One Big Family
An Interview with Mrs. Lois Brorson C'50
Lois (Magnuson) Brorson C'50 knows something about family traditions and lasting friendships. She can trace her family’s connection with North Park through three generations, starting with her own experience on campus more than 60 years ago. She and her brothers attended the junior college in the 40s and 50s, and Lois and her husband, Don, sent two of their four children to North Park as well. Today, the Brorson legacy continues with two grandchildren who hold North Park degrees (and also met their spouses on campus), and two more who are current students. "North Park is one big family," said Brorson, "and throughout the years, you connect time and time again through phone calls, events on campus, weddings, and visits. These friendships are truly life-long."
Brorson grew up on the South Side of Chicago where her family attended Englewood Covenant Church (Beverly). Brorson first became aware of North Park thanks to its choirs and student groups that came through her church. She was impressed by their music and Christian witness, and knew beyond a doubt that North Park was the school for her. "North Park was my first time away from home, and being around my classmates, and the professors who dedicated so much time to us, really shaped who I am today. At that time, there was a strong spiritual revival on campus that was life-changing. A real movement to turn to Christ — this was significant for me and for many others at North Park during those days."
Though the campus has changed physically since Brorson was a student, she is impressed with the beautification projects that have brought more green spaces and landscaping to familiar buildings such as Old Main, Nyvall Hall, and Ohlson House. She said, "The first time I saw the new layout, I didn’t even realize I was in front of Caroline Hall, my old dormitory! They had removed the street and there was no more traffic from Foster Avenue, only beautiful landscaping and foot paths. What a wonderful surprise it was to discover all that. I encourage anybody who has not been back to campus for a few years to walk in and see how lovely it is."
When asked about the new Science and Community Life Building, which is scheduled to begin construction in 2012, Brorson said she is thrilled to see this addition to an already stunning campus. "North Park has always been strong in the sciences, with well-qualified professors and excellent programs, but we urgently need new facilities to enhance the educational experience for students and keep competitive in today’s world."
She continued, "My hope for North Park is that it will become even better known in the Chicago area and across the country as an academically rigorous, Christian university." In fact, the Science and Community Life Building accomplishes both of these goals because it provides not only laboratories and new classroom technology, but also expanded space for University Ministries, Career Services, and student fellowship. "I am excited to be a part of this project," Brorson said, "and I urge all alumni and friends of North Park to get on the band wagon and support the campaign in whatever way they can."
Now a grandmother of 18, Brorson looks to the next generation to sustain the future of Christian education. "I believe it is important to pattern your life from the example of those who have been role models for you. My parents and my husband were examples to me of consistent and generous giving. They felt a strong connection and commitment to the mission of North Park. I encourage our young people to stay strong and be true to the values and biblical truths they are learning at North Park."