North Central College

30 N Brainard St 
Naperville IL 60540 

(630) 637-5100

North Central College

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
North Central College
Seal of North Central College
Motto Be Central
Established 1861
Type Private
Endowment $102 million[1]
President Dr. Troy D. Hammond
Academic staff 139
Students 3,000
Undergraduates 2,700
Postgraduates 300
Location Naperville, Illinois, United States
Campus Suburban
Mascot Cardinals
Affiliations United Methodist Church
College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin

North Central College is a private liberal arts college located in historic downtown Naperville, Illinois, United States.


North Central College was founded in 1861 as Plainfield College in Plainfield, Illinois. Classes were first held on Nov. 11 of that year. On Feb. 15, 1864, the Board of Trustees changed the name of the school to North-Western College. The college moved to Naperville in 1870. The name was again changed in 1926 to North Central College.


The college is located on a 65-acre (24 ha) campus in Downtown Naperville on Chicago Avenue.

In the Early 1900's College President Herman J. Kiekhoefer and Judge John S. Goodwin initiated contact with philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to seek out funds for new facilities on campus. Carnegie agreed to donate $25,000 (approximately $679,059 in the current consumer price index) to then North-Western College for a new library building. Carnegie Library, as it was formerly called, was one of only a few academic libraries in Illinois that received funding from Carnegie. The building still exists on campus today and is now known as, "Carnegie Hall." [2]

NCC Old Main in Spring 2013

Pfeiffer Hall is North Central College's oldest fine arts building. The 4,500 square foot building was built in 1926 and seats 1,057. This structure has been historically used by the college to screen films and host lectures, debates, and theatrical productions. Today Pfeiffer Hall continues to host events such as these along with other types of live performances by popular music artists and comedians.

North Central College in 2008 dedicated the $30 million Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center. Designed by the internationally acclaimed Chicago architectural firm of Loebl, Schlossman and Hackl, Inc., the 57,000-square-foot (5,300 m2) facility was planned and sited with the needs of both the College and the Naperville community in mind. Plans evolved over a 15-year period, driven by explosive growth in the College’s music, theatre and art programs, but also a parallel transformation of the city’s downtown, which has brought more than 50 restaurants, numerous national stores and the first four- and five-story buildings within a few blocks of the North Central campus.

The Concert Hall is named in honor of Dr. Myron Wentz, Class of 1963. Nearly $10 million in gifts from Wentz — a scientist, and entrepreneur and music lover — over the past two years have brought the facility to center stage. (Plans for a new Fine Arts Center were put on hold a decade ago when a devastating flood in Naperville forced the College to turn its attention to its damaged athletic complex instead.)

Wentz Concert Hall on the campus of North Central College

In addition to Wentz Concert Hall, the Fine Arts Center also features the Madden Theatre, which is a 150-seat “black box” experimental theatre (that can double as a dance studio) as well as a facility to provide much needed music rehearsal space, practice rooms and offices. The center also houses a spacious lobby, a kitchen facility and the Schoenherr Art Gallery (all supportive of major civic gatherings).[3]

Re-dedication of Meiley-Swallow Hall, the old Grace Evangelical Church at Ellsworth Street and Van Buren Avenue, was a highlight during the 2007 Homecoming weekend. In 2005, the College embraced the opportunity to preserve a part of Naperville and North Central history by acquiring the former Grace Evangelical Church. The 95-year-old structure was erected by the same denomination that founded North Central College and an addition to the College's art and theatre programs. Special features of this building include: nearly 23,000 square feet (2,100 m2) of space, much-needed art display area, a 225-seat thrust stage theatre, and additional office space.

Organization and administration

The endowment of the college was $79 million as of June 30, 2010.[4]

Academic profile

Miley Swallow Hall


During the 2012-13 academic year, North Central had an overall acceptance rate of 64.6%.[5] During the same year, the average high school GPA of admitted students was 3.6.[6]

As of 2013, U.S. News & World Report lists North Central College as one of only two regionally ranked colleges in Illinois with the distinction of being "more selective," the other being Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. [7]


In the 2007 through 2013 editions of the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, North Central College is ranked in the top 20 "Regional Universities (Midwest)," [2] as well as among "America's Best 20 Colleges."

North Central College was named one of the Colleges of Distinction [3], a list of schools emphasizing student engagement, strong teaching, a vibrant community, and successful outcomes.

North Central also is one of Kaplan's "320 Most Interesting Colleges."

Student life

Arts and media

North Central College has a very strong theatre program. The 2000 production of "The Pirates of Penzance" was selected to perform at Kennedy Center American College Theatre's Region III Festival. Productions of Ken Ludwig's "Moon Over Buffalo" and Schmidt and Jones' musical "Philemon" were both selected to perform at the festival's "Evening of Scenes" in 2004 and 2005. The 2007 production of "Thoroughly Modern Millie" was selected as a Regional Finalist from more than 1,300 productions. The 2009 season featured a stunning production of "Cats," and in 2010 North Central became one of the first college theaters in the nation to stage a production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera.[8]

North Central College is home to WONC-FM 89.1, one of the nation's premier college radio stations. At a count of 20, no other college radio station has garnered more Marconi College Radio Awards than WONC. The Chronicle is the student newspaper of North Central College.


Athletic logo

North Central College's mascot is the Cardinal, in tradition of the bird's habitance in Illinois. The school competes in NCAA Division III and the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW). It sponsors 22 sports and has won 30 team national championships - 26 NCAA and 4 NAIA - and North Central athletes have won 115 individual national championships [4]. The total of number national championships puts the college eighth on the all time list for most national championships. North Central is the only school in the CCIW to win a national championship in four (4) different sports. And since joining the CCIW, North Central has won 164 conference titles along with 14 CCIW postseason tournament titles.[9]

North Central College was a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1927-1937.

The college is best known for its Men's Track and Field and Cross Country teams, which have won 25 national championships. For the 2009-2010 school year, the men's cross country and indoor/outdoor track teams swept the NCAA Division III Championships. North Central is only the second school in Division III history to accomplish this feat [5]. During the 2011-2012 school year, the men's indoor track team three-peated as national champions, and the cross country team repeated as national champions. The campus has also hosted past NCAA Division III national events.

Men's Varsity Sports

Cross Country
Track and Field (Indoor/Outdoor)

Women's Varsity Sports

Cross Country
Track and Field (Indoor/Outdoor)

Athletic Facilities

Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium, which seats 5,500, was completed in 1999, while the Jay and Dot Buikema track was resurfaced in 1997 and a Safeplay Plus artificial playing surface was installed in 2011.

The Stadium has hosted numerous high-profile events, including the Illinois high school boys and girls soccer state finals and the Wes Spencer Crosstown Classic, the annual showdown between Naperville North and Naperville Central high schools. It also served as the temporary home of the Chicago Fire for two seasons while Chicago's Soldier Field was reconstructed. In summer 2009, the stadium hosted an outdoor concert by the band Lifehouse.

North Central College’s baseball facility, Zimmerman Stadium, which includes Alumni Field, was dedicated in 1999. The home of Cardinal baseball resembles a professional minor league facility, with permanent seating for 750 fans and a fully enclosed and wireless pressbox. The facility has hosted the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association summer state tournament and Major League Baseball’s RBI World Series and Area Code tryouts.

Cardinal softball plays at Shanower Family Field. In April 2002, the field was dedicated to honor the family of Don Shanower, beloved professor emeritus of speech communication and theatre and enthusiastic softball fan. The dedication took on added meaning after the Shanower’s son Dan, a commander in the U.S. Navy, was among the victims of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. The field has been host to an NCAA III regional tournament and was part of Major League Baseball’s RBI World Series.

Merner Field House is home to Cardinal indoor sports except track and field, with 2,000 seats in Gregory Arena for the basketball and volleyball teams. On the second floor of Merner Field House is Nichols Gymnasium, home to the North Central College wrestling team. The College’s swimming pool is also located in the Field House.

The Residence Hall/Recreation Center opened in fall 2009. This combination residential hall and 91,000-square-foot (8,500 m2) recreational center also contains a regulation NCAA 200-meter running track and is home to the Cardinal indoor track team. The Res/Rec Center has won national acclaim due to its environmentally conscious design. The facility, with its innovative geothermal heating and cooling system and other sustainability features, has been awarded LEED Silver Certification [6].

Campus Housing

North Central College has nearly 12 residential buildings

Geiger Hall is a co-ed residence hall housing 75 first-year students, with men and women on alternate floors. It's conveniently located between Kaufman Dining Hall and the Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center. Within seconds, students can walk right to the energetic atmosphere of downtown Naperville or take a stroll or jog along the tranquil River Walk. Close to both academic and athletic facilities, Geiger residents find it easy to get around campus.Geiger Hall features very spacious double-rooms, accessible laundry rooms on each floor, and a newly renovated lounge that turns into extra seating for Kaufman Dining Hall during meal times. The lounge has high-top tables and booths, computers that are accessible to students, and a brand new flat-panel TV. This beautiful lounge, equipped with Wi-Fi Internet, offers students a neutral area to study, eat or just spend time with friends.[10]

Patterson Hall is a traditional-style residence hall, Patterson is home to approximately 180 students living in double- and triple-occupancy rooms and offers something for everyone. Residents need only open their doors to experience the best their busy community has to offer.And as they say, location is everything. Nestled on the south side of campus, Patterson is only steps away from Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium, across the street from Kaufman Dining Hall, and only a block away from downtown Naperville shopping and eateries. Additionally, Patterson Hall is connected to Ward Hall on the first floor with access to an additional kitchen, Ward's front desk and computer lab.

Peter and Paul Hall houses a close-knit community of 40 first-year women in air-conditioned, double-occupancy rooms. Located in the center of campus, Peter and Paul Hall is close to the Harold and Eva White Activities Center, Pfeiffer Hall and most classrooms.

Rall Hall is home to 150 first-year women. This three story L-shaped building is centrally located on campus, just a few short blocks away from academic buildings and the athletic facilities. Directly across the street in Jefferson Plaza, many students sit and study, play different sports, or just enjoy the great outdoors. Rall is also connected to Kaufman Dining Hall, which is convenient for residents on bad weather days. Otherwise, Rall is walking distance from the center of lively downtown Naperville, where students can grab a bite to eat, shop, or enjoy a stroll along the River Walk.Rall Hall is known for its creative hallway murals painted by the previous year's residents. Residents are encouraged to express their personalities and leave a part of themselves for the next year’s students to enjoy. The lounges are located in the center of each floor. They provide a location where students can study, watch movies or just relax with friends. For hundreds of first-year women, Rall Hall has been the beginning of a great residential experience at North Central College.

Seager Hall is home to 150 lively and energetic first-year students who are eager to begin the next stage of their lives. Seager’s first floor is all women who form a close-knit group known as the “Seager Sisters” around campus. Seager’s top three floors house men who are involved in anything and everything from student organizations, academic groups, student government committees, intramurals, and athletics. The diversity among students here means that you will find students with similar interests, while gaining perspective into other cultures and aspects of life.Seager Hall is conveniently located across the street from Kaufman Dining Hall, and only a block away from downtown Naperville shopping and eateries.

Seybert Hall once served as a residence hall for the Evangelical Theological Seminary. This charming historic building houses 67 men and women. Rooms in Seybert come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Located at the north end of campus, Seybert is close to classrooms, the library and the Rolland Center Boilerhouse Cafe and directly across from the beautifully renovated Kiekhofer Hall and Koten Chapel. Because the hall is surrounded by historic homes, residents enjoy the feeling of getting away from campus without leaving campus.

Student Village houses first year men and women in traditional triple rooms in a uniquely built building. With three towers, three floors in each tower, and three rooms on each of the floors, Student Village allows its residents to connect and interact daily in a multitude of ways. Whether studying in the lounge, hanging out in their rooms, or painting the large windows on the first floor, the residents of Student Village bring the walls and halls of their small, but mighty community to life.

Kimmel Hall - Located on the north end of campus, Kimmel Hall offers an ambiance that is historic and residential. Kimmel houses 118 men and women in air-conditioned, triple-occupancy rooms with kitchenettes and bathrooms. Kimmel is close to classrooms, the library and the Rolland Center Boilerhouse Café. Because the hall is surrounded by historic homes, residents of Kimmel enjoy the feeling of getting away from campus without leaving campus. In the basement of Kimmel is a quaint lounge students use for various activities, like studying, playing games or watching movies. The basement also houses a computer lounge and an area for laundry.

Schneller Hall, houses 95 upper-class men and women in 19 suites. Each two-story suite accommodates between three and seven students in double- and single-occupancy rooms. Each suite has a living room, bathroom and kitchenette. The building features several lounges, study areas and a multi-purpose room with a kitchen.

Naper Place Apartments - Located in downtown Naperville just two blocks from campus Naper Place Apartments is the newest option for upperclass students. Home to 145 students living in double, triple, and quad apartments, Naper Place is the perfect living option for independent, mature upper-class students. The first floor of the building features several study areas and lounges.

Ward Hall is another great place to call home on the south side of campus. The building is located steps from Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium, across the street from Kaufman Dining Hall, and only a block away from downtown Naperville shopping and eateries. This suite-style hall has single and double bedrooms organized around shared living spaces and shared bathrooms. Generally a quiet building housing 85 upperclass men and women, Ward is ideal for students looking for a smaller community, but who still enjoy the benefits of living in a large residence hall.For those times when students are looking to socialize outside of their suites, Ward features a multi-purpose room with a large television and kitchen for a place to relax, study, cook, and much more.  And if that was not enough to make this a great place to live, the Ward front desk offers students the opportunity to rent movies and games.[11]

Campus Dining

At North Central, good food is always a companion to good conversations, memorable celebrations, and those sometimes-grueling study sessions. You can eat well at any time, with healthy options, flexible meal plans and multiple locations across campus.Kaufman Dining Hall is our traditional buffet-style dining option, featuring all-you-can-eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. Choose from a number of hot, fresh entrees and sides, regular cook-to-order specialties (like stir fry, wraps and omelets), or the always-available soup, salad and sandwich bars. Top it off—in moderation, of course—with a dangerously tempting and delicious spread of sweet treats and ice cream.The Cage, conveniently located in the vibrant Harold and Eva White Activities Center, is the perfect place to grab a quick meal between classes or to relax and share a snack with friends. Choose from burgers, wraps, soups, salads, sandwiches, wings—even hot pizza from Papa John’s or a delicious smoothie from Freshens. The Rolland Center Boilerhouse Café is a popular place to meet friends over Starbucks coffee and a fresh-baked treat, from early in the morning until late at night. You can also pick up snacks and those other dorm-room essentials at our small convenience store. While you’re at it, study (or hop on Facebook) with your laptop and Wi-Fi, challenge a friend to ping-pong in the downstairs lounge, or access commuter resources and a computer lab in the upstairs loft. Managed by Chartwells, our dining staff is always soliciting student feedback, creating innovative solutions, and working to provide healthy and sustainable options. You’ll always get nutrition information, vegetarian options and fresh organic produce (in season) from our campus garden. You’ll also be part of our environmentally friendly food waste composting program. A well-rounded education doesn’t stop when you sit down for a well-rounded meal after class.[12]

Notable people




  1. ^ As of June 30, 2012. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved March 1, 2010. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Canfield, Greg (2008-09-10). "Fine arts center set to open at North Central College in Naperville". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-09-10. 
  4. ^ "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved March 1, 2010. 
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  9. ^ [1]
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  13. ^,CST-NWS-mtv10.article.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  14. ^ a b "Kevin Manno leaving Q101 for MTV". Chicago Tribune. August 19, 2010. 

Sources: Google Maps, The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Wikipedia, Yahoo! Answers

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