North Central College 2009-2010 Highlights
Residence Hall/Recreation Center
More than 200 students moved in to the one-of-a-kind residence hall wrapped around an NCAA-regulation 200-meter indoor track and recreation center. Geothermal heating and cooling and other “green” features makes this 200,000-square-foot facility eligible for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification. In addition to a Homecoming dedication event, more than 700 alumni, families and friends attended the Annual Alumni Track Meet and dedication of the Al B. Carius Track and Gramarosso Gallery in January. For the first time in nearly 20 years, North Central hosted four indoor home meets, including the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin Indoor Championships in February.
Institutional Assessment and Reaccreditation
A visit by the accrediting team from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Universities in January resulted in a very positive assessment of the College’s success in advancing its mission over the past 10 years in a number of avenues—assessment of student learning, faculty development programs, financial management of the College and growth in facilities, to name a few. In preparation for the visit, a 187-page Self-Study Report was produced that addressed the five criteria used in the reaccreditation process: mission and integrity; preparing for the future; student learning and effective teaching; acquisition, discovery and application of knowledge; and engagement and service. The team was particularly impressed by North Central’s culture of assessment, fundraising efforts leading to new facilities, as well as the overall comprehensiveness of the self-study process.
Emily Albright ’10 (right), a biochemistry major, earned a prestigious three-year National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship and selected the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a doctoral program in microbiology over offers from both Princeton and Harvard. Albright was a Goldwater Scholar and conducted summer research during 2009 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Laurel White ’10 received a highly competitive Dunn Fellowship to work for one year in the Governor of Illinois’ Press Office. She will later attend Northwestern University for graduate school. Parker Gadbois ’09 earned a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to teach English in Yilan, Taiwan. Gadbois was an English major and Chinese minor while at North Central. A record 32 student-researchers were accepted to attend the 2010 National Conferences on Undergraduate Research held at the University of Montana in Missoula.
Notable Events, Speakers and Performers
A 50th-anniversary observance of the visit to campus by Martin Luther King Jr. included a keynote address by Dr. Cornel West, Princeton University professor, author and champion of racial justice. An alumni panel shared their memories of the King era on campus. The College also hosted more than 250 fine arts performances including Herb Alpert and Lani Hall, Gloria Gaynor, Elizabeth Futral, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Michael Feinstein, Ricky Skaggs, Canadian Brass, Harlem Gospel Choir, Chick Corea and Gary Burton, Monterey Jazz Festival and Pointer Sisters. Best-selling authors Madeleine Albright, Sarah Vowell, Jeannette Walls, Anna Quindlen and Neil Gaiman spoke on campus. The College’s three art galleries displayed an impressive series of exhibits from professional and student artists.
Dane Scag ’41 donated his log home and 75 acres near Pikes Peak in Colorado. Dick and Deanna Mandel donated a wooded 43-acre parcel and log home near Dixon, IL. The Mandel property will be used for retreats, meetings and reunions in the near future.
New Student Enrollment
North Central welcomed a record number of new undergraduate students in fall 2009—820—to reach a total enrollment of nearly 2,800. Another stellar recruiting year by the Office of Admission for fall 2010 resulted in 882 new students and an incoming first-year class of 583, up from 544 in 2009.
An expanded program for first-year students includes orientation, a summer reading assignment, revamped Welcome Week activities and a new seven-week Fall FYE 100 course, taught by the student’s faculty advisor. FYE was one of several factors credited with boosting the College’s first-year to second-year retention rate to 80 percent.
U.S. News & World Report named North Central College among the top 80 institutions in the nation that have a special commitment to undergraduate teaching.
Sesquicentennial Legacy Series
As the College’s 150th anniversary approaches in 2011, the Office of Alumni Relations initiated a Legacy Series with an event at the Oriental Institute Museum of the University of Chicago honoring James Henry Breasted, Class of 1890. More than 75 alumni, trustees and staff attended the talk and reception in April.
Study Abroad, International Students and Service Trips
In 2010-2011, 88 North Central College students will study abroad for a term in 16 countries, and there will be 40 international students studying at North Central. In December 2009, students participated in shorter trips abroad including 18 students to France, 11 to Germany, 80 to Greece, 10 to Guatemala and eight on a service trip to Haiti. During the summer of 2009, 46 Cardinal football players and fans traveled to Switzerland, and 49 participants toured France and Austria with the Women’s Chorale. The Office of Ministry and Service organized 12 international and domestic mission trips involving more than 130 students.
Athletic Academic Awards
Among North Central student-athletes, 22 were named Scholar All-Americans in 2009-2010.
North Central swept the NCAA Division III National Championships in three sports—men’s cross country, men’s indoor track and field and men’s outdoor track and field—becoming just the second Division III institution to win all three titles in the same academic year. North Central now holds 25 team national championships and 106 individual national championships. North Central’s baseball team won its first College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) Championship since 1998 and qualified for the NCAA Division III Tournament, while the football team won its fourth consecutive CCIW title and the wrestling team won its third straight conference crown. The women’s cross country team won a CCIW title as well, and the softball and volleyball teams qualified for NCAA Tournament play. Individuals participated at national championships for women’s cross country, women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, wrestling and men’s tennis. Altogether, 11 of North Central’s 22 athletic programs were represented at NCAA regional or national competitions.