural address at North Central, Wilde harkened back to the College’s first president, A.A. Smith, who described the institution as “a great moral lighthouse.” Speaking on behalf of the faculty, Professor Howard Mueller said, “We celebrate your affirmation of teaching as a high calling and applaud your commitment to exert constant moral force in order to develop responsible human beings and to create a more just society.”

Wilde led the College through the boom times of the 1990s and through the horror of the attacks of September 11, 2001. In December 2001 he noted, “History teaches that the only enduring answers to infamy are to be found in the mission of institutions like North Central College. For 140 years, this school has been a place of reason and faith, tolerance and learning, strength and compassion… where people of all backgrounds come together in common purpose and community.”

During the first decade of the new century, Wilde helped steer a fiscally responsible policy that allowed the College to successfully weather the Great Recession. Under Wilde’s leadership, the College experienced a sevenfold increase in endowment; continuous balanced budgets; the largest individual, corporate and foundation gifts and bequests in the College’s history (making possible 12 endowed faculty chairs and five Ruge fellows, as well as a 400 percent rise in scholarship support); adoption of the College’s first comprehensive new curriculum in 25 years; and a broadened commitment to international programming, service-learning and interdisciplinary studies. In addition, the College successfully completed a $50 million capital campaign in 2003.

Significant changes in North Central’s physical campus under Wilde included total renovation of Old Main; two new residence halls; a “green” residence complex that surrounds a recreation center and indoor track; two state-of-the-art stadiums for football, track and field and baseball; a new cyber café for students and the community; two renovated and expanded academic buildings housing the College chapel, English and foreign language departments (Kiekhofer Hall), and the art department and a thrust-stage theatre (Meiley-Swallow Hall); the upgrade of the campus computer system to include wireless connectivity and “smart” classrooms; and the 57,000- square-foot Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center.

As part of its Sesquicentennial celebration in 2011, the College conducted a major campaign to construct new science facilities, beautify campus and build the endowment.

Wilde is married to Benna Brecher Wilde. When the Wildes and their children (Anna, Henry, and Elizabeth Ty) moved to Naperville, their youngest (Ty) was in sixth grade. Benna spent her first few years as a stay-at-home mom, but her expertise in arts management soon connected her with the arts philanthropic community. She became the managing director of Prince Charitable Trusts, cementing the College’s connection with the Chicago arts network.

Wilde described his position as “the best job in the world… to be the number one fan of an extraordinary community of students, faculty, and staff… and live on a historic campus in the heart of one of America’s finest cities.”


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