North Central College - Naperville, IL

Dr. Lora Tyson

An inspiration to hundreds of North Central College students and aspiring educators, Lora Tyson, associate professor of education, died September 1, 2008, after a courageous battle with cancer. It was the very same day that more than 100 family members, friends, colleagues and College alumni gathered for a Cubs game to raise funds to support the Dr. Lora Tyson Curriculum Resource Center in Oesterle Library, which has been renamed in her honor.

The Cubs, teacher education and family were Tyson’s passions. And all who knew her were inspired by her devotion to a simple motto, “Nice Matters,” which reflected her belief that how one treats people really matters.

“She was a kind, compassionate role model for the next generation of teachers,” said close friend Maureen Kincaid, associate professor of education and chair of education. “You were central to her long before the College adopted that theme.”

After working as a teacher and earning advanced degrees from the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky, Tyson joined the North Central College faculty in 1999. She served as chair of the education department from 2005-2007 and was especially looking forward to returning to her teaching duties, her colleagues said.

The campus community gathered for a memorial service in Koten Chapel in mid-September and listened to readings and remembrances from her colleagues, students and family members. “She was first and foremost a teacher,” said President Harold Wilde. “Her life in all its dimensions was witness to the nobility of that role and its responsibilities.”

Throughout campus during the fall months, students, faculty and staff wore red bracelets in her honor with the words: “Life Lessons from Lora, Nice Matters.” Many helped create a scrapbook with favorite memories.

“We all felt like her children—one of her most remarkable characteristics was that she cared,” said former student Samantha Dastice ’08. “One lesson I’ll always remember is that you can never be too nice.”

Tyson is survived by her sons, Ian and Brent; a granddaughter Keirra; her mother Esther Trail; three sisters; six nephews; and two nieces.

Annual Report 2008