North Central College 2011-2012 Highlights
The highlight of the Sesquicentennial Celebration was a sit-down dinner for more than 2,300 alumni, faculty, staff, retirees and community members inside the Residence Hall/Recreation Center. The daylong celebration was held on November 11, 2011, commemorating the exact date classes began on November 11, 1861, in Plainfield, IL. As part of the celebration, the College produced a five-part documentary series, an expanded photo collection titled “North Central College: A College in Its Community” and the history book “150 Years. A Promising Start.” The celebration included hosting campus visitors like Caroline Kennedy and cellist Yo-Yo Ma and honoring people important to the College’s success with Sesquicentennial medals.
Major Gifts, Science Center Momentum
Fundraising for a new science center is nearing $10 million, thanks to a major commitment by Trustee Jeff Swallow ’94, a challenge to trustees by Life Trustee Roger Hruby ’58 and a $1.5 million gift from friends of the College Al and Lila Self of Burr Ridge, IL. A groundbreaking ceremony during Cornerstone Day for the new Riverwalk Gateway included the announcement of a $500,000 pledge by James ’63 and Patricia Brady ’63 Bambule of Naperville. Another major commitment to the Sesquicentennial Campaign is a 13th endowed academic chair, the Dennis and Jean Bauman Professorship in the Humanities. Also, a new Mary Cowlishaw Scholarship for Lederman Scholars was established by Wayne Cowlishaw to offset tuition costs for area high school students enrolling in the Lederman Scholars program.
Presidential Search Process
At the February meeting of the Board of Trustees, President Harold Wilde announced he would retire December 31, 2012, after nearly 22 years of service. The Presidential Search Committee chaired by Trustee Michael Naset was formed to work with the search firm Witt/Kieffer of Oak Brook, IL.
Campus Expansion and Capital Improvements
The College acquired two homes on Riverview Drive south of the football field, the historic Hammersmith House on Brainard Street and a condominium on Washington Street, donated by Dick and Deanna Mandel. New Field Turf and a new track surface were installed in Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium. The fourth floor of the Residence Hall/Recreation Center was finished to accommodate 126 students. Two new classrooms were added in the Harold and Eva White Activities Center (former site of the Bookstore) and a loading zone was constructed west of Pfeiffer Hall on Brainard Street. A major signage project involved the installation of new wayfinding, building identification, house address and campus map signs.
U.S. News and World Report ranked North Central No. 13 in the Midwest in the Regional Universities category—up from No. 23 a year earlier. Forbes named North Central among “America’s Top Colleges” for 2012-2013. Other recognitions came from The Princeton Review (“Best in the Midwest” and “Guide to 322 Green Colleges”), Payscale.com (alumni salary data), G.I. Jobs magazine (“2013 Military Friendly School”), the Chronicle of Higher Education (“Great Colleges to Work For 2012”) and others.
North Central’s most recent Goldwater Scholar is Maria Gommel ’13 from Malta, IL. She has conducted public health research with Linda Gao, professor of mathematics emerita. Hemlata Mistry ’05 of Naperville received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. In 2012-2013, she will be teaching English in South Korea, building on her education and expertise in Korean language and culture. Josh Stumpenhorst ’03 visited the White House after being honored as the Illinois Teacher of the Year. He teaches at Lincoln Junior High School in Naperville Community Unit School District 203. In addition, Kimberly Lisanby-Barber ’77 of Mendota, IL, was named Elementary Principal of the Year by the Illinois Principals Association.
North Central hosted artists Yo-Yo Ma, Colbie Caillat, Herbie Hancock, The Beach Boys, Canadian Brass and Celtic Woman. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra appeared in May. A new fine arts website was launched in June in conjunction with opening ticket sales for the 2012-2013 season.
New Graduate Programs
The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies offers graduate students three new options: Ethics and Public Service; Writing, Editing and Publishing; and Culture and Society. In addition, the College is offering a new Master of International Business Administration degree that combines an international curriculum with a short-term study abroad requirement. The new programs helped attract the highest number of new graduate students for fall 2012 (120) since 2003 (134). Graduate student applications for the 2012-2013 academic year increased to 367 from 254 in 2011.
Another stellar recruiting year resulted in the College’s enrollment exceeding 3,000 for the first time in fall 2012, with 2,560 undergraduates, 195 part-time undergraduates and 287 graduate students.
The Residence Hall/Recreation Center provided an air-conditioned venue for 581 undergraduates and 111 graduate students receiving degrees on June 9, 2012. Speaker and honorary degree recipient Aaron S. Williams, director of the Peace Corps, emphasized the many connections between the College and the Peace Corps.
The Board of Trustees welcomed four new members: Erin L. Bishop ’93, corporate counsel, Caterpillar, Inc.; Matthew S. Brill ’97, derivatives trader, Tourmaline Partners; James J. Boyne, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Calamos; and Lee J. Woolley ’98, managing director, BNY Mellon.
North Central won NCAA Division III National Championships in men’s cross country and indoor track and field. The men’s cross country team was honored by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, who declared January 6, 2012, North Central College Cardinals Men’s Cross Country Day in the State of Illinois. The men’s basketball team won College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) regular-season and tournament championships in the same season for the first time and advanced to the “sweet 16” in the Division III Men’s Basketball Championship for the first time. The football team won its sixth straight CCIW Championship and advanced to the second round of the Division III Championships. The women’s cross country team won its third straight CCIW title and qualified for the national championship meet for the second time in school history. The wrestling team turned in a ninth-place finish nationally with two individuals earning All-America honors by placing third and fifth.