North Central College - Naperville, IL

Mimi Flickinger Rolland

Class Year: 

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2005

Mimi Flickinger '55 Rolland of Fort Wayne, Ind., is a devoted fan of her family, community, the arts, education and North Central College.

In receiving the College's 2005 Outstanding Alumni Award at Homecoming, Rolland remarked that she abandoned her prepared speech after attending her Class of 1955 50-Year Club induction the previous evening. "Warm memories of good friends" and her time at North Central were rekindled, she said, and reminded her of the strength and self-confidence she developed while a student.

"I give cheers to North Central for arming each of us with ideas and strengths to lead the best possible lives."

During her lifetime, Rolland has been actively involved in volunteer and community activities, particularly those that addressed problems of Fort Wayne's inner city. She helped establish the East Wayne Street Center in inner-city Fort Wayne; started a nursery school program that evolved into a Head Start Program; served seven years as a Girl Scout leader for a group of nine inner-city girls; acted as a storyteller, song teacher and tutor in local public schools and Head Start programs; and led sing-alongs for students and senior citizens.

Involved in music groups as a college student, her love for the arts has never waned. Rolland continues to enjoy singing and playing the piano and harp and says, "Art and music bring beauty and joy to life." In 2001, she generously endowed the Mimi Rolland Professorship in the Fine Arts chair as part of North Central's Preparing for a New Century Capital Campaign.

A former North Central College trustee, she and her husband, Ian, recently donated $1 million to the Rolland Center Boilerhouse Café to create a warm and welcoming place on campus for people to gather. After its grand opening in fall 2004, the Café quickly became one of the busiest and most popular buildings on campus.

The Rolland's have five adult children and 13 grandchildren.