January 02, 2013

University Trustees Hear Positive Recruiting News, Building Progress Report

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University Trustees Hear Positive Recruiting News, Building Progress Report

Board of trustees member David Otfinoski signs a steel beam to be used in the construction of the Johnson Center.

Board of trustees member David Otfinoski, Chester, Conn., joins other board members and signs a steel beam to be used in the construction of the Johnson Center.

Campaign North Park nearing completion, trustees told


CHICAGO (May 29, 2013) — News about student recruiting for the 2013 academic year, progress on the University's newest academic building, election of officers, and recognition of outgoing board members were topics of the North Park University board of trustees spring meeting. The trustees met here May 9–10, and participated in spring commencement activities May 11.

In his report, Dr. David L. Parkyn, University president, said recruiting of students through early May for the upcoming academic year "is on a good trajectory," with more work continuing through the summer. New student enrollment for the fall semester is expected to be higher than in 2012. The news follows spring semester enrollment of 1,653 undergraduate students, plus 93 new undergraduate students, the University's second largest mid-year new student enrollment in eight years.

Parkyn also noted that the University's 125th anniversary is in 2016, and commented on some preliminary ideas related to the anniversary. He said he plans to discuss more information in greater detail with the board and campus community in the coming year.

Campaign North Park, a comprehensive $57 million fundraising effort, is nearly complete, Parkyn said. The centerpiece of the campaign is the $44 million Nancy and G. Timothy Johnson Center for Science and Community Life, now under construction. Bruce Bickner, University trustee from Sycamore, Ill., told the trustees that about $40 million has been committed to fund the building project, with additional gifts expected this summer. The new building's foundation is complete, and a steel infrastructure is being put into place. The Johnson Center is expected to open in 2014. Other components of the campaign included giving to the annual fund, scholarships, and Chicago-based academic programs and faculty development.

Annual giving remains a continuing priority for University's fundraising activities, Bickner reported. The number of donors to the University has significantly increased over a year ago, due to the momentum of donor participation in Campaign North Park. Ongoing annual giving efforts will focus on student success, highlighting scholarships for University students, North Park Theological Seminary students, and student and faculty enrichment initiatives, he said.

Rev. David Kersten, dean of the Seminary, said the Seminary faculty and staff are working on specific priorities resulting from a strategic planning report. Priorities include establishing metrics for stabilizing and building Seminary finances, adjusting academy time for master of divinity students, developing a robust plan for lifelong learning, and moving appropriate parts of the curriculum to online learning. He also reported that Hauna Ondrey will join the faculty next January for a two-year teaching fellowship in church history. Ondrey, who brings considerable teaching and writing experience to her new role, holds a bachelor of arts degree in biblical and theological studies from the University and a master of divinity from the Seminary. She is completing a doctorate at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

The board of trustees recognized members completing five-year terms: Ann Alvarez, Chicago; Donna Erickson, Minneapolis; Dave Hanson, Granite Bay, Calif.; Karen Tamte, Chanhassen, Minn.; and Louise Wilson, Arden Hills, Minn.

The board elected new officers, including Virgil Applequist, Palatine, Ill., who succeeds Hanson as finance committee chair and treasurer, and Kathryn Edin, Brookline, Mass., who succeeds Tamte as secretary. Continuing as officers are David Helwig, board chair, Thousand Oaks, Calif., and Paul Hawkinson, vice chair, Green Oaks, Ill. Dawn Helwig, Chicago, is the board's liaison to 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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