We’re finally welcoming spring at North Central College. The flowers have bloomed and the campus has come to life with students pedaling their Cardinal red bikes. It was a rough winter in terms of cold and snow, but our faculty and staff, particularly our maintenance department, kept the campus productive and functioning.
I can tell that I’m always going to enjoy this time of year for another reason, as we seem to get news nearly every day about the achievements of our students and alumni. We’ve learned about another Goldwater honor, three Fulbright appointments and top national awards for a student jazz vocalist, The Chronicle, American Marketing Association, WONC and Model United Nations. A record nine football players were honored for their academics by the National Football Foundation.
I have frequent opportunities in front of external audiences to communicate how North Central College competes and succeeds on the national stage—in academics, in cocurricular activities, in fine arts and in athletics. We hold our own with the best of the best. And our students are proving it in so many ways!
Much of that success can be attributed to our outstanding faculty. They are collaborating on research, reading theses, writing letters of recommendations, mentoring and advising. They are world-class teachers and scholars and provide wonderful role models for academic success.
We also have many reasons to thank Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Dr. R. Devadoss “Dev” Pandian. His thoughtful leadership and commitment to teaching has been at the foundation of these academic successes and the building of a community of scholars. Dev has announced that he will retire at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year. In the coming months, the College will be conducting a search process for his replacement.
This issue of the Now magazine also reflects on the commitment to faith and ministry that North Central College has embraced since its founding. We celebrate the remarkable career of Rev. Dr. Lynn Pries ’67, who will retire this summer after inspiring and encouraging North Central students and alumni for 20 years.
From our beginning, students from different faith traditions—and those with no faith commitment at all—have united as a campus community where mutual respect produces vibrant discussion and collaborative action.
North Central’s faith heritage is a powerful gift. And we are fortunate to have a sacred space—Koten Chapel—that’s vital to the life of a college like ours. We’re thankful for the late Life Trustee John A. “Jack” Koten ’51, who with his family helped make the chapel a treasured home for many spiritual, cultural, musical and academic activities on campus. People like Jack and Lynn represent many of the core values that inspire us every day at North Central College.
Dr. Troy D. Hammond