It’s been a spectacular fall at North Central College! Homecoming was a special high point because I saw so many of you on campus. What a great opportunity to gather the College family together again and to remind ourselves how important our personal connections really are. I hope you will be able to attend next year’s celebration (October 16-19 is already marked on my calendar).
Above and beyond Homecoming, we’ve felt a buzz on campus all season. There are lots of reasons for this sense of excitement: our nationally ranked teams in football, men’s cross country and preseason men’s basketball; our lively residential campus (which has reached capacity with 1,478 students); and more events, performances, artists, authors and speakers than anyone can fit into their calendar (believe me, I’ve tried!).
We’ve also welcomed our second-largest incoming class of new students, which stands at 852 and puts our total undergraduate enrollment at about 2,800, its highest level ever. Our strong enrollment figures are especially gratifying because they come at a time of challenging demographic changes that have affected other institutions. Clearly, our students and families recognize the value of the North Central experience.
I’m excited that the Board of Trustees has chosen a site for our new science center. We’re thrilled to think about the ways our students and campus will be transformed by this new facility. Its significance extends far beyond enhancing the academic experience for students who plan to pursue science careers. This facility is for everyone. It will equip us to continue our tradition of educating students in every major who will change the world through their research, teaching and leadership.
The new science center will be designed for the biology scholar conducting a research project—and for the education major who will become fascinated when science comes to life in the lab. It’s for the biochemistry student who earns a Goldwater Scholarship—and for the accounting major who is curious about how physics applies to her world. It’s for the businesses, industries and schools that are always looking for the best new employees—and for the Naperville neighbors who treasure our summer academic camps.
I hope you share my excitement about what the College is now—and what it will soon become. We dream big dreams here, and with your support we’ll move together into a brilliant future.
Dr. Troy D. Hammond