North Central College - Naperville, IL

Naper Settlement exhibit features North Central College's history

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"150 Years: A Promising Start" on exhibit

Aug. 25, 2011—A new exhibit at Naper Settlement explores the 150-year history of North Central College.

The exhibit, “150 Years: A Promising Start,” opens Friday, Sept. 2, at Naper Settlement’s Heritage Gallery and echoes the theme of the College’s Sesquicentennial celebration. The exhibit will be on display through June 17, 2012 at Naper Settlement’s Pre-Emption House Visitor Center, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville.

“I’ve always been fascinated with the stories of the College’s founding, its ties to the Evangelical Association and the richness of student life and how it’s changed over time,” says Jennifer Bridge, curator of exhibits and interpretation at Naper Settlement. “We also wanted to depict the close relationship between the community and the College.”

The first day of classes at Plainfield College—North Central College’s original name—was held on Nov. 11, 1861. In 1870, the college moved from Plainfield to Naperville with the laying of the cornerstone for Old Main, the limestone building that housed all campus operations for its first 30 years in Naperville.

“It's been fascinating to collaborate with Naper Settlement on the development of this exhibit,” says Kim Butler, College archivist. “I’m excited to have such a wonderful facility showcasing the College’s history for the Sesquicentennial year and it’s going to be a great opportunity for visitors to learn about the vibrant history of such an important local institution.”

North Central College is planning numerous Sesquicentennial events and projects throughout 2011 and into 2012. Visit for additional details.

Founded in 1861 and celebrating its Sesquicentennial in 2011, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in six areas. With more than 2,900 undergraduate and graduate students, North Central College is committed to academic excellence, a climate that emphasizes leadership, ethics, values and service, a curriculum that balances job-related knowledge with a liberal arts foundation and a caring environment with small classes.

History comes to life at Naper Settlement, an outdoor history museum, located in downtown Naperville at 523 S. Webster St. Accredited by the American Association of Museums, Naper Settlement has 30 historic structures ranging from a rustic log cabin to an elegant Victorian mansion, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Open year round, for more information about hours and admission prices, visit or call 630-420-6010.