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Mayor Emanuel Joins River Park Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Mayor Emanuel Joins River Park Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Mayor Rahm Emanuel at River Park Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Mayor Rahm Emanuel cut the ceremonial ribbon to celebrate the re-opening of the River Park track and soccer field, a facility shared by North Park University and local neighborhood residents.

CHICAGO (October 21, 2013) — North Park University joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alderman Deborah Mell (33rd Ward), Chicago Park District Superintendent Michael Kelly, and members of the local community at River Park on Monday, October 14, to celebrate the rehabilitation of the River Park track and soccer facility located two blocks from North Park's campus. Representing the University were Jack Surridge, director of athletics, John Born, head men's soccer coach, Steve Imig, head cross country coach, and Geoffrey Masanet, head track and field coach.

Originally built in 1999–2000, the artificial turf and running track were in need of serious repair; an estimated $1.26 million was invested in the project by the University and the City of Chicago. "The track and field had basically worn out from use, and exceeded its predicted life of eight to 10 years," said Surridge. "The field was resurfaced with the second-generation of FieldTurf synthetic grass, which has more durable fiber. It also has a longer fiber; this improves the resilience of the surface. The drainage system had been an issue since 2001, and that was addressed in the rehab project," he added.

The facility re-opened for use in early August with an 84,240-square-foot artificial turf soccer field and a resurfaced eight-lane running track. The facility is used by University track and soccer teams, as well as programs of the Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Schools.

“This investment will ensure that children, teens, and adults in the neighborhood will have state-of-the-art fields for playing a variety of sports,” said Mayor Emanuel at the ceremony. “Community investments in our parks are essential because they promote active and healthy lives for residents.”

Superintendent Kelly praised the longstanding community partnership between North Park and the Chicago Park District for this facility, and Mayor Emanuel encouraged the University to continue to nurture this relationship for the good of the whole neighborhood.

River Park Track and Soccer Field facility

The updated track and soccer field is located at River Park in the Albany Park neighborhood.

"We are excited about all of these improvements, and also to partner with the Albany Park community in this project. River Park Director Vera Onate has been a terrific person to work with over the years and we look forward to sharing the facility with her many programs," Surridge said.

This rehabilitation is part of the Building a New Chicago initiative, a $7.3 billion infrastructure renewal program championed by the mayor. Last year, Mayor Emanuel announced a comprehensive plan to build and improve parks across the city so that every resident is within a short walk of a park facility.

Use @npunews to follow North Park University News on Twitter. Learn more about North Park University.

Posted on Categories Stories

Astrophysicist Reflects on Science, God, and Jesus in North Park Lecture Series

Astrophysicist Reflects on Science, God, and Jesus in North Park Lecture Series

Jennifer Wiseman

Dr. Jennifer Wiseman discussed her own views regarding science and faith from the perspective of a Christian astrophysicist.

Campus Theme speaker Dr. Jennifer Wiseman comments on 'What is Nature?'

CHICAGO (March 4, 2013) — New telescopes have enabled humans to see billions of miles into the universe and billions of years back in time, said Dr. Jennifer Wiseman, director of the Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion, American Association for the Advancement of Science. Being able to witness God's creation in this way has led to her conclude that "God is a grand and creative God," she said.

Wiseman made the comments in a March 1 presentation to North Park University students, faculty, and staff. She was invited to speak as part of the 2012–2013 Campus Theme Lecture Series on the topic, "What is Nature?" Wiseman is also senior project scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. She was the 2001–2002 Congressional Science Fellow, American Physical Society, and served with staff of the Committee on Science of the U.S. House of Representatives. Wiseman spoke her own views from the perspective of a Christian astrophysicist.

"It's an exciting time for science in general," Wiseman observed. Astronomers generally agree that the universe began with "a spectacular energetic burst" about 13.7 billion years ago, she said, and much has been learned about its origins through the Hubble Space Telescope. Wiseman highlighted her comments by showing the audience several images from the Hubble Telescope, as well as her own cell phone video of the launch of a Space Shuttle mission to maintain the telescope.

Images from telescopes such as the Hubble remind people of the sense of wonder, she told the audience. "We're getting some kind of message from the heavens declaring the glory of God. That is the first and foremost response we ought to have as we look at the heavens above and nature around us," Wiseman said. Newer, infrared telescopes enable scientists to see distant galaxies, and to see farther back in time and space. A new infrared space telescope with expanded capacity is expected to be launched into Earth orbit in 2018, she said.

Though Wiseman cautioned against using science to try to "prove God," she said that based on her own faith perspective and inferences, science can contribute ideas about the nature of God. "I do think we can at least understand from a faith perspective that our God is a grand and creative God," she said. She urged that people of faith talk about issues involving science. Wiseman also noted that when nature is mentioned in Scripture, such as in Psalm 19:1-4, it is often brought up in the context of praise. 

Jesus fits well in God's creation story, Wiseman observed. "There's a strong connection. Jesus was not just an afterthought of God's, but actually, he was the focus of creation for all time in terms of the Scripture, and that it is in Christ that the whole universe is sustained," she said, quoting Hebrews 1:1-3.

Wiseman was the fourth and final speaker in an impressive lineup of Campus Theme lecturers who addressed the nature topic this academic year, said Dr. Karl Clifton-Soderstrom, director of the Campus Theme Lecture series, assistant professor of philosophy, and director of general education. Previous speakers were Sir Peter Crane, dean of Yale University's School of Environmental Studies, author, and former director of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Great Britain, Chicago's Field Museum, and of the University of Chicago's geophysical science program; Dr. Vandana Sheeva, an internationally known environmental activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee; and Barry Lopez, a best-selling nature writer and National Book Award winner.

Speakers for next year's Campus Theme Lecture series will address the topic, "What is Peace?"


Use @npunews to follow North Park University News on Twitter. For further information or resources, contact John Brooks, Director of Media Relations and News, via email or at (773) 244-5522. Learn more about North Park University.

Next Steps

Learn more about undergraduate programs in the sciences and liberal arts at North Park University.

Posted on Categories Stories

Campus Theme Asks “What Is Peace?”

Campus Theme Asks "What Is Peace?"

Aleksandar Hemon

Author Aleksandar Hemon will present the first Campus Theme lecture on Tues., Sept. 24, at 7:00 pm.

North Park community welcomes authors, teachers, ministers, and activists to campus this year

CHICAGO (September 16, 2013) — Each year North Park University designates a question for the campus community to consider together throughout the year. This year brings the Campus Theme “What Is Peace?” to the forefront of discussion, activity, and events for students, faculty, and staff.

Starting with the question, “Who Is God?” the campus has considered themes of faith, justice, service, nature, community, significance, and more. This year’s question stems from a desire to think carefully and critically about what’s going on around the world. “Somewhat in response to what’s been going on in Chicago—and all the press about violence in the city, the murder rates, neighborhoods that are experiencing tremendous upheaval—“What is peace?” seemed like a fitting question for right now,” said Dr. Karl Clifton-Soderstrom, associate professor of philosophy and director of the general education program of which the Campus Theme is a part. “Obviously it’s a perennial question, as well.”

In addition, Clifton-Soderstrom said, the University hopes to build off the great energy and work being done in its Conflict Transformation program. “Asking this question is a different way to reflect on our core values of Christian, urban, and multicultural,” he added.

Campus Theme events for the year will start with a visit from Aleksandar Hemon on Tuesday, September 24. Hemon is a Bosnian author who has lived in Chicago since 1992. After visiting the United States as a journalist, he was unable to return to his country as Sarajevo was under siege in the Bosnian War. All first-year students have been reading his newly published set of autobiographical stories, The Book of My Lives, and discussing it together in small groups. He will be present on campus that day to meet with small groups of students, and then give a public lecture at 7:00 pm.

Clifton-Soderstrom said that Hemon will offer “a unique perspective of the problems of war and peace, because he experienced firsthand the turmoil that led up to war in Bosnia, and then had to endure watching as an immigrant in Chicago his native Sarajevo destroyed by the conflict.” He hopes that this will help students begin to build connections between international and local experiences of conflict and peace, as well as what peace means for individuals, for communities, and for relationships.

Dr. Joseph Jones, University provost, agreed that the Campus Theme this year is inviting students, faculty, and staff to reflect on broader issues, but also on their own personal peace and how that impacts relationships and communities. Jones, whose background includes significant work in restorative justice, suggested “how we treat others is often a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. Strife grows out of how people see themselves, in their homes and in their communities,” he said.

Jones said that, as an institution with a Christian worldview, North Park has to consider how to look at the world through the lens of Christ as the ‘prince of peace,’ and include in the larger conversation what it means to have peace with ourselves, with God, and with one another. “If we look at the broader questions of peace without reflection on these personal issues, I think we’ll miss something,” he said.

The answer to “What is peace?” is also about more than just the absence of war and conflict, Clifton-Soderstrom added. “It’s so easy, I think, when I hear the word ‘peace’ to think in terms of a utopian state of being. The idea of peace evokes in our imagination a static place of contentment or tranquility, as if it were only about the end goal. What we come to understand from those who spend their lives working for peace is that peace involves a living, active, and evolving constellation of relationships over time. Appreciating how we work for peace is as important as understanding the final result we hope to realize."

Both Jones and Clifton-Soderstrom hope that students will be inspired—by Hemon and other speakers and events throughout the year—to consider how peace might be more than a place or state of being.

Campus Theme: What Is Peace?

“You don’t just "arrive" at peace,” Clifton-Soderstrom said. “If peace is about relationships, relationships take place over time, they change and evolve. Peace has to have that same type of imperative to see the work through and not leapfrog ahead to whatever an imagined utopia is.”

“I hope that, by the end of this year, students will be able to grab hold of a paradigm of peace through which they can view the world,” Jones said. Our mission here is to prepare students for lives of significance and service, he added, and part of that is to challenge them to consider how they might be “mature models of peace for the world.”

Other Campus Theme events will broaden the conversation to include perspectives from around the world and from challenging chapters in America’s past and present.

“For the fall, we’ve got a real mix of local, international, and very American,” Clifton-Soderstrom said. “With this year as the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, we thought it was essential to bring in the American experience and reconciliation between African Americans and other Americans.”

Public lectures for the fall semester include Dr. R. B. Lal, the leader of a Christian fellowship in India who is working to seek justice and empowerment for members of the lowest social caste; Allan Boesak and Curtiss P. DeYoung, authors of Radical Reconciliation: Beyond Political Pietism and Christian Quietism; and Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core. A full schedule for these public events is available online.

“Each year, the Campus Theme begins as a kind of big question in the fall and we try to bring in some big perspectives on it to expand our imagination,” Clifton-Soderstrom said. “Our hope is that classes and groups will take up projects and continue the conversation in the spring semester.”

Plans are in the works for a conference on peace and reconciliation in the spring semester, led by the Conflict Transformation Studies program. “That will be a kind of culminating event,” Clifton-Soderstrom said. “We hope it will inspire students to ask, ‘How do we go out and realize this now? How do we work for it?’” 

Use @npunews to follow North Park University News on Twitter. Learn more about North Park University.

Next Steps

See the full schedule of Campus Theme events.

Posted on Categories Stories

North Park University Invites You to Celebrate Advent with Lessons and Carols

North Park University Invites You to Celebrate Advent with Lessons and Carols

Festival of Lessons and Carols

The Lessons and Carols service will include performances by North Park University's University Choir, Chamber Singers, Gospel Choir Touring Ensemble, Women's Chorale, and Lessons and Carols Orchestra.

School of Music ensembles joined by community youth musicians

CHICAGO (November 27, 2013) — North Park University will present its popular Festival of Lessons and Carols Sunday, December 8, at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood. The event, themed “O Holy Night!” will feature more than 200 musicians from the University, the People’s Music School Youth Orchestras, and the Chicago Children’s Choir – Albany Park Division.

Drawing from an Advent tradition that originated in 19th-Century England, services of lessons and carols pair Scripture readings with Advent and Christmas music and carols. “The annual Festival of Lessons and Carols is a highlight for the North Park University community, and the School of Music looks forward each year to bringing together our ensembles in such a joyous way to celebrate this special season,” said Dr. Craig Johnson, dean of the University’s School of Music.

This year’s festival theme is one of reverence and awe, said Dr. Julia Davids, the Stephen J. Hendrickson Assistant Professor of Music. “From the prophecy, to the birth of Jesus, through the arrival of the Wise Men, people who attend can expect a musical journey through Christmas,” she said.

North Park University students, faculty, and staff, along with members of Our Lady of Mercy Church, will present Scripture readings. Performers will include University Organist Margaret Martin and University musicians in five ensembles: the University Choir, Chamber Singers, Gospel Choir Touring Ensemble, Women’s Chorale, and the North Park Lessons and Carols Orchestra.

In addition, student musicians from the People’s Music School YOURS Orchestra at Hibbard Elementary School and the Chicago Children’s Choir – Albany Park Division, will join University musicians for the service. “We are honored to be able to collaborate with the Chicago Children’s Choir and the People’s Music School Youth Orchestras the for the event,” Johnson said.

“This is a wonderful event that brings the community of Albany Park together,” said Youth Orchestra Albany Park Director Carolyn Sybesma. “It is an enriching experience for our YOURS Orchestra students to work together with North Park and to engage in their community through music. In addition, the event gives our students the opportunity to get to know college students that live in their neighborhood, which raises personal aspirations and goals for their futures.”

Musical selections will include well-known songs, as well as pieces by contemporary composers. Vocal pieces will be sung in English, Latin, and Spanish. Among the program’s highlights will be the Gospel Choir Touring Ensemble’s collaboration with the Chicago Children’s Choir on “Jesus, Oh What a Wonderful Child,” and a combined performance of “O Holy Night” featuring all of the ensembles and orchestra together.

The Festival of Lessons and Carols is presented by the University as a free event open to the community. However, because of limited seating, attendees are asked to reserve general admission tickets online. More than 800 people attended in 2012.

The event will begin at 4:00 pm. The Chicago Children’s Choir and People’s Music School YOURS String Quartet from Hibbard Elementary School will perform a recital at 3:30 pm, prior to the festival service. Our Lady of Mercy Church is located at 4432 North Troy Street, Chicago, approximately one mile from the North Park University campus. Parking is available in the two church lots and on the street.


Use @npunews to follow North Park University News on Twitter. Learn more about North Park University.

Posted on Categories Stories

North Park University Hosts CPS Summer Writing Camp

North Park University Hosts CPS Summer Writing Camp

Gwen Munoz-Arroyo

Senior Gwen Munoz-Arroyo is leading the University's Summer Writing Camp, helping Chicago high school students prepare for the college application process.

Next year's high school seniors work on essays for college applications

CHICAGO (July 25, 2013) — This summer, North Park University has been partnering with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to help next year’s high school seniors with their college application process. For four weeks, students have gathered in the University’s Brandel Library to work on writing skills for personal statements and essays, cover letters, and resumes needed for school and scholarship applications. They’ve also had the opportunity to meet and learn from current North Park students, faculty, and staff, getting a firsthand look at the college experience.

North Park University senior Gwen Munoz-Arroyo is heading up the program, having designed it alongside Carol Martin, the University’s Writing Center director, and Annette Moy, director of outreach programs and international admission, who works closely with Chicago Public Schools’ college and career specialists. “Through collaborations like this we’re trying to answer the question, ‘What do high school students need to get ready for college?’” Moy said.

“One of our biggest goals is that students will end the program with something complete—a solid essay or personal statement that they can use as a framework or example for other applications and essays,” Munoz-Arroyo said. “We want to help students in the community and local high schools with their goal of getting into college.”

Juniors from the high schools in CPS’s north/northwest network were invited to participate in the Summer Writing Camp, two hours a day, three days a week. This voluntary, free program drew 15 to 20 students each week. They followed a syllabus that moved through the process of researching schools and scholarships; developing a personal life timeline to help tell their own unique stories; goal-setting; understanding college applications; and writing personal statements, essays, resumes, and cover letters.

Jolene Del Rosario will be a senior at Lane Tech High School in the fall, and wants to be a nurse. She chose to attend the Summer Writing Camp to improve her writing skills and work on her applications for colleges and scholarships. Del Rosario plans to stay in the Chicago area for school, and has spent much of the summer getting organized for her college search.

“I’ve been visiting colleges and doing more research this summer, paying attention to deadlines so I don’t miss opportunities,” she said. She said the Summer Writing Camp fit right in with these plans. “Participating in this program gives me a great advantage. I get a head start on application and scholarship essays,” she said.

The Summer Writing Camp has been a “great collaboration,” according to Moy. “Students are getting ready for their college searches during their senior years, meeting other students, and getting in touch with North Parkers,” she said. “Not only are we exposing future college students to North Park, we’re giving back to the community in an area where our resources meet a real need.”

Munoz-Arroyo is a psychology major (minoring in music in worship) and has worked as a writing advisor in the Writing Center for the past two years. She is also one of the student co-coordinators for the Center and working with the Summer Writing Camp has been a natural progression from these activities, giving her valuable leadership experience and internship credit. Munoz-Arroyo said she wasn’t looking for a “typical” psychology internship; after volunteering with a nonprofit organization tutoring individuals going through the process of applying for U.S. citizenship, she knew she wanted to work directly with people in an educational setting again.

As she is developing daily lesson plans, teaching skills and concepts, and working one-on-one with students completing writing exercises, Munoz-Arroyo is reminded of being in their shoes not too long ago. “It takes me back to how intimidating writing essays for college applications was for me, as well,” she said.

Working alongside Munoz-Arroyo and the students are a team of Writing Advisors, University faculty and staff that lead focused workshops, and career and college coaches from Chicago Public Schools.

Patrick Phelan, the college and career coach at Foreman High School, spent a week at the Writing Camp providing feedback and guidance to students. “As college and career coaches, we try to give students knowledge through exploration and experiences so they’re ready to apply for college,” he said, adding that programs like the Summer Writing Camp support these efforts by providing extra enrichment in focused areas. “I love that these things are available for our kids,” Phelan said. “It really is a worthwhile experience for everyone who comes.”

Antonio Samaniego is a rising senior at Kelvyn Park High School. He is anticipating studying physics and math in college—even looking far enough ahead to think about earning a doctoral degree and a career in research. He chose to attend the Summer Writing Camp to work on his writing style, grammar, and development. “Reading and writing have not been my strongest points in high school,” he said, “and I know colleges are interested in seeing these skills on applications.”

“The writing camp has helped me to develop writing skills. I’ve written a lot more here than I’ve ever written before!” Samaniego added.

As the program wraps up, Munoz-Arroyo reflected that it was a challenging internship, but absolutely worth it. “It’s been really rewarding to work with students and to see them coming back each week,” she said. “One of the best things is finding out what they’re passionate about and interested in, and then to help them write about those things in their essays.”

Use @npunews to follow North Park University News on Twitter. Learn more about North Park University.

Posted on Categories Stories

Axelson Center to Honor Nonprofits for Exemplary Managerial Practices

Axelson Center to Honor Nonprofits for Exemplary Managerial Practices

Axelson Center Award Winners

Porchlight Counseling Services was awarded the 2013 Excellent Emerging Organization Award. Accepting the award for the organization at the Annual Symposium were Anne Bent, founder and board chair; Dr. Maria Nanos, therapist and LCSW; and Diana Newton, executive director; pictured above with Dr. Pier Rogers, director of the Axelson Center; Maree Bullock; and Dr. Wesley Lindahl, dean of the School of Business and Nonprofit Management at North Park University.

Applications due December 3 and January 10 for awards


CHICAGO (October 11, 2013) — The Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management is now accepting applications for the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and Excellent Emerging Organization Award—two prestigious awards that honor nonprofit organizations in the Chicago area that have built a strong management and leadership capacity.

Applications for the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence are due Tuesday, December 3, 2013. Two winners will receive up to a $7,500 cash award, including a large nonprofit with a budget over $3 million and a small nonprofit with a budget under $3 million. The deadline for the Excellent Emerging Organization Award is Friday, January 10, 2014. One winner will receive a $2,500 cash award and a package of services designed to build organizational capacity that is valued at up to $50,000.

Managerial excellence is a critical, yet often unrecognized, element of nonprofit organizational success, said Axelson Center Director Dr. Pier Rogers, when describing the awards, which honor the legacies of nonprofit leaders Nils G. Axelson and Jimmie R. Alford.

“There is often a great deal of attention paid to nonprofit organizations for excellence in programs, however such programs require excellence in management and leadership in order to be sustained for the longer term,” Dr. Rogers said. “The awards are intended to elevate organizations that are models of excellence in how they are being managed.”

Alford-Axelson Award honors established nonprofits, large and small

“Proud” was how Brenda Swartz, president/CEO of Concordia Place, described the feeling of winning the 2013 Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence. “We are very proud to have been this year’s recipient and want to share the excitement with our donors, partners, friends, and those we serve,” she said.

The community organization began more than 30 years ago as a childcare center to support children and families and now provides an array of programs for at-risk individuals of all ages and economic levels. The agency’s growth and adherence to guiding principles helped them expand their reach into more neighborhoods and develop programming that inspires confidence, compassion, and independence.

The award has enhanced Concordia Place’s fundraising efforts and increased the agency’s visibility. They used the cash prize to develop a newsletter and create a summary for board members to share with donor prospects. “We have had a number of people congratulate us on the award that might not have otherwise known us,” Swartz said.

The rigorous two-part application process was valuable for emphasizing the significance of strategic planning. “That’s a reminder to an organization of the importance of a longer-term vision than just the day-to-day,” she said. “An organization can too easily become obsolete when it is so absorbed in the here and now that it can’t maintain a focus on the future and incorporate these into its regular activities.”

Between Friends, winner of the 2013 Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence in the small category, provides resources and educational programming for domestic violence survivors, youth, health care professionals, and community members. With 20 full-time staff and two part-time staff, the organization also works to prevent domestic violence from occurring in the first place. Between Friends served 10,000 people last year and more than 156,000 individuals since its inception in 1986.

Cited for strong leadership, effective strategic planning, and positive board relationships, winning the award sent a strong message to clients and board members about the importance of paying attention to governance issues and provided a boost for a dedicated, compassionate, and mission-driven staff, said Kathleen Doherty, executive director. “People were ecstatic,” she said. “It’s one thing to say you are doing great work, but it’s another for nonprofit experts in the community to validate the work you are doing.”

The award application was a learning process for Between Friends, which had applied once before and used the feedback to reevaluate its policies and practices. “Even if you don’t win, you will get another perspective on how [well] you’re doing things,” Doherty said. “There’s not a whole lot out there like this award that validates the great work that agencies are doing.”

Excellent Emerging Organization Award supports young, promising nonprofits

The Excellent Emerging Organization award honors and supports a nonprofit that shows promise in managerial excellence. “What we want to encourage is the attention to building a strong foundation for the organization so it is sustainable in the long term,” Dr. Rogers said. “Giving an honor to a small or young organization helps to encourage these organizations to build both on the program side and the internal infrastructure to support those programs.”

The 2013 winner, Porchlight Counseling Services, is a 10-year-old organization that provides counseling services for college survivors of sexual assault. The agency has one full-time staff member and contracts with seven therapists who provide at least six months of counseling to 30-50 students per year. Recognized for its use of resources, staying true to its mission, and data-driven decision-making, Porchlight Counseling Services has become a significant resource for a number of college campuses, based on its knowledge and expertise in the area of support for survivors of sexual assault.

Porchlight Counseling Services used the cash award to provide two clients with six months of free therapy and has begun to utilize the capacity-building services offered by the Axelson Center, including an organizational assessment, legal assistance, and software development.

For the young organization, winning this award provided a renewed sense of excitement and determination to take Porchlight Counseling Services to the next level. “It made us feel more confident that we are going in the right direction,” said Diana Newton, executive director. “Now we will be able to enhance our organization and services even more.”

The process of applying for the award provided Newton with a “great snapshot” of the organization. “You are able to see your strengths and weaknesses in multiple areas,” she said. “We felt proud of how far we have come in 10 years and are excited about where we can be in another few years with the opportunities that this award offers.”

Applicants must have 501(c)3 status and benefit the Chicago area. The winners of all three awards will be announced at the annual Axelson Symposium on June 3, 2014.

North Park University, founded in 1891, prepares students for lives of significance and service, expressed through three core values: distinctively Christian, intentionally urban, and purposefully multicultural. North Park offers more than 40 undergraduate majors and programs in the liberal arts, sciences, and pre-professional preparation; adult degree-completion options that include nonprofit and nursing programs; and graduate degrees and certificates in business, education, ministry, music, nonprofit, nursing, and theology. Courses are offered at North Park’s four campuses throughout northeastern Illinois, including the main Chicago campus, plus satellite campuses in Arlington Heights, Grayslake, and Waukegan.

Use @npunews to follow North Park University News on Twitter. Learn more about North Park University.

Posted on Categories Stories

North Park University Plans to Reopen Friday, April 19

North Park University Plans to Reopen Friday, April 19

North Park Update

Update: 8:00 am, Friday, April 19

North Park University is open and classes have resumed.

Update: 4:30 pm, Thursday, April 18

North Park University plans to be open Friday, April 19, for classes and other activities at all locations, and all University offices will be open. The University’s Emergency Management Team said the Chicago campus experienced minor flood damage. Cleanup has begun in buildings that took on water.

The University is advising students and employees of the following area traffic concerns:

  • Cars parked on streets along the Chicago River are being towed and relocated to the Salvation Army parking lot, 5040 N. Pulaski Road.
  • Sandbags are being placed on streets adjacent to the Chicago River.
  • A portion of Foster Avenue has been closed near Pulaski Road.

Please use caution when traveling to and from the University for classes tomorrow.

Update: 11:00 am, Thursday, April 18

The North Park University Emergency Management Team closed the Chicago campus April 18, canceling daytime and evening classes, plus other activities, because of area flooding. Students, faculty, and staff were informed via text and email messages earlier today.

The University community was advised to follow for further updates and information. 


The Emergency Management Team determined that high water around the campus made it advisable to close so students and employees could avoid flood dangers. Students who are on campus should use caution when approaching the North Branch of the Chicago River, and any standing water.

For students at the campus today, please note the following announcements:

  • Helwig Recreation Center is open and observing normal hours.
  • ARA, Aramark food service, is serving meals in the cafeteria.
  • The Library will be open from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm.

In addition, the University announced all evening classes April 18 at the Grayslake Campus were canceled.



Use @npunews to follow North Park University News on Twitter. For further information or resources, contact John Brooks, Director of Media Relations and News, via email or at (773) 244-5522. Learn more about North Park University.

Next Steps

For a comparison of flooding in 2008 and 2013 in the North Park area, see a report from Dr. Johnny Lin, professor of physics.

Posted on Categories Stories

North Park University Student Earns Fulbright Grant, Headed to Turkey

North Park University Student Earns Fulbright Grant, Headed to Turkey

Bailey Schwartz

Bailey Schwartz C'12 learned this month she was a granted a Fulbright award and will be working as an English Teaching Assistant in Turkey.

Bailey Schwartz among 11 University Fulbright grantees in five years


CHICAGO (May 30, 2013) — When she was a student at North Park University, Bailey Schwartz took a class taught by Dr. Susan Rabe, professor of history, about the history of the Ottoman Empire from the 15th century to the end of World War I. That class struck a chord with Schwartz, who developed a strong interest in Turkish history, culture, and the historic city of Istanbul. With a grant she earned from the U.S. Fulbright Student Program, she will now explore the area firsthand as she lives and works in Turkey for nearly a year beginning this fall.

Schwartz learned this month that she was awarded a grant to work as an English Teaching Assistant in Turkey, the precise location yet to be determined. She joins two other University students who were earlier awarded Fulbright student grants earlier this spring. The program has awarded 11 of its prestigious grants to North Park University graduates in the past five years.

For Schwartz, getting a chance to live in Turkey is like reading the sequel to good book. "I'm excited about the prospect that I can actually go to this place, and walk the streets that we had talked about in class," she said. Schwartz, who grew up near Lake Geneva, Wis., transferred to North Park after one year at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse because she wanted to attend college in Chicago. She graduated from the University in December 2012 with a bachelor's degree in history. Schwartz also earned certification to teach secondary education and an endorsement for English as a Second Language. Her mother, Denise, lives in Colorado. She has a brother, Robert, who lives in Wisconsin, and a sister, Samantha, of Chicago.

Rabe, who was a reference for Schwartz's Fulbright application, said she was an exceptional, motivated student, and is a great Fulbright candidate. "In a 30-year teaching career, she is one of the best students I've ever had," Rabe said. "She stands out not just for her intellectual capacity, which is considerable, but because of her motivation, her discipline, and maturity. She's an incredibly mature young woman."

Turkey is an excellent place to study history and learn, Rabe said. "You see whole span of history from ancient to the present, and you see it in a place where there is a rich culture between continents. It's a country that is such mixture of identities in its own right. It's a fascinating study in humanity, a fascinating study in human history. And it's beautiful," she said.

Schwartz wants to return from her Fulbright experience next year and teach history in a Chicago public school, and later, possibly attend graduate school. The Fulbright program attracted her because she will gain some valuable teaching experience, share U.S. history and culture with Turkish students, and learn about their lives, she said. "I'm sure they have an idea of or an assumption of what it means to be an American," she said. "Any interaction I have with anyone there is going to form the basis of their opinion, and hopefully, I can help it be positive."

Two other North Park graduates were informed earlier this spring about their Fulbright student grants, which begin this fall. Sam Auger of Chicago will work as an English Teaching Assistant in a high school in Haskovo, Bulgaria. Timothy Ahlberg, Perrysburg, Ohio, was awarded a Binational Business Exchange Grant, and will work in a business in Mexico City.



Use @npunews to follow North Park University News on Twitter. For further information or resources, contact John Brooks, Director of Media Relations and News, via email or at (773) 244-5522. Learn more about North Park University.

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Learn more about the experiences of North Park's previous recipients of Fulbright grants.

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North Park Recognizes Minnehaha Academy Centennial

North Park Recognizes Minnehaha Academy Centennial

Minnehaha Academy

The Minneahaha Academy Redhawks' varsity basketball team earned the Minnesota Class 2A championship this year, under the leadership of Lance Johnson a 1983 North Park alum.

CHICAGO (May 5, 2013) — North Park University recognized the 100th year of Minnehaha Academy,Minneapolis, Minn., a school for students in preschool through grade 12. Many graduates enroll at North Park, and University graduatesare among the school’s faculty and staff.

President David Parkyn was among the speakers April 28 at the Academy’s Centennial WorshipCelebration. In addressing the faculty, past and present, he said,“It is because you have been faithful in your calling as teachers thatwe can be here today. May God bless Minnehaha Academy withgreat teachers for the next century just as we have been blessedthrough the century past.”

The convocation was attended by TedAnderson C’37, son of Theodore W. Anderson, the school’s firstpresident and North Park Junior College graduate. The school’scurrent president, Dr. Donna Harris, is a member of the Universityboard of trustees. Lance Johnson C’83 led the Redhawks’varsity basketball team to the Minnesota Class 2A championshipthis year.

The University and Minnehaha Academy are affiliatedwith the Evangelical Covenant Church.

Use @npunews to follow North Park University News on Twitter. For further information or resources, contact John Brooks, Director of Media Relations and News, via email or at (773) 244-5522. Learn more about North Park University.

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North Park University Continues to Be Counted Among Best Midwest Schools

North Park University Continues to Be Counted Among Best Midwest Schools

John Hjelm teaches at North Park University

North Park University offers undergraduate and graduate programs in a range of fields, preparing students for lives of significance and service no matter their career choices.

U.S. News and World Report college rankings released

CHICAGO (September 10, 2013) — North Park University again appeared in the top tier of Midwest regional universities in U.S. News and World Report’s 2014 edition of the annual “Best Colleges” rankings, released on September 10. The University is tied for 53rd among 147 ranked institutions.

“We are pleased to be among the top tier of Midwest universities,” said Nate Mouttet, vice president for enrollment and marketing. “We are in a part of the country with other great schools, and this ranking showcases the excellent programs and unique community that are hallmarks of a North Park University education.”

“As a school that strives to prepare students for lives of significance and service, we also strive to grow in ways that will help us fulfill that mission.” Mouttet added. “We’re confident this work and momentum will continue to be reflected in the service and success of our students and alumni, as well as in rankings like the U.S. News and World Report list.”

North Park University, founded in 1891, offers more than 40 undergraduate majors and programs in the liberal arts, sciences, and pre-professional preparation; adult degree-completion options that include nonprofit and nursing programs; and graduate degrees and certificates in business, education, ministry, music, nonprofit, nursing, and theology.

U.S. News and World Report designates schools as regional when they provide a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s programs but offer few doctoral programs. These schools, including North Park, are ranked against others by region of the country: North, South, Midwest, and West. Criteria used in these rankings include peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, and alumni giving.

Use @npunews to follow North Park University News on Twitter. Learn more about North Park University.

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Explore North Park's academic programs.

Apply to North Park University.

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