North Central College - Naperville, IL

North Central College 2008-2009 Highlights

Residence Hall/Recreation Center

Groundbreaking was held for the new “green” 265-bed residence hall wrapped around a 100,000-square-foot recreation center. Nationally innovative in design and function, the new facility qualifies for Silver certification through Leadership in Energy Environmental Design (LEED). A fundraising campaign was announced for the recreation portion of the building and to honor coach Al Carius (H) ’06 with the Carius Track and coach Frank Gramarosso with the second floor Gramarosso Gallery. The building was ready for students in September and a Homecoming dedication. A grand opening is scheduled for January 8, 2010.


The College continues to integrate environmental sustainability efforts throughout campus—particularly in the areas of energy efficiency, waste reduction and recycling. A celebration of Earth Day included an electronics recycling program and tours of the Res/Rec construction site that showcased significant sustainable features. Other efforts included remote parking, the Cardinal Red bike program and the elimination of trays in the dining hall.

Schneller Family Legacy

The College received a generous bequest from Cecelia Schneller ’27 Mueller, Addie Schneller Balfanz and Mary Schneller ’33 Rosar after the death of Mary in January 2009. Combined with earlier contributions, their cumulative gifts total nearly $10 million—among the largest in North Central College history. A portion of the bequest to the Schneller Sisters Endowment supports the Leadership, Ethics and Values program. In May, the Townhomes Residence Hall was renamed Schneller Hall in honor of the three sisters.

Endowed Chairs

Andrew Whitaker, professor of economics and finance, was named the first Grantman Professor in Business and Economics. Tom Cavenagh, professor of business law and conflict resolution, was named the first Schneller Sisters Professor of Leadership, Ethics and Values. John Small was named the Clare and Lucy Oesterle Director of Library Services following Carolyn Sheehy, who retired in 2008.

Academic Accomplishments

Claudia Chlebek ’09 (pictured) earned a Fulbright Research Award and Erasmus Mundus Scholarship for a master’s in Economy, State and Society. Diya Bose ’05 was awarded a Fulbright research grant for study in Bangladesh. Biochemistry major Emily Albright ’10 was named a Goldwater Scholar, the highest achievement in the natural sciences, and completed a summer research program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Christina Lorenzo ’10 earned an honorable mention in the Goldwater program and a highly competitive slot to study mathematics at the Independent University of Moscow.

Institutional Assessment and Accreditation

A Self-Study was underway in preparation for a visit by the Higher Learning Commission accreditation team January 25-27, 2010. The working groups and the self-study steering committee met all year to evaluate five accreditation criteria.  To review the complete document, visit

Year of the Arts

Wentz Concert Hall

With the completion of the Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center and the opening of Meiley-Swallow Hall’s theatre, North Central College celebrated a year of the arts. The opening of the Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts featured Wynton Marsalis with Jazz at Lincoln Center and a spectacular concert by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The College hosted more than 340 different artists, performers and lectures on campus featuring international and national stars as well as community partners and North Central student performers.  

New Student Enrollment

North Central welcomed a record number of new undergraduate students—800—in fall 2008 and recruited another record number for 2009. Through the Alumni Admission Ambassador Network, alumni referred 153 prospective first-year students for the Class of 2013, and 100 enrolled using the $1,000 scholarship incentive.

Facilities Upgrades

A major renovation to the Harold and Eva White Activities Center (WAC) updated the Cage dining area with new seating, lighting, flooring and service lines. A new elevator and bathroom completed the first-floor renovations, along with an outdoor patio, supported by a gift from the Class of 2006 and built on the north side of WAC. Also added last summer was a new HVAC system for Kroehler Science Center and Goldspohn Hall.

College Recognition

North Central College was added to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities. This Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service learning and civic engagement.

Teach First Grant

North Central College was selected by the Council of Independent Colleges to receive the Wal-Mart College Success Award, a $100,000 grant to support first generation students who pursue careers in education.

International Travel

A record number of students participated in shorter trips abroad including 18 students to France, 20 to Germany, seven to Ghana, 10 to Morocco and eight to Guatemala. The Women’s Chorale toured Paris, Munich, Salzburg and Vienna, while the football team played an exhibition game in Switzerland.

Notable Speakers

Visitors on campus included Martin Luther King III; Lori Andrews, genetics and law expert; Ted Turner, media mogul; Dawn Turner Trice, Chicago Tribune columnist; Peter Wexler, theater designer, photographer and artist; Paul Street, policy researcher; Brian Gruley, bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal; and filmmakers Justin Dillon, Alex Halkin and Pamela Tanner Boll.

Ministry and Service

In 2008-2009, 117 students participated in service and mission trips to Uganda, Kenya, Haiti and West Virginia (for the Appalachia Service Project). Students also participated in six alternative spring break trips to Alabama, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Florida and Mexico.

144th Commencement

On June 13, 2009, 621 students were recognized for completing bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The “Year of the Arts” theme continued with Commencement speaker Blair Kamin, Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune. Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees were presented to Kamin; James Cuno, president and Eloise W. Martin Director of the Art Institute of Chicago; Joan Gray ’71, president of Muntu Dance Theatre; Roche Schulfer, executive director of the Goodman Theatre; and Judy Stevenson, president and treasurer of Magnetrol International Inc. and North Central College Life Trustee.

Athletic Accomplishments

The football team finished its first-ever undefeated conference season in 2008, capping three consecutive conference championships. Running back Dominic Sulo ’10 was named one of 10 finalists for the Gagliardi Trophy, the premier individual award in NCAA Division III football, honoring excellence in athletics, academics and community service. The men’s cross country team finished second in the nation and Cardinal teams won five conference championships. In addition, 18 Cardinal athletes were honored by national organizations for their academics.