North Central College

North Central College
Athletic logo
North Central College
Ncc logo.gif
Motto Be Central
Established 1861
Type Private
Endowment $79 million[1]
President Harold R. Wilde
Academic staff 139
Students 2,900
Undergraduates 2,600
Postgraduates 300
Location Naperville, Illinois
Campus Suburban
Mascot Cardinals
Affiliations United Methodist Church
College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin

North Central College is a leading liberal arts college providing students at different stages of life and from different ethnic, economic and religious backgrounds with comprehensive educational programs.



North Central is a leading liberal arts college providing students at different stages of life and from different ethnic, economic and religious backgrounds with comprehensive educational programs.


Recently North Central College was named one of the Colleges of Distinction, a list of schools emphasizing student engagement, strong teaching, a vibrant community, and successful outcomes. North Central has consistently been recognized as a leader in liberal arts studies. In the 2007 through 2010 editions of the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, North Central College is ranked in the top 20 "Regional Universities (Midwest)," as well as among "America's Best Colleges." U.S. News says North Central is No. 6 among "Best College: Undergraduate Teaching at Regional Universities (Midwest)." North Central also is one of Kaplan's "320 Most Interesting Colleges."


North Central College was founded in 1861 as Plainfield College in Plainfield, Illinois. Classes were first held on November 11 of that year. On February 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.


Retaining the charm of an early 19th century settlement, Naperville has been ranked among the "Best Places to Live in America" by Money magazine; historic downtown Naperville offers many family-owned shops and fine restaurants; the nearby Illinois Research and Development Corridor provides extraordinary opportunities for student internships; the excitement and cultural riches of Chicago's Loop are a half hour away by train, with a station just blocks from campus.


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 28 national championships - 24 NCAA and 4 NAIA - and North Central athletes have won 111 individual national championships [2]. 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.[2]

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 22 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 [3]. During the 2010-2011 school year, the men's indoor and outdoor track teams repeated as national champions, and the cross country team was the national runner-up. 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 2002.

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 "Res/Rec 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, is eligible for LEED Silver Certification [4].

Fine arts

Pfeiffer Hall is North Central College's oldest fine arts building. It was built in 1926 and seats 1,050. Only six months after it opened, the Naperville Women's Club performed "Little Women" in Pfeiffer Hall. This structure was also used by the College to show movies. The first "talkie" was shown in 1930. Today Pfeiffer Hall hosts theatrical and dance productions, as well as performances by such artists as Blues Traveler, Leann Rimes and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

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.)

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]

Rededication 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.

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 "Phantom of the Opera."


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.

Notable alumni



External links

Coordinates: 41°46′32″N 88°8′34″W / 41.77556°N 88.14278°W / 41.77556; -88.14278

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • North Hertfordshire College — Coordinates: 51°53′49″N 0°12′00″W / 51.897°N 0.200°W / 51.897; 0.200 North Hertfordshire College ( NHC ) …   Wikipedia

  • North Central — may refer to: North Central College, a private, 4 year comprehensive liberal arts college located in Naperville, Illinois. Founded in 1861, it is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Comprehensive fees for the 2010 2011 academic year… …   Wikipedia

  • North Central Conference — (NCC) Established 1922 Dissolved 2008 Association NCAA …   Wikipedia

  • North Central Texas College — Established 1924 Type Community college President Eddie Hadlock, Ed.D. Admin. staff N/A …   Wikipedia

  • North Central Missouri College — Established 1925 Type Public President Neil Nuttall Academic staff 246 (27% full time)[1] …   Wikipedia

  • North Central High School (Spokane, Washington) — North Central High School Location Spokane, Washington, United States Information Type Public Motto Yes we can! Established 1908 Principa …   Wikipedia

  • North Central Railway College — Established 1882 Type Educational Institute Principle Mr. Naiyer Location , Uttar Pradesh, India North Central Railway College (NCRC) …   Wikipedia

  • North Central Michigan College — Motto Your growth. Our mission. Established 1958 Type Community College Chairman Robert Bl …   Wikipedia

  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools — NCA logo NCA operating area Abbreviation …   Wikipedia

  • North Central High School (Farmersburg, Indiana) — North Central Jr./Sr. High School Address 910 E. Co. Rd. 975 N. Farmersburg, Indiana, Indiana, 47850 United States Information Type Public high school …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”