Admitted Students, Families Learn about University, Prepare for Next Academic Year

Admitted Student Day
Students and their parents learned about study abroad opportunities from Dr. Jennifer Pope, director of the University's International Office.

Noted alumnus, Dr. Tim Johnson, addresses families

CHICAGO (April 23, 2012) – Nearly 90 students and their families attended a day-long event April 20 at North Park University, Chicago, to learn about the University's academic programs, meet with faculty and staff, and to learn about student life at the University. Many had already committed to attend the University beginning with the 2012 fall semester, while others made commitments to attend at the conclusion of the day's activities.

Amber Warners, Grand Rapids, Mich., was among those who had already committed. She learned about the University while working at a summer Bible camp with North Park students. "I just love the campus," she said. "Everyone is so friendly, and they have the major I want—psychology." Another attractive feature for her is the University's emphasis on multiculturalism and diversity. "Here it's so diverse. I want the whole experience," she said.

Mariam Castro, Chicago, attended the event with her father, Louis. The Castros live near the campus, and Mariam wants to be a pediatrician. "My pediatrician told me that his daughter comes here, and he was telling me that the pre-med program is really good," she said, adding that she wants to be in smaller classes and interact with faculty. Louis Castro said he didn't know much about the University before his visit. "I like the staff, and I like what they have to offer to the students. I'm very happy with it," he said after his visit.

The students and their families got a rare opportunity to hear from a well-known alumnus of the University. Dr. G. Timothy Johnson, longtime medical editor for ABC News, now a senior medical contributor, was born and raised in Rockford, Ill., grew up in the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) and said he always knew he would attend what was then North Park Junior College. "I came here and had an amazing two years of teaching and spiritual formation in the very best sense," he said. After graduating in 1956, Johnson went on to earn a bachelor's degree from Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill., then returned to attend North Park Theological Seminary, graduating in 1963. He later attended medical school and became a physician.

During those formative years, Johnson prepared for many vocations before landing in network television, where he reported on science and medicine. He told the students they are likely to have a similar experience. "You have no idea what's going to happen to you," he said. "Look what happened to me. I thought I was going to be a parish minister, then a family doctor, and I ended up doing something very different from what I ever would have imagined or expected."

Johnson cited several advantages for students at North Park University—small classes taught by dedicated teachers who care about students; multiple community service opportunities; and attending college in a large city with academic and business resources. "I am here to tell you that a school like North Park, with its value system, with its location in an urban area, has so much more to offer than classrooms and teaching. You're in for a very exciting educational adventure, and more importantly, you're in for a spiritual, formative journey that is critical to the way you will live the rest of your life," Johnson said.

Johnson is co-chair of Campaign North Park, a fundraising campaign with multiple purposes: to build a new Science and Community Life Building, to enhance the University's Annual Fund, to increase endowment funding for student scholarships, and to support Chicago-based academic programs and faculty development. The new building will be "state of the art, and it will meet some deep needs for this campus," he said. Groundbreaking is expected sometime this year.

The University was founded in 1891 by ECC, and is affiliated with the Chicago-based church. North Park is a Christian, multicultural and urban University, with a mission to prepare students for lives of significance and service through education in the liberal arts, professional studies, and theology.

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