North Central College - Naperville, IL

North Central College 2007-2008 Highlights

Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center

The $30 million Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center at Chicago Avenue and Ellsworth Street was completed in time for a September 2008 grand opening. Included in this spectacular building is the Wentz Concert Hall named in honor of Dr. Myron Wentz ’63; the 150-seat Bartley and Maricela Madden Theatre; and the Schoenherr Art Gallery named for Gus ’48 and Connie ’50 Schoenherr, who supported the College in purchasing a house that would eventually serve as the primary building site.

A.A. Smith House

In addition to their direct support of the campaign for a new fine arts center, Bartley and Maricela ’99 Madden made a gift to the College of their restored Victorian home, the historic A.A. Smith House at 28 S. Loomis Street. The home was built in 1885 by longtime College professor Henry C. Smith, son of North Central’s first president, Augustine Smith. In June, the College assumed ownership of the home, which will be used for special events and will serve as a “living museum” of North Central’s history as the College approaches its Sesquicentennial.

Meiley-Swallow Hall

The renovated former Grace Evangelical Church was rededicated as Meiley-Swallow Hall in honor of Judy G. Meiley Swallow Stevenson, an entrepreneur and business leader, life trustee and generous benefactor to the College. The modernized building houses instructional and exhibit space for the art department and digital classrooms for the new interactive media studies program. The 235-seat thrust stage held its first public performances in summer 2008.

Theatre Recognition

The prestigious Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival selected the College’s production of Thoroughly Modern Millie as a 2008 regional finalist. The cast and crew were invited to perform at the Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee. The National Selection Committee gave special commendation to Andrea Larson ’10 for her performance in the starring role.

Residential Hall / Recreational Center

The College received approval in February from the Naperville City Council for a change in its Master Plan with the City, enabling construction of a combined residential hall/recreational center east of Merner Field House. Site work on the 265-bed residence hall, which will be wrapped around a 100,000-square-foot recreation center, began in the summer with completion anticipated during summer 2009. Nationally innovative in design and function, the new facility will also be environmentally green.


The College established a Sustainability Committee to help integrate environmental sustainability efforts throughout campus—particularly in the areas of energy efficiency, waste reduction and recycling. New initiatives included a campus bike-sharing program; a Zipcar car-sharing program available for students, faculty, staff and the community; off-site parking; and a new shuttle service to encourage fewer cars on campus.

New Student Enrollment

For the sixth consecutive year, North Central welcomed a record number of new undergraduate students with more than 800 new first-year and transfer students for the 2008 fall term. Through the new Alumni Admission Ambassador Network, alumni referred 89 prospective first-year students and 51 enrolled using the $1,000 scholarship incentive.

McDermetBoard of Trustees

The College welcomed a new trustee, James McDermet M ’92, division senior vice president at Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle, WA. McDermet received the College’s Alumni Recognition Award in October 2007.

Academic and Co-Curricular Accomplishments

A record number of 43 students gave research presentations at professional and academic conferences off campus. Sophomore biochemistry major Emily Albright was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2008 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program, which supports top student scientists, mathematicians and engineers. Students In Free Enterprise won its regional championship and competed in the National Exposition in Chicago, finishing in the top four percent in the nation. The Chronicle received 10 awards for journalistic excellence, including three first-place awards from the Illinois College Press Association. WONC-FM 89.1 won five Silver Domes from the Illinois Broadcasters Association for excellence in radio broadcasting.

Ruge Fellows

Three professors were recognized as Ruge Fellows for faculty excellence in teaching:  David H. Fisher, professor of philosophy; Karl N. Kelley, professor of psychology; and Lisa Long, associate professor of English. They join three Ruge Fellows named in 2006. The awards honor one of the College’s most distinguished graduates, the late Daniel Ruge ’39, M.D., neurosurgeon and White House physician to President Ronald Reagan.

VisickCollege Receives Grants

Jonathan Visick, associate professor of biology, received a research grant for $125,000 from the National Institute on Aging to support his research into protein repair in bacteria and its relationship to aging and the College received a $100,000 grant from Wal-Mart for the Teach First program in support of first generation college students who pursue careers in education.

New Business Degree Program

The College launched a new one-year professional Masters in Business Administration degree program for young professionals with undergraduate business degrees.

International Programs and Study Abroad

Thanks to stepped-up informational programs and efforts to make programs more affordable, 92 students are studying abroad in 2008-2009, up from 57 students the previous year.


During the academic year, 650 students completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees. At the 143rd Commencement on June 7, 2008, Edward Hospital President and CEO Pam Davis presented the Commencement address and received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

BrokawNotable Speakers

Visitors on campus during 2007-2008 included: Tom Brokaw, television journalist and author; Blair Kamin, Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune; Barbara Walters, ABC News correspondent and creator, co-host and co-executive producer of “The View”; Barbara Martinez Jitner, director of the documentary film La Frontera; Douglas Wilson, author and nationally recognized expert on Abraham Lincoln; Daniel Pink, author, speechwriter and contributing editor at Wired; Willie Worsley, a member of college basketball’s first all-black starting lineup to win a national NCAA Division I championship; Kevin Sites, internationally recognized electronic journalist and war correspondent; author Anne Lamott; poets Beth Ann Fennelly and Kate Greenstreet.

Fifth Annual Athletic Hall of Fame

Eight athletes and coaches were honored at the Annual Athletic Hall of Fame Awards: Norris Cross ’50; Larry Michelson ’64; Mark Michelson ’64; the late Tom Purcell ’74; Bonnie Hansen ’83 Jagiella; Tony Bleull ’84; David Thompson ’99; and Dennis Ryan.

Sports Achievements

The Cardinals captured four College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) Championships during 2007-2008: football, men’s cross country (for the 34th consecutive year), indoor men’s track and field, and wrestling. For the third year in a row, the Cardinal football team made an NCAA Division III Playoff appearance. Don Kasper ’08 became the fifth Cardinal to play in the Aztec Bowl, which featured seniors from around the country competing against the National Mexican Team.The Cardinals boasted 167 CCIW Academic All-Conference athletes along with 22 individual conference champions in 2007-2008. As CCIW Champion, Alyssa Gaudio ’11 became the first women’s golfer to represent the Cardinals at the NCAA Nationals. Three Cardinals achieved All-American honors in wrestling: Adam Johnson ’08, Ben Youel ’09 and Gabe Youel ’10. Maggie Kelly ’08 became the first Cardinal to be selected as an All-American in volleyball. The College announced it would field a women’s lacrosse team for the 2008-2009 academic year, becoming the first NCAA Division III college in Illinois to sponsor a women’s varsity team. The Cardinals now sponsor 22 collegiate sports, 11 for men and 11 for women.