North Central College’s Sesquicentennial Homecoming reunited classmates from various eras and gave current students plenty to celebrate.
Alumni traveled from dozens of states to attend reunions during homecoming week. Nineteen members of the class of 1951 gathered for their 60th reunion, with attendees traveling from California, Texas, Florida and other states.
“I think we all came to North Central from the same kinds of backgrounds,” said class of 1951 member Leota Ester of Appleton, Wis. Ester traveled more than 10,000 miles by plane and 15,000 miles by car across the United States to visit every surviving member of her class she could find and personally invite them to their 60th reunion.
“We all share the same values, and as I visited people and caught up with them I found we’re mostly middle-class people of service, a lot of preachers and teachers,” Ester said.
Groups gathering for reunions included the College’s African American Alumni Association and a 25th anniversary of the school’s Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) chapter. One event celebrated the College’s longstanding connections with Japan—which date back to 1875—and reunited international students from Japan who studied at North Central as well as other North Central students who studied abroad in Asia. One alumna, Shige (Masaki) Nagamura, who graduated in 1954, traveled from Japan to attend the festivities.
Homecoming Week events at North Central included a Colbie Caillat concert Thursday night, and on Saturday a parade and football game versus North Park University. Six people were inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame: Jack Nothacker (class of 1961, football), Byron Ware (class of 1963, swimming), Matt Richards (class of 1987, baseball), Susan Boehm Randazzo (class of 1990, volleyball), Shawn Welti (class of 1991, track & field) and Paula Monk Svora (class of 1992, women’s cross country/track & field).
A building at 48 E. Jefferson Ave. was dedicated as the Abe House in honor of Bill and Mary Abe, alumni and longtime supporters of North Central College.
North Central Now Annual Report 2011