North Central College - Naperville, IL

150 Moments: President Lawrence H. Seager, 1911-1916

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President Lawrence H. Seager
President Lawrence H. Seager

North Central College’s fourth president was Lawrence Hoover Seager, a North-Western College graduate and minister, who served as president from 1911 to 1916.

Born in Fremont, Ohio, he came to Naperville with a desire to enter the ministry. Seager attended Ohio Northern University and graduated in 1886. He then enrolled at North-Western College as a senior in the Latin-Scientific Course and graduated in 1887 with a bachelor of science degree.

Seager then enrolled at the Union Biblical Institute (later the Evangelical Theological Seminary), where he graduated in 1888. In 1901, he was selected as editor of the Evangelical Herald, the Evangelical Association’s newspaper.

Appointed as president of the College in 1911, Seager saw the first accreditation of North-Western College by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges in 1914. Also during his term, letter-grading was adopted and written final exams replaced oral examinations, a separate building was constructed for the seminary, and the College acquired six acres of land north of the railroad and west of Washington Street for an athletic field. This additional acreage allowed for the expansion of the athletic programs and introduced space for organized student celebrations and parades, including the first May Fete in 1914.

He resigned as president in 1916 following his election in 1915 as bishop of the Evangelical Association, a position he held until 1934. He died in 1937 and is buried in Naperville Cemetery.

Photo ca. 1911