North Central College - Naperville, IL

Past Outstanding Alumni Award Recipients

Outstanding Alumni Awards

The Outstanding Alumni Awards are presented annually to one or more alumni who graduated more than 15 years ago, who have excelled in their careers and demonstrated service to the community and North Central College. The first award recipient was Bishop John Stamm, Class of 1909, in 1954. In 1982, the Alumni Association created the Young Alumnus Merit Award, now known as the Alumni Recognition Award, recognizing potential for success in a career, community service or support to North Central College by younger alumni within 15 years of graduation. The first recipient of this award was Robert Holmes ’66. Learn more about past recipients by visiting the alumni awards search page.

Wall of Witness

The Wall of Witness was established in 2006 to recognize and honor alumni of North Central College or the Evangelical Theological Seminary whose lives embody the values—and the commitment to principled leadership, justice and service—of our mission and heritage. The first recipient was Dante J. Germanotta ’51.

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2014


Major General William Gossell ’54 has led a successful career in the aviation industry and in the United States armed forces, proudly serving his country as a pilot for nearly three decades, both on active duty and in the reserves. Bill earned four letters in three sports at North Central College. After graduation, he began flight training as a naval aviation cadet. He was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1955 and received his wings in 1956. Bill was on active duty for four years, including service in the Far East. He continued to serve in the military reserves and was honored...
Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2014

Becky Anderson ’82 Wilkins is recognized worldwide as a leading independent book retailer who has tirelessly promoted the importance of reading and value of book publishing. As an owner of Anderson’s BookShops in Naperville and Downers Grove, Ill., Becky has built the company’s reputation to such stature that it attracts prestigious author visits. Yet Becky remains just as committed to community programming and partnering with local school districts to support reading and literacy with programs like Naperville READS. She has also sought to boost the cause of independent retailing and helped form...

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2014

Dr. Jeff Swallow ’94 is a visionary corporate leader, North Central College trustee and generous philanthropist, with a special interest in providing financial assistance to students obtaining their college degrees. Currently president and chief executive officer of Magnetrol International Incorporated in Aurora, Jeff has spent his career in planning, implementation, administration, and management of growing and expanding manufacturing environments. The success of Magnetrol reflects his wise management and business acumen.

Wall of Witness Award Winner 2014

Reverend Tom Babler ’69 has dedicated his life to ministry and leadership in the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church. Prior to his retirement in 2012, he led congregations in the Illinois communities of LaMoille (Community United Methodist), Ottawa (Epworth United Methodist Church), Aurora (Bethany of Fox Valley), Naperville (Community United Methodist) and Sandwich (United Church of Sandwich).
As a visible member of the clergy in these communities,...

Alumni Recognition Award Winner 2014

Dr. Wade Hicks ’02 is pursuing a research career in molecular biology at one of the world’s most prestigious research organizations: the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University in Boston. He was named a senior research fellow in Systems Biology after completing a four-year postdoctoral research fellowship, also at the Wyss Institute.
Wade raised the bar in North Central’s science department for student research. He was among the first to...