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Future Focus

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As each school year begins we welcome new undergraduates to our campus at a celebration we call Threshold—a symbolic crossing from one place or time or period of life to another. At our commencement ceremonies in December and May we usher graduates across another threshold, this time leading from their years at North Park toward another season in life, one we expect will be marked by significance and service.

Editorial Board

Earlier this school year I informed the University community that Linda and I have decided to cross a special threshold with our choice to retire as University president and professor. We crossed this threshold as the school year came to a close. In my inauguration address I spoke about the unique voice each individual brings to life. Then I reflected on whether an institution also has a voice. “Might North Park University have a voice?” I asked. “Might North Park have a syntax and diction, punctuation and grammar that are uniquely its own?”

Carl Balsam Interim President Mary K. Surridge Vice President for Advancement Christopher Childers Director of University Marketing Melissa Vélez-Luce C’04 G’12 Director of Alumni Relations

Editorial Staff Mary Nowesnick Editor

Over the past 11 years it has been a privilege to add our voices to the community of North Park, and in turn to influence the pitch and tone of this voice, doing so in concert with many others. The feature pages of this issue of our magazine highlight aspects of our institutional voice as it has advanced over the past decade (see pages 10–15). There is much to celebrate, and I invite you to add your joy to ours as you read and view these pages.

Jennifer Carney Art Director & Designer

These years have been personally and professionally fulfilling for us. We have come to deeply love this school, its students, and each of you. Together with many others we have made good (and perhaps, on occasion, even great!) strides toward important objectives in strengthening our institutional voice.

Stephen A. Nielsen C’19 News Writer

The campus has been a special community for Linda and me. Consider this: over these past 11 years students and colleagues have mourned with us the passing of our four parents and celebrated with us the birth of our six grandchildren! We are grateful to those who welcomed us when we came to North Park in 2006, and our joy has been increased by each new person who joined this community during our years here. Linda reminds me often that in Spanish the verb “to retire” is “jubilarse,” literally translated as “to make oneself jubilant!” Our plans for personal life after transitioning from North Park will take us to Philadelphia, close to both children and grandchildren. With fondness for each of you,

David L. Parkyn President, North Park University On the cover: For the 2016-2017 academic year, 797 degrees were awarded—a North Park school record. See more, starting on page 19.

Charles V. Audino News & Online Editor

Laura Bencur C'15 Patty O’Friel Martha Pfister Designers Leah Emerson C'18 Tricia Koning Chris Padgett Beth Rooney Photographers

2 Across Campus


A New Synergy

Gift of historic Torah scroll Distinguished Senior Awards Vikings claim CCIW Title Launch of Catalyst 606__


The Parkyn Legacy




Future Focus




Alumni Notes


In Memoriam


North Park salutes the many achievements of the Parkyns after 11 years of leadership.

Guided by mission, faith, and a strong vision, the University begins a presidential search.

The School of Music, Art, and Theatre launches a dynamic collaboration for learning, performance, and creativity.

The Diersens: Strong memories stir support. Learn how endowed gifts help our students and faculty.

Rev. Dr. Mary Miller S’80 receives 2017 Seminary Alumni Award. See our 20th Fulbright student honoree and North Park's new Fulbright program director.

Commencement 2017

Degrees were awarded to 567 graduates at our 124th Spring Commencement.

Enjoy the North Parker online, too, with back issues for reading or download at

Get news about your classmates and a look at NPU Blue and Gold Day. Our Vikings cheer on the champion Cubs.


North Park Receives Gift of Historic Torah Scroll from Ken and Barbara Larson Ken and Barbara Larson have been married for 52 years with the past few in a unique ministry gifting scrolls to Christian institutions like North Park. Around their 50th anniversary, the Larsons traveled to Israel with 35 family members including children and grandchildren. When they returned, they visited a seminary where Ken Larson asked the Hebrew professors if they’d ever read from a Torah. They all said that they’d never had the opportunity. This was a turning point for the Larsons. They bought a collection of scrolls and, since March of 2014, have given 32 to institutions around the world. North Park is the 32nd recipient of a Torah, which is the first five books of the Bible. The Larson-North Park Torah is thought to have originated in Poland in the late 18th or early 19th century. It has been decommissioned to permit its use for study and research. Barbara Larson was happy to give the scroll to North Park because she’s a Chicagoan herself. “We feel right at home here.” The Larsons are most interested, though, in giving scrolls to institutions that have a respect for the word of God. North Park—being Chicago-centered and rooted in faith—was a perfect match.

The Larsons have another special connection to North Park: “We love the Covenant Church.” Ken attended Minnehaha Academy which is affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant Church. The Larson’s five children went to Minnehaha and their grandchildren currently attend. One grandson attended North Park. “So, we feel a deep connection,” said Barbara. The Office of Advancement and the Seminary expressed gratitude for the gift by hosting an inspiring dedication ceremony. This featured a traditional Jewish Torah Service, including readings and cantillations led by Dr. Rajkumar Boaz Johnson, professor of biblical and theological studies at North Park, and Skokie-based Rabbi Jeffrey Weill. Seminary Dean Rev. Dr. David Kersten remarked that North Park has a heritage of gathering around the text. Receiving the scroll, he emphasized, is a reminder of North Park’s “ongoing call to read the sacred text and to repair our own lives and to repair the world through the reading of the text.” President David L. Parkyn expressed gratitude to the Larsons saying that the gift marks for the school a new level of commitment to the scriptures. The scroll will be housed in Nyvall Hall, kept within its handcrafted ark. It will be on exhibit and accessible for learning.

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Distinguished Senior Awards Recognize Lives of Significance and Service Rachael E. Greco, of Batavia, Ill., and Nicholas A. Collar, of Deerfield, Wis., were named the recipients of the 2017 Distinguished Senior Awards. This honor is bestowed each year to one woman and one man from the graduating class, recognizing extraordinary leadership, service, academic performance, and embodiment of the University’s mission of preparing students for lives of significance and service. Rachael Greco, a business and economics major, co-leads North Park’s chapter of International Justice Mission, raising awareness about human trafficking. She’s also a Fellow for the Future of the Carnegie Council Global Ethics Network, working under Dr. Ilsup Ahn to raise awareness on campus about selected global ethics issues. When she’s not participating in these responsibilities, she works part time and also volunteers at the Vietnamese Association

of Illinois, teaching English to Vietnamese immigrants. Rachael says that her “experience with the faculty is hands down the best experience I’ve had at North Park. I owe it to the faculty here for helping me construct the path that’s leading me in a direction I am genuinely so excited about.”

to work alongside North Park’s accomplished faculty. One year, he met Dr. Nelson two mornings a week in the Cadaver Lab to dissect Rush Medical College cadavers. “Utilizing this non-class related resource was one of the most significant learning experiences I’ve had at North Park.”

Nicholas Collar, a biology major, has worked in clinical lab research at Swedish Covenant Hospital, and he was a Hugh Edmondson Research Fellow at the UC Davis Medical Center. For several years, Nicholas travelled to rural parts of Honduras to bring adequate medical care to the local residents in need. When Nicholas wasn’t doing lab research or serving, he was a teaching assistant in North Park’s science department, or working under Dr. Rholl as a microbiology assistant. Nicholas has had wonderful opportunities


North Park Hosts TEDx to Nurture Student Talents North Park held its first TEDx event, Shifting Paradigms. Inspired by a lecture in a Principles of Management & Leadership course, Paul Clines, a senior business and economics major, presented the idea of hosting a TEDx to his professor. “I’ll show you the steps in getting the TEDx license and you gather the students together,” encouraged Professor Hubbard in mentoring Clines. Seventy student volunteers formed the group. Likened to a start-up company, the leadership structure consisted of complete transparency, cross collaboration, and a deconstructed organizational design omitting conventional vertical lines of direct reports.

Passionate about bringing people and ideas together, Clines says TEDx is about making a positive impact. “TEDx provides a partial escapism while forming friendships, bonds, and connections,” expresses Clines. The event featured talks from students, faculty, and professionals. Speakers included: • Soong-Chan Rah, seminary professor • Hardik Soni, fitness guru • Dominique Jordan Turner, nonprofit CEO • Robby Celestin, singer-songwriter • Nestor Gomez, storyteller

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Alum Scott Stenmark C'91 Returns as VP of Finance

Scott Stenmark C’91 majored in accounting at North Park. After working in finance at Kraft Foods and BMO Harris Bank, Stenmark has returned as the University’s Vice President of Finance. North Parker: How did North Park prepare you for your career? Stenmark: North Park gives you a different perspective on the world, and how your work impacts others, not just within that company, but to the community that you’re working in. You start to think about how your faith interacts with what you do on a daily basis, and how you can work that faith into the office place. It’s something that smaller

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Christian liberal arts colleges provide that the larger state universities don’t.

NP: What’s your favorite North Park memory?

NP: What is your vision for North Park?

Stenmark: I was not a great basketball player over my four years here, but I practiced a lot (See 1989–1990 team photo above; Stenmark, #20, is kneeling, far right.) I would say some of the trips we took make up my favorite memories. Some of the long van rides—to and from Augustana or Millikin— are the things that I remember and reminisce about most. We don’t talk about the games as much as we talk about the experiences in the locker room and the trips. One time we rendered the van unusable for the choir, after a food fight.

Stenmark: When I attended, the University was a series of buildings on city streets. There wasn’t the central quad area that we have today. Today, when I walk around the campus, and especially when you’re around the library and the Johnson Center, you have a real sense of a community and a university. North Park has changed a lot in the 25 years since I attended, and I have all kinds of thoughts in my head about new buildings and programs; how the University could look in 25 years.

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The Wistrom Legacy: Tending to North Park University for Nearly a Century Carl Wistrom has served in Physical Plant since 1981, first as assistant director and then as director. Physical Plant is responsible for all the behind-the-scenes work keeping North Park’s spaces functioning. Winter after winter, Carl oversees snow removal. Every summer, Carl’s led his team in the maintenance of campus buildings in preparation for the new school year—for 35 years and counting. But the Wistrom family legacy at North Park stretches further back still: three generations of Wistroms have served North Park by supporting its campus. Carl Wistrom came to North Park just three years before his father, Ivar, retired from his role as campus engineer, a position like Carl’s. Ivar’s tenure began in 1947, shortly after his own father, Carl Wistrom (the elder), retired from that same role.

Carl does have fond memories of his own father, who trained him in his work at North Park. “My dad was the master. He taught me a lot and had know-how that I don’t have.” More than knowledge, though, Ivar had a “great passion for North Park.” Indeed, this passion was hereditary. Carl notes that he has been truly blessed by the people he works with, and he remembers how his “dad had great people working with him,” too.

generations, and it will be located near the entrance to the Physical Plant building. Carl said that he was humbled to have his family honored in this way.

At a recent staff gathering, President David L. Parkyn acknowledged that “as we celebrate Carl’s 35 years at North Park, we simultaneously want to recognize and honor the near century of service extended to North Park by each of these three men, Carl, Ivar, and Carl.” In honor of the Wistrom family, Dr. Parkyn presented a plaque to Carl. It recognizes the Wistrom men for distinguished service to the campus community over successive

Carl Wistrom


With $750,000 Lilly Grant, North Park Trains Pastors in Business Skills Lilly Endowment’s National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders awarded North Park University a $750,000 grant to provide specialized curriculum and programming geared for pastors and church leaders. To lead financially strong congregations, pastoral leaders need to be well versed in accounting, finance, human resources, and operations. As such, seasoned educators from North Park University’s School of Business and Nonprofit Management (SBNM) and the

Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management will work with North Park Theological Seminary to offer pastors financial management and leadership training. North Park joins other higher education grant recipients including Northwestern, Villanova, and Seton Hall universities, as well as magazine and online publication Christianity Today. Rev. Dr. David Kersten, dean of North Park Theological Seminary and vice president of church relations, remarks, “I hope this national effort

will form a closer relationship between business schools and seminaries.” With North Park’s existing dual master’s degree program in divinity and business, the University is well-positioned to provide immediate instruction to pastoral leaders. In courses from both the SBNM and the seminary, students acquire the business skills they need to run financially strong congregations, in conjunction with their calling to serve the church.

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Men’s Baseball Team Serves Detroit Churches North Park’s baseball team traveled to Detroit, MI, with one goal in mind: helping a broken city. What the team members quickly realized was that the residents had not lost their determination; there was a fervor for change in the air. The Viking men served at three churches, the City Covenant Church, Ford Memorial Methodist Church, and Aldersgate United Methodist Church. Initially, some were reluctant to give up a week of their Christmas breaks to be in Detroit, but attitudes changed during their first days of service. They repaired floors, cleared out space and rebuilt rooms for instruction in English as a Second Language; they painted, repaired a leaky church roof, distributed food, and heard stories from the locals. The team met one woman who, they learned, took three buses to get to work, serving meals to those in need, seven days a week. The team members learned that while the city’s economy went downhill, the resolve of residents did not. Josh Smith, Jr. C’18 said that he saw a sign hanging on a wall of one of the buildings that read, “God didn't promise

days without pain, laughter without sorrow, nor sun without rain. But He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way." Coach Johnson had this to say at the end of the week, “I’m really proud of the work these guys did. The fact that it was a stateside trip to arguably the most economically-hurting urban community in the country made it more impactful on the guys for a number of reasons. It was six days in the cold, snow, and sleet, sleeping on church pews or chairs and showering occasionally in the church boiler room. Many times mission trips go to more exotic or tropical locations. The allure here was 100% in the work, encompassed by the need, and by being with the people.” Fielder Nathan Simons C’17 says that “as you go about your business, take the time to hear your neighbor, hear the person who is next to you in the grocery store. You never know the impact you can make. Serving and embracing one another as brother and sister, and putting a smile on people's faces young and old; nothing feels better.”

North Park Vikings Once Again Claim CCIW Men’s Basketball Title The team’s first CCIW title in 30 years was secured in an 86-71 victory over Millikin University. Led by fifth-year head coach Tom Slyder, the team also won Slyder his first CCIW championship with North Park. It was a three-way tie for first place in the conference, which has happened only twice in CCIW history. North Park finished 18-7 overall and 11-5 in the conference, and faced Augustana College in the Conference semifinals. Junior Jordan Robinson, almost completing his first career triple-double, achieved a game high of 26 points. Robinson was also awarded the CCIW’s Fred Young Most Outstanding Player Award, the first Viking to receive the award since 1988. He averaged 22.8 points per game, the best on the team for the season. Senior and point guard Juwan Henry was named to the NABC Division III All-Star Team for his outstanding season. Henry became one of three North Parkers ever to score more than 2,000 points in his career (2,016), even while missing four games due to an injury.

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Two biblical and theological studies faculty traveled with 11 students to Rome and Pompeii over Spring Break. Discovering the origins of Christianity on-site with a community of students and faculty proved to be “life changing,” said Dr. Joel Willitts, professor of biblical & theological studies. One traveler, Melanie Lofgren C’18, said that experiencing a new culture seemed “daunting and nerve-wracking, but it was a humbling experience.” Students were introduced to the diverse cultural, historical, and geographical settings of the earliest Christians of the Roman world. Students explored how Christianity developed in the cities, and considered the continuity between the lives of the earliest Christians in their cities and present-day Christians in the city of Chicago.

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ACROSS CAMPUS CATALYST 606_ _ New Chicago-Based Learning Program Begins Fall 2017 Catalyst 606__ is North Park’s innovative Chicago-based curriculum that redesigns the University’s weekly schedule to encourage students to learn outside the classroom—and in the city—at least two Wednesdays per semester.

By the year 2050, 2.5 billion more people are expected to live in cities. In short, human population growth going forward will be in cities. Catalyst helps to prepare students to thrive in tomorrow's world.

Starting fall 2017, Wednesday afternoons will be designated only for Catalyst courses, enabling students to explore the city during staff- and faculty-guided group excursions. Catalyst courses are all credit-earning core classes. The Catalyst 606_ _ program is designed to: F Offer hands-on learning. F Provide cultural experiences in the city. F Blend theory and practice with applied academics.

Provost Michael Emerson

Catalyst experiences aim to better connect students to the world around them. Students will engage with their peers to process their experiences together, discover options for their career paths, and be inspired to contribute to the community. Richard Kohng, North Park’s director of civic engagement, says that “facts about the labor movement in a textbook come alive with visits to the Historic Pullman Foundation; accounting and marketing principles become more relevant with visits to businesses in the Loop’s financial district; art and culture become transformative through conversations with local artists like Pilsen muralist Hector Duarte.” "Advancing student career interests and promoting hands-on learning prompted North Park to restructure its weekly schedule to designate Wednesday afternoons for these city experiences," says North Park Provost Michael Emerson. Catalyst courses offer North Park students distinct advantages for career and life success in Chicago and other cities worldwide.










70%* *expected

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THE PARKYN LEGACY “Walking side-by-side with our students we must change the world and be changed by the world.” The President’s Inaugural Address, November 12, 2006

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Our aim is to be present in the lives of our students but for a while— to walk with them today so we can send them forth tomorrow; to love them today,

so they may love God and their neighbor tomorrow.

North Park University’s ninth president, David L. Parkyn announced his retirement, effective June 30, 2017, following 11 years of leadership of the University. Dr. Linda K. Parkyn will also retire as professor of Spanish and conclude her leadership roles with the Honors Congress and North Park’s Fulbright program. Since 2006, President Parkyn has built upon North Park’s rich tradition to advance student learning and the campus experience in innovative ways: • Cultivated a campus-wide spirit of hospitaity to welcome all to North Park as part of the University’s commitment to inclusion and student success. • Advanced the Board’s 1995 objective to significantly increase diversity at North Park. • Leveraged North Park’s location in a global city, embracing Chicago as our classroom. • Successfully completed Campaign North Park, leading to the design and construction of the Johnson Center for Science and Community Life to promote learning in the classroom and beyond.

“With gratitude and respect the Board of Trustees congratulates Dr. Parkyn on the success of North Park University during his 11 years as President,” said Board Chair Dr. Kristine Strand and ECC President Gary Walter, adding “North Park saw advances on many fronts.” In addition to recognizing President Parkyn for spearheading the largest fundraising effort in the University’s history that made possible the Johnson Center, Dr. Strand also praised North Park’s leadership in first-generation college student enrollment and retention, as well as the ethnic and socio-economic diversity of the student body. North Park’s success as a top producer of Fulbright recipients, said Dr. Strand, is the result of Dr. Linda Parkyn’s instrumental leadership as mentor and coach of students applying for Fulbright awards.

“The past 11 years have been personally and professionally fulfilling for both of us,” says President Parkyn. “We have come to deeply love this institution, its students and graduates, and our community of faculty and staff. Together we have made good strides toward important objectives. We have much to celebrate, and our decision to retire is at the right time for new leadership to guide the school in the coming years.” The North Park community recognized the Parkyns in May at an all-campus reception. In the following pages, the North Parker highlights some of the many noteworthy achievements of North Park under the leadership of President David and Dr. Linda Parkyn.

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A Diverse and Welcoming Community FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS 2016

North Park’s first president David Nyvall, ‘hospitality is especially insisted upon.’ It is for this reason that today North Park has an undergraduate

and graduate student body in which there is no single ethnic or racial majority.

A Commitment to Chicago President Parkyn deepened North Park’s commitment in 1980 to claim Chicago as its permanent home—and advanced its aspiration of becoming the nation’s leading city-centered Christian university. • The annual David Nyvall Medallion for Distinguished Service to the People of Chicago was launched in 2011, with then Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley as the first honoree. • Catalyst 606_ _ is an innovative, Chicago-based curriculum dedicated to learning outside the classroom—and in the city—through the Chicago Semester, historic Urban Outreach for service to communities, and more. 12 NORTH PARKER | Summer 2017

0% Two or More Races

1% Unreported

3% International

9% African American

2% Pacific Islander

6% Asian American

32% Latino 42% Caucasian

Cities shape the world, and Chicago shapes our students. This is why at North Park we exclaim: Chicago is our classroom.

This has been, and is, a school where, said

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"To give back your first year out of college and become an American ambassador sharing language and culture affects students throughout their lives—and affects change for good in our world." — Linda Parkyn

Fulbrights Flourish Dr. Linda K. Parkyn, professor of Spanish, Fulbright Scholar, and twice a Fulbright Senior Specialist, has been the champion for North Park’s outstanding achievements in the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program: • 20 U.S. Fulbright Student awards since 2008 (also see page 29). Above,

the Parkyns stand with 2017 Fulbright Student honoree Rachael E. Greco. • Named a Top Producer of U.S. Fulbright Students for three years,

joining prestigious institutions nationwide. • A leader in its category—Master’s Institutions—in the number of

Fulbright Student award winners. • North Park Fulbright student honorees have served as English Teaching

Assistants around the globe, from Andorra, Brazil, and Colombia to Malaysia, Romania, Turkey, and this year, Vietnam.

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Campaign North Park and

The Johnson Center

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It began with an invitation, and from there your faith in North Park and your dedication to its well-being and success led to your unprecedented

and generous partnership in Campaign North Park.

Campaign North Park 2008: Launched with a goal of $57 million 2014: Concluded with a total of $63.3 million • An extraordinary lead gift in excess of $15 million from gracious and devoted friends of North Park • A Campaign gift from a new friend of North Park that exceeded $5 million • Multiple significant gifts in excess of $1 million • Four times the number of $100,000 leadership gifts than for any campaign in North Park’s history • Gifts of all ranges from a grand total of 11,239 donors

The Nancy and G. Timothy Johnson Center for Science and Community Life Groundbreaking: October 2012 Dedication: September 2014 • First new building on campus since 2006 • 101,000 square feet • 30 modern laboratories and collaborative research spaces, classrooms, seminar rooms, and faculty offices • Home to biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and engineering, and psychology • The Center for Student Engagement and various student support services • University Ministries • Helwig Boardroom, Hendrickson Lecture Hall, Bickner Bistro, and numerous informal gathering spaces for study and interaction

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Future Focus Guided by mission, faith, and a strong vision, the University begins a presidential search

North Park is in a time of transition, which can be both exciting and daunting, says Dr. Kristine Strand, chair of North Park’s Board of Trustees. “But because we are so well-positioned, we can embrace the coming year and the all-important presidential search, knowing that we will move forward in ways that are new yet well-grounded in our traditions of academic excellence and Christian faith.” With the guidance of the Board and under the leadership of Interim President Carl Balsam (see page 18), Strand says, “we can assure our entire University community, including our alumni around the world, that we will not lose any time nor any momentum in advancing strategic initiatives for this University. It is our aspiration to be the premier city-centered Christian university. This is what we want and need to be." The presidential search process is now underway, led by a recently appointed search committee whose 15 members are drawn from the Board of Trustees and North Park faculty, staff, and students (read more on page 17). “Possibly the most important job in which North Park’s Board of Trustees engages is recommending a president,” says Strand. “We are devoted to fulfilling this important mandate, but we will rely on God’s guidance and the support of the University community. We invite all who

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value North Park and its role in Christian higher education to join us in prayer for this process.” On the Trajectory During the next year, Strand outlines, Interim President Balsam, the Board, and the senior leadership team will work together to fulfill the University’s new strategic aspiration affirmed in May 2016: North Park University will be distinguished as the nation’s leading city-centered Christian university during the coming decade and beyond (see North Parker Winter 2017, pages 18–23). Within this strategic context, says Strand, the University will: • Be differentiated by adopting the city as our place of learning and service. • Educate students from diverse backgrounds. • Practice Christian hospitality with students of all faith traditions while affirming our longstanding commitment to Christ. A “true servant leader,” Balsam is committed to the University’s “forward-thinking strategy,” she says, and will continue to focus on areas identified by the Board in the University’s strategic plan: • Enrollment: Annually achieving strategic recruitment and retention targets. • Institutional Reputation: Increasing visibility as a Christian university offering the

nation’s leading city-centered educational program. • Student Learning and Engagement: Leveraging the city as a place of learning for both in-class and out-of-class programs. • Student Access and Success: Supporting programs that foster engaged learning experiences and maximize student achievement. • Faith Journey: Nurturing spiritual growth for all students, faculty, and staff. • Partnerships: Forging strategic, collaborative, and mutual relationships with external partners. • Resources: Stewarding our resources— financial, faculty and staff, technological, and physical—to support the educational needs of students. During this transition year, the Board has asked that particular attention be given to enrollment management, fiscal management (balancing the budget), strengthening our partnership with the Evangelical Covenant Church with the goal of recruiting more Covenant students, implementing the University’s new city-centered curriculum (Catalyst 606_ _) and the inaugural livinglearning discipleship cohort (CRUX), developing new net-revenue-producing programs (especially those in the health sciences), and completing some significant campus development projects, most notably upgrades to the Holmgren Athletic Complex

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Dr. Kristine Strand, Board Chair

and the complete interior renovation of Hanson Hall (see page 23), which houses the core of the University’s music program. Interim President Balsam is the “ideal choice to lead us from Dr. Parkyn’s important work and into the next era for North Park under our future leader. What we will never lose sight of,” she affirms, “is our mission to prepare students for lives of significance and service. This is our history and it will be our future.”

New Search Committee Leads Presidential Search Process The Board of Trustees of North Park University has established a broadly constituted search committee that is charged with recommending to the Board a successor to Dr. David L. Parkyn. According to North Park's bylaws, the new President will be recommended by the Board of Trustees for approval by the Executive Board of the Evangelical Covenant Church. Final approval takes place at the ECC's Annual Meeting, which will next convene in June 2018, the aim for announcing the next permanent president. The 15-person committee includes nine members of the Board of Trustees, two of whom serve ex officio, and six members of the campus community–two students, three faculty members, and a representative of staff and administrative employees.

Interim President Carl Balsam

The committee chair is Owen R. Youngman, professor and chair in digital media strategy, Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University; he first joined the Board of Trustees in 2008. “This is a key moment both in North Park’s history and for its future,” says Youngman. “We are seeking a leader who will share our aspiration to see North Park become the nation’s leading city-centered Christian university, and who can lead its faculty, students, staff, and alumni to achieve that goal together.” Past searches that Youngman has chaired include those for the Evangelical Covenant Church’s executive director of communications; faculty at Northwestern’s Medill School; and the senior pastor at Libertyville (Illinois) Covenant Church. Youngman says the search committee will lead an open and transparent process in order to engage the entire University community: • Interested constituents can share recommendations, ideas, and other thoughts about the University and about the search at: • Regular communications about the committee’s work will be published both offline and online at: • Committee members will also hold town hall-style meetings on campus over the balance of this calendar year.

Owen Youngman, Search Committee Chair

“We look forward to receiving broad input at all stages of the process as we move forward with God’s grace and guidance,” says Youngman. Members of the search committee include the following from the Board of Trustees: • Kristine Strand, chair of the North Park Board of Trustees (serving ex officio); associate professor (retired), department of speech, language, and hearing sciences, Boston University; senior speech-language pathologist and literacy specialist, Learning Disabilities Program, Department of Neurology, Boston Children’s Hospital • Gary Walter, president of the Evangelical Covenant Church (serving ex officio) • Peggy Bley, certified public accountant, San Francisco • Rebekah Eklund, assistant professor of theology, Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore • D. Darrell Griffin, pastor, Oakdale Covenant Church, Chicago • David Helwig, president and West Region CEO (retired), WellPoint, Inc., Plymouth, Calif. • Karen Meyer, vice president, sales and partnerships, Welltok, Inc., Denver • David Otfinoski, president, Catamount Medical Information, LLC, Chester, Conn.

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Balsam has committed three-and-a-half decades of professional life to Christian higher education.

Members of the campus community include: • Alyssa Anderson, assistant professor of athletic training • Roby Geevarghese, major gift officer, Office of Advancement • Mackenzie Mahon, incoming president of the Seminary Student Association • Angela Nevoso, president of the undergraduate Student Government Association • Jonathan Peterson, professor of politics and government, and chair of the North Park Faculty Senate • Elizabeth Pierre, assistant professor in both the Seminary and School of Professional Studies

Interim President Carl Balsam: Committed to Advancing North Park's Mission As North Park University undertakes a presidential search in the 2017–2018 academic year, Executive Vice President Carl Balsam has been approved by the Board of Trustees to serve in the interim with “all rights and responsibilities as president,” says Board Chair Kristine Strand. “The Board is grateful to Carl for agreeing to continue his deep dedication to the University to serve as president, beginning July 1. Because Carl has so generously stepped up

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to serve, we will benefit from his decades of experience and his steadfast commitment to North Park’s mission. Under his leadership we will continue to move forward with our goals and aspirations during this transition period," says Strand. Balsam joined North Park nearly 30 years ago. Since 1988, as EVP and Chief Financial Officer, he has managed North Park’s annual budget and finances, and has overseen the University’s endowment, continuing its strategic growth to a current value of $75 million. Among the "most exciting and most enjoyable parts” of his job, says Balsam, has been directing architectural planning for significant additions to campus, including Anderson Chapel, Brandel Library, Helwig Recreation Center, and the Holmgren Athletic Complex, as well as development of the campus green space and campus frontage landscaping. Campus development initiatives were aided by negotiating a special “planned development” zoning designation with the City of Chicago and vacating Spaulding and Christiana Avenues where they intersect University property. Other work with the City of Chicago has included partnership agreements with the Chicago Park District to create shared facilities for University soccer/

track and tennis teams at River Park and shared use of a new boathouse at Clark Park for the women’s rowing team. Balsam was instrumental in leading the design and construction of the Nancy and G. Timothy Johnson Center for Science and Community Life, envisioning its “integration of cutting-edge learning with gathering spaces to promote interaction and collaboration” and ensuring its commitment to creation care and environmental stewardship. Opened in 2014, the Johnson Center was awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. Balsam has committed three-and-a-half decades of professional life to Christian higher education. Prior to North Park, Balsam also served six years at Barrington College, Barrington, R.I. He holds a BS in Engineering Science, Pennsylvania State University; Master of Divinity, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; and an MBA from the University of Rhode Island. Carl also serves on the Board of Directors for Covenant Trust Company. Carl and his wife Barbara are parents to two North Park alumni: Aaron C’98 and Ashley C’02.

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Commencement 2017 North Park University honored 567 undergraduate, graduate, and seminary students at its 124th Spring Commencement Convocation ceremonies on campus May 13. For the 2016-2017 academic year, 797 degrees were awarded—a North Park school record. The baccalaureate service was held May 12 at Fourth Presbyterian Church. Find more photos of Commencement Day at

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NYVALL MEDALLION 2017 The annual David Nyvall Medallion for Distinguished Service to the People of Chicago was presented to OneGoalChicago, which partners with North Park in bringing students to graduation. In a surprise tribute, Board Chair Kristine Strand and ECC President Gary Walter presented the Nyvall Medallion to President Parkyn in recognition of his years of leadership (see page 10). NORTH PARKER | Summer 2017 20

GOLDEN CIRCLE Members of the North Park Academy, College, and Seminary Classes of 1967 were honored on the 50th anniversary of their graduation. These alumni are inducted into the Golden Circle: Graduates march in gold caps and gowns at University and Seminary ceremonies, attend a special luncheon, and receive a memory book.

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A New Synergy The School of Music, Art, and Theatre launches a dynamic collaboration for learning, performance, and creativity

Dean Craig Johnson on a rich future for the arts at North Park Music. Art. Theatre. Each has achieved distinction over the years on North Park’s campus and throughout Chicago. The School of Music, accredited since 1940, is known and beloved by generations of North Parkers who have perfected singing voices and finetuned performances on brass to strings. Art and Theatre, as departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, have nurtured numerous artists, actors, photographers, and creative talent.

Starting with the 2016–2017 academic year, the three arts have come together into what is now the School of Music, Art, and Theatre. The school is led by Dean and Professor of Music Craig Johnson, with Professor of Art Nnenna Okore and Professor of Theatre Chad Eric Bergman leading their respective departments. In addition, North Park’s Hanson Hall, home to the study of music since 1948, will

undergo a comprehensive renovation to modernize the facility, which is adjacent to Anderson Chapel (see page 23). In a recent interview with the North Parker, Dean Johnson talked about emerging opportunities for the arts at North Park and the impact of this new synergy on future students and loyal alumni.

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North Parker: How did this collaboration of the arts finally come about?

various arts—an art museum that also has a theatre, for instance.

Craig Johnson: Bringing the arts together on campus is an idea that’s been discussed for quite a while. Our programs each have unique strengths, so we’ve come together to build on our respective traditions and do even more. Music has been such a public face for North Park, and now we want Art and Theatre to have a greater presence, too.

Certainly, when we’re teaching in our own disciplines, we reference other areas. When you talk about Bach, you talk about Baroque architecture. And the Renaissance quickly brings together art, music, and theatre.

The idea is not to make everything new but, through collaboration, do what we all do as well as possible. Now, when we all meet, our conversations are even more enriching. We get pulled out of our own disciplines to think more broadly. We are very excited about this collaboration. Music, art, and theatre have a natural synergy that’s also very appealing to many students who, in high school, are often involved in more than art, more than theatre, or more than music. Bringing everything together gives students opportunities to integrate their talents and skills to perform and create. In many ways we’ve also been moving toward this on campus. For instance, in Wilson Hall, Art and Music are already together in the same space. In the past, we’ve done some joint publicity about our programs, but now we can find even more ways to talk more fully about the arts at North Park. NP: What are some of the specific opportunities for collaboration that the new school is bringing about? CJ: We’re just in the early stages of identifying collaborations for future public performance. The other key area could be curricular. For instance, Art’s curatorial studies concentration is very similar to arts administration in Music. And an additional focus on arts management for Theatre has been discussed. So, why not think about core classes that would bring these three areas together? This could be very valuable for some of our graduates who go on to be arts administrators in facilities that feature

We are also very pleased that Theatre, as part of our School, can now offer an independent major as a BA in Theatre. We have also been working on creating more resources for Theatre. For instance, a second full-time faculty member has just been approved to focus on technical theatre, so that Chad Eric can work more fully with students in acting and performance. Looking for commonality is one of the exciting opportunities we all have. NP: What advantages do students who are interested in studying the arts receive at North Park? CJ: All three programs offer excellent training. Our students get maximum opportunities because we’re a smaller School that offers immediate experiences for our students, whether they be musicians, actors, or artists. However, we have a reasonable number of majors so there is a critical mass of students, and we are nimble enough to do events that can encompass all students in our programs. Our theatre program has a very unique and practical focus on storefront productions, which you can find all over Chicago. These are typically small houses for audiences of 60, 80, 100, and with minimal technical requirements. Everyone wants to go to Broadway, but if you live in Chicago, you know that storefront theatres can offer immediate opportunities to perform. Our music students gain experience in positions with churches and other organizations available in a metropolitan area where they can sing, teach, play the piano, and so on. Our many alumni are also

Hanson Hall Undergoes Extensive Renovation -

In January 2018, Hanson Hall will reopen with new practice rooms and faculty studios, with state-of-the art acoustics and climate control, and a first-ever elevator. Read more about Hanson Hall's renovation at

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How Art and Faith


Professor of Art Nnenna Okore In my Drawing I and Sculpture classes, I point out to my students the magnificence of our cosmic and phenomenal existence, and how we are instruments of a divine force, endowed with the gift of creation. I try to impress upon them that the creative process is a form of spirituality, and our nature as artists likens us to our creator. In Drawing I and Keystone, Professor of Art Kelly VanderBrug teaches students that attentive seeing is not the same thing as the practical seeing we use in daily life. Attentive seeing removes our assumptions and opens us up to what is other or what is not already known. This is a step toward God.

generous with their time and talent to meet with and help our students in the arts. We have a small number of full-time faculty for the three areas, but we all make extensive use of part-time and adjunct faculty in various specialties. This means students have the opportunity to study with more and varied artists, musicians, performers, and other creative specialists. We certainly are dedicated to our majors in art, music, or theatre, but it’s important to note that all three programs welcome the participation of non-majors. Many schools of fine arts are not open to students who may just want to perform in the choir, while studying in other areas. All of our ensembles are open to all students who are still deciding on their academic plans; if they wish to continue their musical study through lessons and participation in a music ensemble, they may also audition for a music scholarship. All of this enables us to be true to the concept of the liberal arts. NP: What role does faith have in the arts at North Park?

CJ: All of our full-time faculty members are devout and committed Christians, as well as accomplished artists, who partner with our part-time faculty colleagues in providing the very best educational and artistic opportunities possible for our students. They are comfortable bringing their faith into their creative work; they bring together knowledge and faith in the best possible ways. I recently spoke with a student who’s struggling with the idea of being an artist and a Christian. She’s trying to understand how to put herself first as an artist because she’s always put Christ first. There’s a creative tension. I shared that my philosophy is that God wants us to be successful as artists so we can be examples of Christian artists living out our faith and our talents. We can show the power of testimony through our art. And we can go beyond singing, acting, or painting beautifully when we know we are doing so in meaningful ways that can change peoples’ lives.

community here as much as possible. Programs in the arts are especially enhanced by being in Chicago For instance, the course, Art 2000: Creative Guild, fosters student interaction with Chicago’s rich artistic landscape. Activities include studio and museum visits, guest speakers, going to performances, and so on. Another course, Storefront Internship (THEA 4970), enables students to develop theatre skills, academic knowledge, and professional networking. Theatre students also learn how to prepare for auditions.

NP: How important is Chicago to the School and to the arts at North Park?

The Certificate in Music for Social Change and Human Values is offered in cooperation with The People’s Music School, a Chicago organization dedicated to providing free music lessons to young people. Master classes bring in professional artists and musicians to work with our students. Our performance competitions use judges who are drawn from throughout the city—the Lyric Opera, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and more. So, our students are critiqued by world-class artists.

CJ: Our School is intent on leveraging as many opportunities as possible for our students. We want to draw on the creative

In addition to drawing on Chicago for learning, students can begin to build contacts with professionals, including our own

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Professor of Theatre Chad Eric Bergman We have a three-step approach with integrating faith into our theatre program. First, in most of our classes, we examine either an element of theory or a dramatic text as it relates to our faith journeys. Second, in choosing the plays that we produce, we look for texts that are full of robust questions that hopefully point us toward a path of redemption. Finally, we work to mentor our students through their experience to be responsible storytellers understanding the awesome power of the word. One of the cornerstones of theatre here at North Park is the concept of living truthfully within the given situation. We ask our students to meet each play openly—try not to judge the characters for the choices they make, but like Christ, sit and listen to what they are really trying to say. People are searching for answers, searching for hope.

alumni, to help with future career work. Finally, internships are required for arts administration, graphic design, and other areas, which place our students throughout the city of Chicago to be mentored and to gain hands-on experience. All of this can—and does—happen in Chicago. It’s a lot tougher if you’re not anywhere close to a major metropolitan area. NP: Synergy is important but will Music, Art, and Theatre also retain their uniqueness? CJ: We are all believers in change by addition, not subtraction. We’ve come together and none of our programs changed. Each one still offers, if you will, the “full meal deal.” Art students can pursue in-depth study in drawing, photography, painting, and more. Theatre is going full bore with its productions. And music majors can count on all of our choirs, ensembles, and orchestra. Nothing feels diminished. The arts at North Park are only richer with this new collaboration.

Courses for the Creative ART 3910: Topics in Art: Drawing Closer to God A studio class in drawing, with the goal of exploring students’ understanding of their gifts, interests, and aesthetic. MUS 2155: Technology in Music Enables undergraduate music students to focus on all the technological resources available to today’s musicians. THEA 1030: Chicago Theatre Experience A unique opportunity to introduce students to theatre by seeing and studying six current productions throughout Chicago. The School of Music, Art, and Theatre offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. Learn more at

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Don and Shirley Diersen:

Strong Memories Stir Support Graduates of North Park College in 1954, Don and Shirley Diersen cherish memories of their Viking years. “We’re proud to have been at North Park. It’s got a special place in our hearts,” says Shirley. The couple established the Don and Shirley Diersen Scholarship Fund in 2015 because they believe in scholarship support to assist students and their families with education costs. “It’s not easy to pay for a good college education, and we know how important that education is,” says Don. North Parker Trevor Pye C’18 is the first scholarship recipient (see page 27). The Diersens chose North Park for their support because “it is a very good school that continues to serve its students so well with excellent faculty and learning.” The Diersens say it was their North Park education that gave them the best preparation for their careers and life. North Park’s decision to remain in Chicago in 1980 further affirmed their support: “North Park has kept its place in the city and maintained its reputation for being very strong academically,” says Shirley. “It’s a city school and that’s so important and something we want to support.”

Don studied pre-engineering, played basketball (#33 above), and was named to the North Park Lettermen, which recognized “the best a man can offer to competitive athletics.” Don says playing basketball was “a very special time.” Don’s sister, Carolyn, also graduated from North Park College in 1949.

“We’re proud to have been at North Park. It’s got a special place in our hearts.” Shirley Lindskoog, who grew up in Andersonville, was a pre-education student at North Park. She was elected to Phi Theta Kappa, the junior college national honor society and the highest scholastic recognition for a North Park student.

years before staying home to raise their children (Nancy Gere and Jon Diersen). She later returned to the workforce as an administrative assistant. Don graduated with a degree in business administration. He was recruited by United States Gypsum Corporation, now USG Corporation, where he worked his entire career until his retirement in 2000. They now live in Arlington Heights, Ill., and also have five grandchildren. The two, who are both 82 years of age, say they are “grateful to God for the blessings of family and for one another, and for such strong memories” of their North Park education. Their hope is that the University continues to succeed and that more students benefit from the experience as they did: “We are so very proud of being part of North Park.”

They went on to study at Valparaiso University; Shirley earned a degree in education and taught first grade for several

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GIVING Diersen Scholarship Fund Invests in Students’ Future Trevor Pye C’18 is the first recipient of the Don and Shirley Diersen Scholarship Fund. Pye came to North Park University as a recruit for the Viking men’s basketball team. He was especially interested in the Johnson Center for Science and Community Life: Pye is majoring in chemistry and secondary education.

Donor gifts increase capital that North Park can invest, making larger returns possible, increasing the endowment and available funds to support students and faculty. North Park’s endowment is professionally managed by an outside investment firm selected by the Board of Trustees. By providing endowment support, donors uphold the mission of North Park University. Establishment of an endowed scholarship, lecture series, professorship, or chair at North Park University will exist in perpetuity and provide financial assistance and encouragement to future generations of worthy students and faculty.

“My faith in Jesus has gotten a lot stronger since being here at North Park,“ Pye says. “My hope is to live my life as Jesus did and to do exactly what God has created me to do with my life.” Trevor's faith has guided his career plans, helping him realize that he “definitely wants to be a teacher.”

North Park offers many different ways for donors to provide their support such as:

Entering his senior year this fall, Pye is a teacher’s assistant (TA) in the chemistry department and in the School of Education. Outside Trevor Pye C’18 class, he loves playing basketball and participating in all sports, hanging with friends, and watching movies “every once in a while.”

• Faculty Innovation Award: Awarded to a tenured faculty member to allow release time from a portion of a teaching load by providing a stipend for study/research in his or her designated field.

Pye is very grateful to the Diersens: “I appreciate receiving this scholarship because it makes it possible for me to attend a good school like North Park. I am so glad there are donors like the Diersens in this world to help students like me afford to go to college. Thank you very, very, very much.”

• Endowed Lecture Series: Lecture series play an important role in the academic life of the campus by allowing faculty and students to interact with distinguished leaders from other communities. Speakers participate in special activities during their visits to campus which benefit students and faculty.

Endowed Gifts Advance North Park’s Mission Every year, the University supplements thousands of dollars of tuition for individual students and helps fund research grants and fellowships to attract and retain the very best faculty. Donor support is crucial to providing these additional endowed funds to help students and faculty. The current value of North Park’s endowment is $75 million. The endowment has achieved significant milestones, growing from $6 million in fiscal year 1988 to today’s total.

• Endowed Scholarships: Gifts of $25,000 or more can be designated to create a named, endowed scholarship that distributes student aid annually. The principal of the fund remains intact and is invested so the scholarship fund and the amount of interest it produces will continue to grow over time as the University endowment grows.

Other opportunities for endowed fund support for faculty and students include:

• Student Experience Fund: Support for the Fund enables students to present research, travel to conferences, engage in an internship or other learning experience, obtain an international learning and/or service experience, and pursue professional development. • Academic Aspirations Fund: Strengthens student learning and faculty development through entrepreneurial activities and program development. To learn more about making an endowment gift to North Park University, please contact the Office of Advancement at 773.244.5790; email:

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HONORS 2017 Seminary Alumni Award for Distinguished Service: Rev. Dr. Mary Miller S'80

Instead of letting any obstacles deter her along the way, Miller has held steady to being “game to grow at any point.”

Challenges do not deter Rev. Dr. Mary Miller S’80. She was among the first five women to enroll in 1977 at North Park Theological Seminary to pursue a master of divinity degree. It was a commitment that also involved an 89-mile commute between her home in Rockford and Seminary classes in Chicago, along with a fear of studying Greek. Following Seminary graduation and for the last 40 years, Miller has pioneered the way for women in ministry, serving as a pastor and as denominational vice president. Instead of letting any obstacles deter her along the way, Miller has held steady to being “game to grow at any point.” Her leadership and accomplishments were recognized by North Park in January at the Midwinter Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) in Louisville. Seminary Dean Rev. Dr. David W. Kersten C’77 S’82 S’97 presented Miller with the 2017 Seminary Alumni Award for Distinguished Service, saying: “I

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want to celebrate a deep and rich pastoral imagination that has allowed for growth, and invention, and an imagination that has taken on many creative pastoral roles in our midst and our community.”

What Really Matters Miller’s calling to serve the Lord and the church came early: She “loved the church to start with” and “absolutely loved confirmation.” The love of the Lord and people has been important to her as long she can remember. After her undergraduate years at Western Illinois University, Miller began her MDiv studies at the Seminary where, she says, North Park’s commitment to hospitality and educational access empowered her. Fellow classmates welcomed her into their homes to lessen the frequency of commuting. “I slept on my friends’ couches,” recalls a grateful Miller.

At NPTS, Miller thrived—and reveled—in the variety of Bible courses available to her. “It was like being in a deli—after state school, where there were no Bible classes offered,” says Miller, who still has all her lecture notes. When Dr. C. John Weborg retired from teaching at North Park, Miller was able to send him a copy of the notes she took on her very first day of his class. After Seminary graduation, Miller was propelled into a career in ministry. “North Park prepared me for different ministry roles—in practical ways and of course through lifelong friendships,” she says. In her first call after Seminary, Miller served as associate pastor at Faith Covenant Church (Farmington Hills, Mich.). She went on to serve the congregations of First Wayne Street United Methodist Church (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Evangelical Covenant Church (Donaldson, Ind.), and Bethel Evangelical Covenant Church (Flossmoor, Ill.). In addition, Miller contributed as a writer for The Covenant Companion and authored Devotions for Those Living with Loss (Covenant Publications, 1991).

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Learn more about past honorees at

When asked how she has navigated different roles and served congregations ranging in size from 110 to 1,500, Miller explains, “It’s about drilling down into what really matters and not just focusing on what’s demanding your attention.” She went on to be the first female vice president of the Evangelical Covenant Church and the co-chair of the Biblical Gender Equality Commission. Miller received the Evelyn M. R. Johnson Leadership Award from the Association of Covenant Clergy Women in 2008. Miller also has served North Park on the Board of Trustees and on the Seminary Board of Advisors.

Grow Into It Today Miller is the Chaplain at Covenant Village in Cromwell, Conn., where she preaches to congregants ages 64 to 107. Referring to this stage of her life as “an interior journey,” Miller teaches “Aging as Spiritual Journey,” while making time to garden, volunteer regularly in her community, read Christian classics, which

she calls “food for the soul,” and be with her two dogs. Reflecting on a career serving the church spanning close to four decades, Miller advises those who are interested in going into ministry: “Pursue ministry if God won’t allow you to let that calling go.” She also encourages those she mentors to take on challenges that might feel daunting, as she was advised early in her career. “Put on a suit that’s too big for you and grow into it,” asserts Miller. Calling Miller a “learned, and learning, pastor,” Dean Kersten expressed appreciation for her legacy: “Mary’s lifelong dedication to ministry and leadership is important to recognize and on behalf of North Park Theological Seminary, North Park University, and the Evangelical Covenant Church, we are thrilled that she has been selected to receive this award.”

shining in such a way that it was warm and illuminating and directive. It was a fabulous experience for me and a tremendous opportunity to grow into Christ. I believe it gave me such wonderful gifts preparing me for being a good generalist.” Mary K. Surridge, Vice President for Advancement, adds, “On behalf of the entire alumni community of North Park Theological Seminary, we congratulate Rev. Dr. Miller and offer our deepest thanks for her extraordinary life of service and leadership.” The Seminary Alumni Award for Distinguished Service, established in 2014 and delivered annually at the ECC’s Midwinter Conference, recognizes Seminary alumni who have made significant contributions in their field while living a life reflective of the core values and mission of North Park Theological Seminary.

In accepting the award “with humility,” Miller recalled: “When I entered Seminary, I could not believe the Christ light was

North Park Salutes 20th Fulbright Student Honoree and Welcomes New Fulbright Program Director Pamela A. Thuswaldner has been named Director of North Park’s Fulbright Program, continuing the legacy of her predecessor, Dr. Linda Parkyn (see page 13). Thuswaldner is a Fulbright honoree and the former Fulbright Director at Gordon College in Wenham, MA. She was twice awarded Fulbright Teaching Assistantships to Austria and, as director of the Fulbright Student and Scholar Programs at Gordon College for nine years, she guided 12 applicants to Fulbright grants. Notably, she oversaw the Fulbright Scholar Program grant application for Dr. Is-haq Akintola, Professor of Islamic Studies at Lago State University in Nigeria, through

the 2009 Fulbright Visiting Specialist Program: Direct Access to the Muslim World. “I am honored to take on the Fulbright advisor role for North Park and look forward to working with our top students and fellow faculty members in continuing our tradition in claiming North Park University as a top-producing Fulbright institution,” Thuswaldner commented. North Park’s 2017-2018 U.S. Fulbright recipient—and North Park’s 20th Fulbright student recipient—is Rachael Greco C’17, also a recipient of this year’s Distinguished Senior Award (see page 3).

Pamela A. Thuswaldner

Greco has experience in teaching ESL in Guatemala and at the Vietnamese Association of Illinois (VAI). During her Fulbright year, she’ll serve as a cultural ambassador and help enhance mutual understanding between Americans and the people in Vietnam. North Park was recently named a Top Producer of U.S. Fulbright Students for the third year. Since 2008, the school has produced 20 Fulbright Student awards and leads its category—Master’s Institution— in Fulbright Student award winners.

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On March 4, 2017, more than 50 North Parkers met in Venice, Fla., for a time of fellowship and worship. Pastor Judy (Howard) Peterson C’92 S’01 preached while Rev. Bob Dvorak led a hymn sing, and North Park junior Michael Ronnett played piano. (1)




Members of the North Park Academy Class of 1953 gathered on October 18, 2016, for dinner at Young’s Chinese Restaurant in Glenview. Attendees included Marilyn (Longo) Rice, Bill Seawall, Leona (Schweikert) Dirr, Nancy (Lukas) Caldwell, Ruth (Anderson) Houdek, Trudy Niehoff, and Sonya (Ottoson) Cowen. (2) Ted Sares A’55 is one of the oldest active powerlifters in the world, according to The Sweet Science. Ted the Bull (as he is known in the powerlifting world) currently holds all Elite Powerlifting (EP) records in the Grand Master Class (ages 75-79) in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island, according to the Conway Daily Sun. Ted has followed boxing for more than 50 years. He has written three boxing-related books and contributes to online boxing websites and publications. He plans to continue powerlifting. Ted and his wife, Holly, reside in New Hampshire. (3)


Dr. Patricia (Clary) Young C’65 visited Yosemite National Park this summer with her three sons, Peter Young, Warren Young, and Patrick Young, MD, and granddaughter, Emery Anya Young, age 5. (4) Dr. Richard Rosenquist C’80 was honored with the 2015 John J. Bonica Award by the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. This annual award recognizes an individual’s outstanding contributions to the development, teaching, and practice of pain medicine in the tradition of John J. Bonica, MD, a champion of multidisciplinary collaboration in the evaluation and treatment of patients with pain. Dr. Rosenquist is chairman of the pain management department at the Cleveland Clinic. He has published 71 peer-reviewed publications, and numerous book chapters and abstracts, and given more than 470 presentations at local, national, and international meetings. (5)


of Engineering, where computer science has become the largest major and the fastestgrowing program on campus, according to Crain’s. (6) Photo courtesy of Crain’s Chicago Business; Photographer Manuel Martinez Sonja (Young) Anderson C’85 announces the release of her second book for children (ages 8-12) in the Sophie Topfeather series. Sophie Topfeather, Superstar! is a continuation of the unlikely friendship between an owl and a pirate-wannabe mouse in what Sonja says is “a timely story that brings hope to a divided community.” (7) After a 25-year career in the sports department of the Chicago Tribune, Jim Harding C'89 began the next chapter of his career by joining the staff at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls in Chicago's West Loop. Jim leads the running team, which participates in the Chicago Marathon every year to raise funds for the Mercy Home, which gives abused, neglected, and abandoned children a safe, loving home. (8)

Peter Nelson C’84 was featured on the cover of the March 2017 issue of Crain’s Chicago Business. The article focused on the growth of computer science students at UIC over the past five years. Peter is Dean of UIC's College NORTH PARKER | Summer 2017 30






Steven Luce C'91 and Melissa Vélez-Luce C'04 G'12 welcomed Charlotte Lily VélezLuce on January 24, 2017. Charlotte weighed 7 pounds 11 ounces and measured 20 inches. Melissa serves as the director of alumni relations at North Park, and Steven is director of creative services for the Evangelical Covenant Church. Charlotte proudly sports her North Park spirit each week on #npublueandgoldwednesday. (9) Kristin (Kraaz) Bauder C’95 and her husband Doug, children Chloe and Jacob, together with Kristin's father Jack Kraaz C’67 S’74 and his wife Sarah, travelled to Italy during November 2016. Highlights of the trip were the Colosseum and the Arch of Titus at the Forum in Rome, a boat ride around Venice, and climbing to the top of the Duomo in Florence. The Bauders have also vacationed in France and made a mission trip to the Czech Republic. They currently reside in Geneva, Ill., where Kristin continues to use her North Park degree in sports medicine while working as a fitness trainer and assisting with first aid needs for her children's athletic teams. (10)




Mike McAdams C’98 and Laura (Anderson) McAdams C’02 live in Phoenix, Ariz., where Mike works as the director of sales for spring training for the Chicago Cubs. The McAdams family enjoyed the Cubs’ World Series Championship celebration by riding in the parade in Chicago and welcoming the trophy at Sloan Park in Mesa, Ariz., during spring training. (11)

Bo Blumenshine C’00 and Megan (Kissell) Blumenshine C'05 G'10 welcomed Svea Louise who was born on August 18, 2016, at 8lbs 2oz and 22 inches long. (14)


John Potter C'05 and Jenny Booth Potter C'05 of Palatine, Ill., welcomed son Milo Booth Potter on November 12, 2016. He joins big brother Elliot. Jenny is a creative producer at Willow Creek Community Church and John is a content editor at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (16)

Members of the class of 2001 enjoyed reconnecting and celebrating their 15year reunion during North Park’s 2016 Homecoming weekend. (12) Mircea “Mitch” Arsenie C’04 has been selected as a member of the National Geographic Society and Lindblad Expeditions 11th Annual Class of Grosvenor Teacher Fellows. Mitch will travel to the Arctic and Antarctic regions on this expedition. He plans to bring back all that he learns and experiences to the students in his AP and IB environmental science classes at Carl Schurz High School. (13)

Stefan Bujo Buki was welcomed to the world by parents Liripa Buki and Sarah (Beckstrom) Buki C’02 S’07 and big brothers Liam and Tristan on July 19, 2016. (15)

Rayshauna Gray is a historical researcher at Tufts University and a coordinator with Harvard Business School's gender initiative. Since her time at North Park, Rayshauna has gone on to advance numerous social justice efforts, including four legislative bills in the Massachusetts State House. She has just completed her inaugural fellowship with the Cambridge Historical Society and looks forward to continuing her research. The friendships she made at North Park continue to be close to her heart.

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On May 3 North Park held its annual giving day, #NPUBlueandGoldDay, to successfully raise $137,388. The Office of Advancement’s goal of 503 donors for the “Wear it. Give it. Share it.” campaign was surpassed with a total of 526 donors. Alumni accounted for 52% of the donors, but faculty/staff (14%), friends (6%), parents (4%), and students (4%) also made substantial gifts. Ragnar the Viking, the student body mascot, joined nearly 400 North Parkers to take the giant N-P-U photo in celebration of the day.

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Jonathan Nehring C’09 and Amanda (Dayton) Nehring C’09 welcomed their first daughter, Lillian Jill Nehring, on November 25, 2016. (17)




Emily Persson C'10 married Charlie Wallace on October 8, 2016, in Chaska, Minn., surrounded by family and friends. Many North Park alumni attended, including Emily’s parents, Rollie Persson C'83 and Valerie (Johnson) Persson C'85, and Jill (Persson) Lind C'94 S'02, who officiated the ceremony. North Parkers in the bridal party included Jessica (Persson) Hass C'13, Kristin Englund C'10, Christine (Wahlskog) Wallace C'10, Kristen Van Putten C'10, Chelsea (Anderson) Chybowski, and Ben Persson. Charlie and Emily live in Minneapolis where she works as a cath lab nurse and he is in the solar energy business. (18)




Rebekah (Icenogle) Moore C’10 and Travis Moore C’09 currently live in Kansas City, Mo., where Rebekah is a kindergarten teacher and Travis is part owner and brewmaster at Torn Label Brewing Company. In July they will celebrate the two-year anniversary of their taproom in Torn Label Brewing, located on the east side of the crossroads in Kansas City. The Moores have enjoyed welcoming North Park friends from around the country who come to visit. (19) Jacci Turner S’11 is a spiritual director and the author of nine young adult and middle grade fiction books. She recently released her first adult novel, The Retreat: A Tale of Spiritual Awakening, published by Harper Legend and available on all eBook outlets. (20)

Nathan Lawler C'14 and Danielle Warner C'15 were married in central Illinois on July 2, 2016. Nathan, a history and special education teacher, and Danielle, a registered nurse, live in Champaign, Ill., with their chocolate lab, Leo. They first met at North Park in 2011. (21) Dan Raymond C'15 married Molly Moore on December 30, 2016. The couple is living in Batavia, Ill., where Dan is the director of worship arts and youth ministries at Batavia Covenant Church and Molly attends graduate school, working on her master’s in social work. They met as high school students while working together at Covenant Harbor Bible Camp in Lake Geneva, Wis. North Parkers in the wedding included Ben Hain C'15, Joe Gaylord C'15, and Laura Raymond C'17. (22)

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ALUMNI NOTES Vikings Celebrate Champion Cubs About 75 North Parkers attended a Cubs spring training game at Sloan Park in Mesa, Ariz., on March 26. Alumni and friends watched the World Series Champion Cubs play (and lose to) the Padres from the 3rd base party deck. Among North Parkers who enjoyed the day: (1) Sam Bergstrom and Linnea (Johnson) Bergstrom C’03; (2) Marcia (Anderson) McGregor A’61, Jim Tiede, and Marilyn (Strandine) Tiede A’56; (3) Phil Cannon C’99 S’05 and Stephen Peterson C’87; and (4) Susan and Dave Summers C’70.





NORTH PARK ALUMNI GRANT Alumni who earned an undergraduate degree at North Park University can return for continued coursework with a 20 percent tuition reduction. Choose a graduate degree program or graduate-level certificate offered by: F School of Business and Nonprofit Administration F School of Education F School of Music, Art, and Theatre F School of Nursing and Health Sciences F School of Professional Studies F North Park Theological Seminary

For more information visit or call 773-244-5500 to schedule a personal appointment.

Online, on-campus, or hybrid options available.

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NORTH PARKER | Summer 2017 34





Glen Wiberg C’46 S’51 passed away on Thursday, March 23, 2017. He was 91. Glen was a retired Covenant pastor often described as a “pastor’s pastor.” The following was drawn from the obituary published in the Covenant Companion.

church,” said longtime friend John Weborg, seminary professor emeritus of theology. A collection of his writing for The Pietisten is available online.

When Maurey and Barbara returned to his hometown, he began working in the family business. Later, in 1974, when they moved to Turlock, Calif., they sold their Nebraska stores and purchased Mid-Valley Auto Supply of Turlock and Palmberg Auto Supply of Hilmar.

Glen was born on May 1, 1925, in Kansas City, Missouri. He earned an associate’s degree from North Park College and a bachelor’s degree from William Jewel College. He graduated from North Park Seminary and earned an MDiv from Yale Divinity School. Glen married Jane Mabes on June 10, 1949. He served as pastor of Mission Covenant Church in Princeton, Ill.; First Covenant Church in Youngstown, Ohio; North Park Covenant Church in Chicago; and Salem Covenant Church in New Brighton, Minn. Glen served as chairman of the Covenant Hymnal Commission and helped produce multiple music and educational resources. He wrote books that included Singing the Story: Sightings in Christian Music and Housing the Sacred: What I Have Learned and Still Am Learning about Preaching. Jay Phelan, senior professor of theological studies at North Park Theological Seminary, recalled Glen as “a towering giant among Covenant pastors of any generation.” “Pastor Wiberg loved the

He is survived by his wife Jane and two daughters, Kathie Wiberg Frank C'76 and Sarah Betz. He was preceded in death by a son, Carl Wiberg C'79. (23) Richard Arthur Eilertson C'51 passed away on February 25. 2017. Richard is survived by his wife of 65 years Mildred (Carlson) Eilertson C'51, his sons Duane and Douglas, his daughter Pamela, seven grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. (24) Maurice E. Palmberg C’52 passed away on September 13, 2016, in Turlock, Calif., at the age of 84. Maurey was born in Hamilton County, Neb., in 1932, to Edwin Palmberg A’25 and Esther (Swanson) Palmberg. He was the oldest of four siblings. He attended North Park University before entering the Army. In 1954, Maurice and Barbara (Axelson) C’52 S’55, his college sweetheart, were married in Iron Mountain, Mich., and moved to Aurora, Neb.

Maurey's life was about his faith and his family. He was a camp counselor and a youth leader, and before he retired, a visitation "pastor" at the men's prison in Tracy. He was a Sunday School teacher for years and especially enjoyed his tenure as II Timothy class teacher at Turlock Covenant. Following his retirement, Maurey worked for more than 10 years at Whitehurst-Norton-Dias Funeral Service where he continued his ministry and care for the community. Maurey is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Barbara, son Kurt J. Palmberg C’78 and wife Karole, and daughter Karen A. Palmberg C’79; grandchildren including Britta (Palmberg) Mitchell C’06; his brother Rev. Bud Palmberg C’54 S’62 and wife Donna C’56, and many more relatives and friends. He was predeceased by his parents, Ed and Esther Palmberg, and youngest brother Bob Palmberg.

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IN MEMORIAM in developing the urban studies and criminal justice programs within the sociology major. He was active in his church and community, and served as a Boy Scout leader for more than 20 years. Frank is survived by his wife of more than 47 years, Dr. Margot Steinhart, his son Dr. Eric C. Steinhart of Silver Spring, Md., daughter-in-law Jane Ricci, and three grandchildren. Memorial gifts may be made to North Park University in honor of Frank Steinhart, with designation for student scholarship support. (26) Lee Bradley Burswold, former North Park music professor, died on February 21, 2017, from complications of pulmonary fibrosis.



Memorial contributions may be made to North Park Theological Seminary. Please direct your contributions to the Rev. C. Oscar Palmberg Scholarship Fund in memory of Maurice Palmberg. (25)

(Pamela) Becker of Grayslake, Gary Becker of Waukegan, Andrea (Michael) Bartels of West Chicago, Christopher Becker C’87 and Twyla (Thornbloom) C’88 of Wildwood, Bryan (Peggy) Becker of Libertyville, Cheryl (Chad) McCameron of Antioch; 12 grandchildren, including Bobby Becker C’15, and siblings, nieces, nephews, and friends. He was preceded in death by his brother Laurence Becker.

Richard Arthur Becker Sr. C’64, age 76, of Antioch, Ill., passed away on February 4, 2017, at his home. He was born June 26, 1940, in Chicago, the son of the late Harry and Victoria (Spaeth) Becker. On August 6, 1960, Richard married Carole Ann Stock in Chicago. Richard graduated from Tuley High School in 1958. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from North Park College and master’s in computer science from the Illinois Institute of Technology. He started his career in 1965 as a systems engineer for IBM. He went on to work for Pansophic Systems, CNA Financial, and JI Case Company. By 1978, he started his own consulting business, Andrea Data Systems, before retiring in 2005. He then taught mathematics and computer science at the College of Lake County and retired in 2012. Richard was an active member of the Antioch community, including serving as president of the Emmons School Board. Richard is survived by his wife of more than 56 years, Carole; their children, Richard

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Dr. Frank Steinhart passed away on January 19, 2017, in Skokie, IL. Frank was born December 15, 1943, in Riga, Latvia. At age 8, Frank, along with his mother and aunt, came to the United States and settled in Chicago. Frank earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Illinois and an MS in Personnel Administration and PhD in Sociology from Loyola University Chicago. Frank’s career at North Park University spanned more than 40 years. He began teaching at North Park in 1973, and served as chair of the department of sociology, registrar, and assistant dean; he served on numerous committees including, most recently, the Institutional Review Board. He was one of the guiding forces to have laptop computers issued to faculty members to facilitate the use of technology in teaching. He was influential

He was born in Chicago on November 16, 1933, to George and Evalon (Berger) Burswold. During his childhood years, Lee developed a love for the piano, which he turned into a lifelong vocation. Lee earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from Northwestern University, where he met his future wife, Barbara Mahr, a cellist and fellow music student. Lee continued his education at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., where he earned his PhD. On June 16, 1962, after a fiveyear courtship, Lee and Barbara were married by Barbara’s father, Pastor Arthur Mahr, at Grace Lutheran Church in Chicago. The couple settled in Chicago where Lee began his 38-year teaching career as a tenured music professor at North Park College, now North Park University. Throughout his teaching career, Lee also worked actively as a freelance pianist throughout Chicagoland from 1962 to 2010. An accomplished composer, Lee wrote and arranged hundreds of pieces of piano, choral, instrumental, and bell choir music; beginning and intermediate school instrumental music; orchestral and jazz creations. Lee is survived by his wife, Barbara; daughter Carol (Burswold) Dylan C’85; Anne (Lendol) Calder; grandchildren Laura, Caroline, and Erik Bergren; and family friend Patricia Conrad. (27)

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For Every Student: Make a Difference. Now, more than ever, giving to the North Park Fund makes an invaluable impact: You can ensure that students enroll, earn their degrees from North Park University and North Park Theological Seminary, and go on to meaningful lives and careers. With your gift to the North Park Fund, we can: • Meet students’ highest need for financial assistance to make education affordable. • Award more than $13 million annually in scholarships to our students. • Provide financial aid to 95% of undergraduates and 78% of Seminary students. • Fulfill students’ dreams for an outstanding education and a bright future.

Make an impact. Make your gift today. love music. I want to help people through music, “ Iespecially teaching young children because of their openness and desire to learn. Scholarship support is important for me as a Latin-American student to be able to study here and have access to so many wonderful resources. Thank you! 

Andrea Benavides Chaves C’17 Major: General Studies in Music

2016-2017 North Park Fund Goal: $1,306,000 to fund student scholarships Financial aid is awarded annually to: 95% of undergraduates

78% of Seminary students 37 NORTH PARKER | Summer 2016

NORTH PARKER | Summer 2017 37




FPO—Please provide new FSC certificate #

HOMECOMING 2017 Save the Date: September 15-16, 2017

North Parker Summer 2017  
North Parker Summer 2017