North Parker Winter 2024

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Sweet Home Chicago More than 40 years ago, North Park chose to stay in the city, a decision that helped define its identity and mission.



A Civic Spirit

Nurturing Future Leaders

North Park alumni help Chicago thrive.

Local internships foster the growth of North Park students.

Winter 2024




12 Seminary Spotlight

03 First Word

13 Student Spotlight

North Parker

Winter 2024 | Volume 83, Number 1

14 Viking Strong

10 Meet the Staff

30 Alumni Spotlight

11 Meet the Faculty

32 Honors

06 Across Campus North Park moved up the charts in two key categories in the U.S. News & World Report annual rankings.

36 Giving

Editorial Board Mary K. Surridge President Michael Nevergall MNA ’13 Vice President for Advancement Anthony Scola Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing Editorial Staff

37 Alumni Notes

& In Memoriam

40 From the Archives On the Cover Alumna Andrea Kersten BA ‘01, chief administrator, Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), in front of COPA’s Chicago office.


Homecoming North Parkers came together for Homecoming 2023.

Ana Sekler Managing Editor Ellen Almer BA ’94 Kennedy Murphy Lindsey Post Robinson BS ’05 Editors Ellen Almer Scott Baltic BA ’74 Kaprice Dal Cerro BA ’15 Andrew Meyer BA ’06, MA ’13 Kennedy Murphy Eileen O’Gorman Brett Ravitz BS ’25 Lindsey Post Robinson Ana Sekler Writers Design Staff Susannah Kim Art Direction & Design Karamel Aguila Graphic Designer Anthony Barlich Phil Dembinski Photographers

The North Parker is published twice a year for alumni and friends of North Park University, 3225 W. Foster Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625-4895. For mailing list adjustments, address changes, questions, or suggestions, please contact the Office of Alumni Engagement at (773) 244-4750. 2

North Parker Magazine

First Word

First Word

On a beautiful August afternoon, the 2023 Threshold opening convocation welcomed more than 560 new North Park University (NPU) students to their campus home—the third-largest incoming first-year class in our history! With three consecutive years of record-breaking enrollment and a rise of nine spots in the best regional universities (Midwest) and seven spots in the social mobility category in the annual U.S. News & World Report college rankings, we have plenty to be grateful for and celebrate. We prayed daily for our incoming students throughout the summer months leading to their arrival, and the faculty, staff, and leaders of North Park were on hand at the convocation to express their support and commitment to student success. In this issue of the North Parker, you will enjoy the second in our threepart series elevating our core distinctive institutional identities: Christian, city-centered, intercultural.

Our Chicago home provides a strong recruiting base for Viking athletics, and you’ll read about how North Park coaches have built solid networks and pipelines for student-athletes from our city, helping them discover and embrace an academic and athletic home at NPU. You will meet the newest scholar and leader of North Park Theological Seminary, Rev. Dr. Michelle Dodson BA ’02, installed earlier this fall as the Milton B. Engebretson Chair for Evangelism and Justice.

The following pages will highlight the strong history and significant opportunity we have as a Christian, urban university, centered in the world-class city of Chicago. We’ll highlight the courageous and visionary work of a task force commissioned by the Evangelical Covenant Church in the late 1970s, to study the merits of a proposal to abandon North Park’s Chicago location for a move to a new campus location in the northern suburbs. The comprehensive work of that task force resulted in the overwhelming affirmation in 1980 to remain rooted in ministry at the corner of Foster and Kedzie Avenues, serving an increasingly diverse student community, and allowing for the flourishing, beautiful campus we love today. You’ll also learn more about how our students engage with the city through their internships, for God’s glory and the good of our Chicago neighbors.

Seek the welfare of the city to which I have sent you. Pray for it to the Lord, for upon its welfare your own depends. —JEREMIAH 29:7

And you’ll meet some of North Park’s most influential alumni—deeply invested in Chicago—leading and serving our city and region in transformational ways. Thank you for your continued prayers and support for our students and our mission. The lifelong commitment of the faithful alumni and friends of North Park provides inspiration and encouragement to go further and deeper in our mission every day. We are grateful for you! In His name,

Mary K. Surridge President

Winter 2024



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New North Parkers walk down Michigan Avenue during a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago as a part of Threshold 2023.

Winter 2024


Across Campus Women’s Volleyball Claims Second Consecutive CCIW Championship Title North Park’s women’s volleyball won its second College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) championship in two years, sweeping through the championships to earn both a CCIW title and tournament championship in the same season for the first time ever. Head Coach Michael Sopocy earned his second CCIW Coach of the Year award, the first North Park coach to do so since 2012. The team also made its first-ever appearance in the American Volleyball Coaches Association National Top 25 Poll this fall, climbing to #15.

Rising to the Top North Park moved up nine spots in the U.S. News & World Report rankings to #30 in Best Universities (Midwest), as well as improving to #8 in Top Performers on Social Mobility (Midwest). The social mobility rankings are based on enrolling and graduating students who receive Pell Grants and typically have adjusted family gross incomes under $50,000, and the overall ranking considers academic quality, student satisfaction, and cost among other factors.


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Wednesday Gatherings Each week last semester, the North Park Community met for Catalyst discussions, chapel, and “Fikas,” or traditional Swedish coffee breaks, to worship and discuss various topics.

Across Campus

School of Restorative Arts Graduates Second Cohort A class of 24 students graduated from the seminary’s innovative School of Restorative Arts program on May 31. Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton, seminary Dean Dennis R. Edwards, and President Mary Surridge presided over the ceremony at Stateville Correctional Center.

New Full-Time Faculty Hires North Park welcomed six new professors this fall: Assistant Professor of Nursing DEMSN Anita Neubauer-Hickey Professor of Biology Chrystal Ho Pao Assistant Professor of Counseling and Director of Clinical Training for Clinical Mental Health Counseling Ashley Roberts Assistant Professor of Exercise and Sport Alison Warfel Director of Graduate Programs and Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling Kara Wolff Assistant Professor of Nursing Robert Worgen

Recognizing Faculty Authors Congratulations to our faculty who published books and journal articles recently, including: Associate Professor of Health Sciences Keith Bakken Vice President for Church Relations and Dean of the Seminary Rev. Dennis R. Edwards Assistant Professor of Information Literacy Evan Kuehn Assistant Professor of Counseling Martha Mason Associate Professor of Psychology

Alumna Awarded Schweitzer Fellowship Nursing alumna Ivana Chmielewski BS ’18, MS ’23 received a prestigious Schweitzer Fellowship to design and implement innovative projects addressing the health needs of underserved Chicago residents.

Kathryn O’Toole Professor of Biology Drew Rholl Associate Professor of Nursing Mary Shehan Associate Professor of Physical Education Jong-Hoon Yu

Winter 2024


Across Campus

NPU Introduces Public Policy Major North Park will launch a new major and minor in public policy in fall 2024. Professor Jon Peterson will lead the new major in the Politics and Government Department, which will work in conjunction with the Center for Civic Engagement.

North Park Receives Nearly $1 Million in Grants

Recent Grad Named Student-Athlete of the Year Recent graduate Esther Miller BS ’23 was named women’s student-athlete of the year by the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin. Miller participated in basketball, golf, and indoor and outdoor track and field during her time at NPU and was also named North Park’s Female Sportsperson of the Year in both 2021 and 2023.


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North Park’s Center for Civic Engagement received a $937K grant from the Lilly Endowment for a five-year project to bring estranged youth back to the church. And, the Career Development Office received a nearly $15K grant from the Illinois Board of Higher Education for a one-year project, which will help fund paid summer internships at local business for five undergraduate students who are also Illinois residents.

Across Campus

North Park Welcomes Third-Largest Incoming Class In August, North Park welcomed its third-largest class of first-year students in its 132-year history. This bucks national and statewide trends, which have seen decreases in recent years.

NPU Baseball Honored For the eighth season in a row, North Park baseball earned American Baseball Coaching Association (ABCA) honors. Coach Luke Johnson’s squad is one of just two institutions in the CCIW to earn team academic honors each year since the ABCA began the award, which highlights programs that posted a GPA of 3.0 or above for the entire 2022–23 academic year. Junior second baseman Justin Swanson was named Fourth Team All-American by the ABCA for the 2023 season.

Supporting Peer Mentoring The Division of Student Engagement received $9,300 from the Associated Colleges of Illinois to support peer mentoring within the COMPASS program, an intensive, yearlong program that helps first-year students prepare for the academic and social challenges of college and adjust to life on campus.

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Meet the Staff


A Vision for North Park’s Place in Chicago

Catalyst students visit a mural in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood.

public policy major and the Community Assets and Program Evaluation Consortium allows us to build on the success of Catalyst and bolster efforts to assist community leaders.

When Assistant Vice President for Civic Engagement Rich Kohng began his tenure at North Park, he recognized that North Park students needed a primer on engaging with their new home city. His solution? The Catalyst program and the new Center for Civic Engagement (CCE).

What sparked the idea for Catalyst? While I was working in University Ministries, our staff noticed that— because students come to North Park from all over the world—some have an immediate impulse to change Chicago when they arrive. While that comes from a sincere place, many students approached that impulse without listening to local leaders of color who were already working to drive change across the city. Catalyst addresses this by providing face-to-face opportunities for students to learn and converse with these leaders. Through these events, students can understand the unique problems that arise while


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pursuing social impact and learn how to follow local leaders. How did the program give way to the Center for Civic Engagement? We’ve always viewed Catalyst as a means to a greater end. Now that we’ve learned from local leaders, it’s important we honor their work. The CCE is possible because of the support from staff who found opportunities to partner; faculty who utilized Catalyst courses; and students who showed up for Catalyst on Campus events, participated in Crux and Catalyst Semester cohorts, and volunteered for student leadership boards. Adding the new

What are some of your favorite Catalyst programs? A mural walk in Pilsen led by a community leader and the “Toxic Tour” with Little Village Environmental Justice Organization highlight the profound contributions of immigrant communities in the city. Another favorite is a session with the former executive minister of the Love Mercy Do Justice Mission Priority of the Evangelical Covenant Church, Debbie Blue MA ’96. Blue leads a session in Bronzeville that interweaves her personal story with the community in which she grew up. The session ends at Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ, where Mamie Till-Mobley held the open-casket funeral for her 14-year-old son, Emmet Till. The funeral moved countless people to advocate for civil rights, and Blue has inspired many North Park students to consider how they can pursue change wherever they are.

Meet the Faculty


A Professor Who Knows All Politics Is Local One of the best things about teaching at North Park, according to Professor Jon Peterson, is learning from students who grew up in Chicago. “They bring a wealth of stories from their neighborhoods,” said Peterson, a professor of politics and government. “They know what the alderman is doing and how it affects them because so many of them work in their schools and churches and have worked on campaigns as election judges or volunteers.” A native of Minnesota, Peterson graduated from Wheaton College in 1994 with a degree in political science, then worked for Minnesota Republican Gil Gutknecht’s House of Representatives campaign bid. When Gutknecht won, Peterson moved to Washington, D.C., planning to stay for just nine months. He ended up staying for almost four years. In 1998, he moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, to work for the state legislature but quickly decided a political career was not for him. During graduate school at the University of Minnesota, he realized he wanted to stay in the Midwest to teach. “My highest priority was to teach in a place where I could interject my Christian faith,” said Peterson. “And my dissertation advisor told me Chicago was the best place to study politics outside of D.C.” The city provides the perfect setting for his Catalyst classes, especially the “Chicago Politics” class offered every few years. Once, his class toured the 39th Ward, including a stop for lunch

at legendary drive-in Superdawg and a chat with former Alderman Margaret Laurino. Another trip took them to a City Council meeting at City Hall and a visit to the Chicago History Museum. Peterson said many of his students want to make a difference in the world, and he stresses the importance of learning about government, even if they never plan to run for office.

“I tell them, wherever you want to make a difference, you’re going to run into a government,” Peterson said. “Even if you want to change something through a community organization, you can’t do it without dealing with the government, so learn how the system works.”

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Seminary Spotlight


A Heart for Prison Ministry ...When you’re in the city and you have to cross Foster Avenue and you see someone not like you, their embodied presence reminds you that they come from a different place. Place matters.

When Michelle Dodson BA ’02 was asked by former seminary Dean David Kersten if she could see herself teaching in a prison, a light bulb went off in her head. “I said, ‘yes, that’s exactly what I want to be doing now,’” recalled Dodson. “The Lord had been putting on my heart a burden for prison ministry.” That fortuitous encounter led to Dodson, now the Milton B. Engebretson Chair in Evangelism and Justice, joining the seminary’s faculty in 2019 as an adjunct professor in the School of Restorative Arts (SRA). She’s been teaching classes at Stateville and


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Logan Correctional Centers ever since. As part of the SRA program, incarcerated, or “inside” students, learn alongside the un-incarcerated, or “outside” students. “The inside students are so hungry,” Dodson said. “The first week of my first class, the inside students, not only had they done all the assigned reading, but they had read the citations in those readings. I had one outside student shake her head and say ‘I think I need to do the reading again, I didn’t catch half of that.’” A native of the San Francisco Bay area, Dodson transferred to North Park from Tuskegee University her

junior year, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies. In fall 2023, she received her doctorate of sociology in religion at Garrett Theological Seminary. She’s also a founding pastor of New Community Covenant Church’s two locations, in Bronzeville and Logan Square, and is associate pastor of the Bronzeville branch. Dodson, who lives on the South Side with her husband, two daughters, and mother, says North Park’s presence in Chicago is one of its richest assets. “One of the things we talk about in the seminary is why it matters to be in the city,” Dodson said. “It gives you an opportunity to be exposed to so many ideas and perspectives. You can sit in a classroom anywhere in the world and if you have a good instructor, you can learn. But when you’re in the city and you have to cross Foster Avenue and you see someone not like you, their embodied presence reminds you that they come from a different place. Place matters.”


Forging Local Connections The presence of North Park’s student government is everywhere. From Holmgren Athletic Complex to Wilson Hall, students at the university’s governing body span nearly all ages and majors. Student Government Association (SGA) leaders say a reason for the organization’s large membership is the symbiotic relationship with the city of Chicago. SGA President Maryam Chaudhary said Chicago is in an ideal location for SGA officials to host trainings, facilitate partnerships with its many local organizations, and strive toward advocacy goals. In return, SGA hosts

community-wide events, patronizes local businesses, and beautifies the surrounding area. “We want to act as a funnel to get students involved in the city,” Chaudhary, a third-year business management student on the pre-law track, said. “North Park truly is Chicago’s best-kept secret. We’re in an incredible, diverse pocket of the city while also being extremely accessible to downtown. It’s our goal to encourage students to appreciate and take advantage of our unique placement.” Among the most notable of SGA’s events are hosting Illinois Vintage Fest, bringing students to Forest Preserves of Cook County for a cleanup, and building and stocking the Little Free Libraries around the neighborhood. Chaudhary said the group is also starting the process of bringing a Love Fridge—a free food space—to Albany Park.

According to SGA Vice President Aaron Gonzalez, Chicago also influences SGA rules and procedures. “Many of our peers are from different areas of the city,” said the thirdyear politics and government major on the pre-law track. “So, we work hard to implement reforms through SGA in order to increase participation in our community and have those student voices heard.” The group passed the Fair Elections Amendment last year, which made it easier for students—especially commuters and first-years—to run for office. In the spring semester, SGA wants to prioritize building community on campus through physical spaces and events. Picnic benches and student festivals are part of the vision to make the campus more welcoming for the Chicago and North Park communities.

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Chicago Connection, Viking Ambition

With a quarter of undergraduates involved in athletics, North Park student-athletes make up a significant part of what it means to be a Viking. Two student-athletes and an assistant coach share their experiences and how their teams connect with Chicago.

Karsten Hahn MA ’15 Assistant coach of the men’s soccer team Karsten Hahn coached the team’s historic NCAA Division III National Championship runner-up season in 2017. The team is incredibly diverse, and Chicago plays a part in how the players connect.

Isabella Santos Softball captain Isabella Santos made history as part of the first Viking softball team to earn a spot in the CCIW tournament. She lives in the Portage Park neighborhood and enjoys immersing her teammates in Chicago.

How does your team engage with Chicago? When we get to campus each year, we bond by taking the ‘L’ to find a beach, coffee shop, or breakfast place together. How does your team help you succeed? Finding motivation is easier when you are on a team with others working as hard as you. It also provides structure and pushes me to succeed academically and athletically.


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Favorite part about being a student-athlete? The best part about playing at this level is that you get to do something you love while setting yourself up for a successful future. There’s a misconception that student-athletes are too busy to do well academically, but most of my teammates are STEM majors who also get it done in the classroom.

Viking Strong

Where are team members from? We have two players from the city of Chicago, 16 from Chicagoland, and many international players. While eight languages are spoken on our team, soccer is our universal language. What do you value about the team? The team’s diversity helps broaden perspectives and exemplifies what a global community looks like. Soccer is the world’s sport, and with us being in Albany Park—Chicago’s most diverse neighborhood—having a team that reflects that is special. How does your team engage with Chicago? On Sundays, teammates explore Chicago together, taking trips downtown and to the neighborhoods. Last year, we worked with Diverse City Football Club, which provides soccer opportunities to neurodivergent children in Chicago.

Shamar Pumphrey Shamar Pumphrey, a senior who grew up in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood, transferred to North Park and the men’s basketball team before the historic 2022–23 season, when they won their first CCIW tournament championship.

How does your team engage with Chicago? We worked with the Chicago Bears last season as ushers; it helped us connect with the city while fundraising for our team. Many of us also spend time with local students with developmental disabilities, encouraging their love of basketball.

How does your team help you succeed? Being on the team has made me hold myself to a higher standard. There’s a spotlight on us because of our recent success and an expectation to do well. Best advice you’ve received from a coach? “Everything to prove, nothing to lose.” —Men’s Basketball Coach Sean Smith

Whether they are Chicago natives or not, North Park’s student-athletes thrive through their shared experiences as they contribute to and learn from the city and each other.

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More than 40 years ago, North Park chose to stay in the city, a decision that helped define its identity and mission.


hile the decades-old choice to keep North Park’s campus in Chicago rather than move to the far suburbs seems like a no-brainer today, the actual decision-making process, said those who remember it, was fraught with tension and drama. The decision came in 1980, in North Park’s gym, at the Evangelical Covenant Church’s (ECC) annual meeting, where then-President Milton Engebretson MDiv ’54 fretted behind the stage’s closed curtain. G. Timothy Johnson AA ’56, MDiv ’63, who led the six-


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person task force charged with recommending whether or not to change the location of the school, remembered how nervous Engebretson was. “He was pacing back and forth.” He needn’t have worried. Following Johnson’s presentation, the ECC delegates voted overwhelmingly to accept the panel’s recommendation to remain in Chicago. “I don’t remember any debate or controversy,” Johnson said, adding that members of the task force were mainly relieved because the decision, for them at least, had never been a foregone conclusion.

Sweet Home Chicago

We really thought about our place in Chicago...we had to ask ourselves if we were doing this for some reason other than [our] misson. —ARTHUR A. R. NELSON


The corner of Foster and Kedzie Avenues then...

And now. The corner features an updated sign and landscaping.

Just a year before, Dean Robert Sandin recommended that North Park stop all capital improvements on its Chicago campus and consider moving to the suburbs. “We happen to be located in the city of Chicago, and this location has some influence on our constituency, our programs and our lifestyle,” he wrote at the time. “Yet our location does not define our reason for being. On the contrary, for the last 20 years (if not longer), we have really done very little to effectively adapt our programs to the needs of the urban environment.” He argued the school’s mission was at odds with the location, and the buildings required by the year 2025 would not fit on North Park’s current 20-acre campus. Arthur A.R. Nelson A ’52, MDiv ’60 interim president of North Park at the time, acknowledged that the school was struggling with lower enrollment and aging facilities. “We were beginning to do better on admissions, but we were in a bad position,” Nelson recalled. “Some constituents were worried about investing in a college where crime was bad,” Nelson added, a fear he believed was overblown. In fact, the areas around North Park were beginning to be shored up by a new wave of Eastern European and Asian immigrant populations who brought economic stability to the area,

Winter 2024


Sweet Home Chicago

especially in the Albany Park neighborhood that bordered the south end of campus. But when A. Harold Anderson (Anderson Chapel’s namesake donor) graciously offered 100 acres in Grayslake for a new campus, North Park officials were intrigued. STEEP COSTS, STUDENT OPPOSITION

The new campus would have to be built from scratch, officials determined, with all-new facilities. The price was pegged at $37.5 million. Conversely, staying in Chicago would require a handful of new facilities and a badly needed renovation of Old Main for $11.5 million. Although the cost difference was stark, the Johnson-led task force persevered. “Many Chicago-area people were enthused about it for obvious reasons,” Johnson said. “The idea of a brand-new campus out in the suburbs. So, we felt the need to take the idea seriously.” As part of the process, the task force, which included North Park stalwarts Zenos Hawkinson A ’41, AS ’43 and Bill Fredrickson A ’34, AA ’36, surveyed students, faculty, staff, and students. The reactions were swift and strong. Hundreds of students signed a petition against relocating, saying: “We can think of no academic discipline that would benefit leaving Chicago.” “Put the college anywhere else, and it would not be North Park,” said the editorial board of the College News. “We really thought about our place in Chicago,” Nelson said. “To leave this city is the biggest mistake we could make if we believed in our mission to expand peoples’ intellectual life and make it as expansive as their religious life. We had to ask ourselves if we were doing this for some reason other than that mission.”


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The corner of Foster and Spaulding Avenues then…

And now. The iconic corner is home to Tre Kronor and the Sweden Shop.

Donn Engebretson A ’69, BA ’73, MDiv ’78, Milton’s son and a current resident of the North Park neighborhood, noted that North Park was one of the few small Christian schools to remain in a major metropolitan city during a period of widespread relocation.

“Back in the 70s and 80s, the Christian colleges that moved to the suburbs thought they were the prescient ones,” Engebretson said. “Today, with the enormous resources of Chicago, there’s no question North Park and its parent denomination were truly the ones with vision and an expansive understanding of mission.”

Sweet Home Chicago

An aerial view of the campus, from the North Park neighborhood then…

Back in the 70s and 80s, the Christian colleges that moved to the suburbs thought they were the prescient ones. Today, with the enormous resources of Chicago, there’s no question North Park and its parent denomination were truly the ones with vision and an expansive understanding of mission. ­— DONN ENGEBRETSON

And now. The new photo shows how the campus has changed with the addition of the Brandel Library, Johnson Center, and Anderson Chapel.

Winter 2024


Sweet Home Chicago

Put the college anywhere else, and it would not be North Park. —COLLEGE NEWS

The old field house on Foster Avenue, just east of campus then…

Michelle Dodson BA ’02, the seminary’s Milton B. Engebretson Chair in Evangelism and Justice, agreed, lauding North Park’s leaders for not succumbing to the “white flight” trend. “I don’t care how big your commitment is to diversity; an institution is marked by its physical space,” Dodson said. “If you’re going to move far from a big city, you know you’ll lose the benefits of a diverse student body.” Staying in the city is a physical commitment to North Park’s intercultural distinctive, she said. “The world is becoming more urban, and even if you’re not going to live in a city, having that perspective of being in a neighborhood where people don’t look like you, getting on a busy city bus, it significantly shapes you.” Nelson agreed. “In the end, the task force realized you can’t just reestablish this school in a cornfield.” ENSURING NORTH PARK’S FUTURE

And now. The addition of the Holmgren Athletic Complex was a major improvement.


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Many, including Johnson and Nelson, believe North Park would not exist today if the campus had moved to the suburbs. “We decided we can stay here without trading our values,” Nelson said. And if we hadn’t stayed? Nelson isn’t alone in his assessment: “We would’ve closed years ago.” The city of Chicago, and the North Park neighborhood, were certainly grateful the school remained. When North Park announced its decision, Nelson received a supportive letter from then-Mayor Jane Byrne, and local newspapers lauded it. “North Park College bucks the trend toward suburbia,” said a headline from the Chicago Tribune.

Sweet Home Chicago

An editorial in the June 19, 1980, edition of the Chicago Sun-Times said: “The decision of North Park College and Seminary to remain in Chicago is good news for the city, and not only because of its academic excellence and crack basketball team.” And then there’s the question of what the North Park neighborhood would look like if the school had left. Johnson surmises the campus acreage would’ve been sold to a housing

developer, while others questioned whether businesses such as Tre Kronor restaurant, the Sweden Shop, and even Starbucks would be anchors of Foster Avenue. “As a business owner in the area and a neighbor of the university, I was personally pleased when the university renewed its commitment to the neighborhood and the benefits of an in-city education,” said Carmen Rodriguez of the North Park Chamber of Commerce

Planning Commission. Donn Engebretson credited an expansive understanding of mission by the ECC, which is inclusive of people from every race and ethnicity, for the decision to maintain a Chicago base. “That vision continues to animate North Park and, at its best, the Covenant Church today,” he said.

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North Park alumni help Chicago thrive. By Scott Baltic BA ’74


or God’s glory and neighbor’s good.” This historic church saying is still relevant to North Park today. While there are many ways to interpret who your neighbor may be, alumni Jamey Lundblad BA ’95, Andrea Kersten BA ’01, and Daniel La Spata BA ’03 have put their passion toward helping their fellow Chicagoans.


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Jamey Lundblad BA ’95 Deputy Commissioner for Marketing and Development, DCASE

Jamey Lundblad works to make the arts accessible to all Chicagoans. “I have a great passion for creative places

and spaces that welcome all people to engage and connect,” said Lundblad. At North Park, Lundblad was involved in choir, the newspaper, and student government (first as a senator, then as student body president), all while double majoring in communication arts and Swedish. His classes were great, he said, but “It was those activities and the study

A Civic Spirit

abroad in Sweden that formed me as a person.” Before landing at DCASE about a decade ago, Lundblad worked as a writer, editor, and event planner for North Park. He also held roles at the Chicago Public Library and global creative agency VSA Partners. Currently, he and his colleagues are planning several noteworthy events, including the fifth Chicago

Architecture Biennial—North America’s largest exhibition of contemporary architecture, art, and design—at the Chicago Cultural Center and citywide, and next year’s celebrations for Millennium Park’s 20th anniversary. Also on his list is the Chicago Monuments Project, funded this past summer by a $6.8 million grant Lundblad’s team secured

from the Mellon Foundation. The project will comprise eight new monuments emphasizing historically underrepresented events and people. One such monument will honor labor organizer Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, and another will celebrate gospel singer and civil rights activist Mahalia Jackson.

“I have a great passion for creative places and spaces that welcome all people to engage and connect.” —JAMEY LUNDBLAD

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Civic Engagement Contents

“It’s not just about us as individuals, but about how we can impact those around us, the world around us.” —ANDREA KERSTEN Andrea Kersten BA ’01 Chief Administrator, COPA

Even from a lawyer, the phrase “the love of the courtroom” can seem surprising. But it depends on what happens in the courtroom—and why. “The courtroom can be used in wonderful ways in our justice system,” said Andrea Kersten. “I firmly believe in our justice system…but I’m not blind to its brokenness, either.” Kersten—whose father, David Kersten, served as seminary dean— was confirmed in February of last year as chief administrator of Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability


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(COPA), an independent agency that investigates allegations of police misconduct. In 2022 alone, COPA concluded 1,065 investigations, including 33 officer-involved shootings. A crucial part of Kersten’s North Park experience was an internship with Court Appointed Special Advocates of Cook County, where she did home visits to check on the well-being of children in the juvenile court system and then reported back to a judge. This, Kersten said, is when she started to feel “the love of the courtroom.”

Her North Park education, she said, “opened my eyes to the fact that...Chicago presented different experiences depending on where in the city you were living, and that your reality may or may not look like mine nestled in Albany Park.” Kersten’s North Park experiences, she said, helped instill in her “the concept that it’s not just about us as individuals, but about how we can impact those around us, the world around us.”

A Civic Spirit

Daniel La Spata BA ’03 Alderman, 1st Ward

It’s been going on five years since Daniel La Spata was elected to represent Chicago’s 1st Ward on the City Council, his first-ever run for political office. He has since been reelected to a second four-year term. La Spata cites the impact of a North Park counseling psychology course with Don Klingberg, “in part because so much of how you govern is based in how you listen. Learning the actual skills around active listening in that class was important.” He also served on the Student Senate and as student president of Urban Outreach, leading him to

profound questions: “What is it that ails this city? Why do we have so many broken and hurting neighborhoods?” After North Park, La Spata became involved in community development with the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, working on housing issues and becoming the group’s vice president before being pulled toward elected office. As an alderman, La Spata has continued to champion housing issues. He backed an ordinance, later passed by the City Council, that slashed demolitions of “perfectly habitable” affordable housing in a rapidly gentrifying part of his and a neighboring ward. La Spata vividly recalled a memory from North Park, when Gospel Choir Director Rollo Dilworth premiered a

composition based on the Gwendolyn Brooks poem “Truth.” Its last line is, “Sweet is it to sleep in the coolness of snug unawareness.” “That can’t be what we’re called to,” La Spata insisted. “Not as Chicagoans, certainly not as Christians.” Instead, he said, “Our lives were made to be aware and curious and uncomfortable, and seek to understand the hurting of the world and be an agent of healing.”

The civic spirit of these three remarkable alumni, developed by a strong foundation at North Park, is apparent in their commitment to building their lives and careers in Chicago, serving the city and its people.

“Our lives were made to be aware and curious and uncomfortable, and seek to understand the hurting of the world and to be an agent of healing.” —DANIEL LA SPATA

Winter 2024



NURTURING FUTURE LEADERS Local internships foster growth of North Park students. By Kaprice Dal Cerro BA ’15


North Parker Magazine


rom teaching second graders and helping young mothers to developing content for local day camps, North Park students discover their potential through transformative internships. These experiences help students grow professionally and personally and connect them to Chicago’s diverse communities. In the process, students find their place within the city. “My number one goal and objective is that our students are around good leaders, whether they be pastors in churches or leaders of nonprofits because they need to learn from people,” said Bret Widman, director of contextual and lifelong learning at North Park Theological Seminary. “Helping people understand the kingdom of God and how God functions in the world is our primary goal, and to be a leader like that.” Dedicated faculty members, like Widman, serve as guides and inspirations as students face new challenges at their internships. Seminary students can choose from 20 different internship partner sites in Chicago, including churches and nonprofits.

Nurturing Future Leaders

Yoshhisa Tori Mack, a third-year Master of Divinity student, interned with New Moms, an organization that supports young mothers in Chicago. The internship challenged Mack, broadened her perspective, and showed her that she can find God in unexpected places. It reaffirmed her belief that real change happens when people listen, connect, and journey together. “All I knew was a traditional church setting, being a church kid and pastor,” Mack said. “Being able to see God move outside of a Sunday morning service is what made me wonder, what else is God doing? It was a stretch and a growth point for me.” Alongside the growing pains and nerves, students discover their unique skills and passions, which increases their self-confidence. Georgi Kyosev, a senior majoring in business, remembers being terrified at first about internships. But after interning with 2020 Companies, a marketing agency, he started to believe in himself. “I learned that when you develop relationships with your team, you build trust, and I felt like a leader,” Kyosev said.

Yoshhisa Tori Mack Master of Divinity student

North Parkers who have had internships prove they aren’t merely about gaining job experience but are about becoming leaders who will go on to make positive changes in Chicago and beyond.

Winter 2024


Nurturing Future Leaders

Arianna Valentin Advertising major

“North Park taught me to bring my confidence, strength, and skills. After this experience, I feel I can be a leader one day.” —EMILY GONZALEZ

Arianna Valentin, an advertising major who worked as a marketing intern at Apachi Day Camp in Chicago, spent her time creating and sharing daily content about the happenings of the camp. “At the beginning of the internship, I was very intimidated,” Valentin said. “Being able to feel good about what I was doing was very fulfilling. If I never had this experience, I would not have connected with others in my field. The internship brought me clarity and experience.” Dan Walsh, interim dean of North Park’s School of Education, helps arrange internships in city schools. He says students often have preconceived notions about what it’s like inside those classrooms and often are pleasantly surprised. “The student gets to experience the gratification of helping kids who need support,” Walsh said. “Having not had the experience until they walk into the classroom, they may have a perception of what their skill set is and what they want to do. That may change, and that’s why we like to give them options.” Shawn Duncan BA ’23 is now a second-grade teacher at Portage Park Elementary School. His time at North


North Parker Magazine

Nurturing Future Leaders

Park taught him that teaching wasn’t just a profession but a service. “You learn to trust your experiences that got you where you are,” Duncan said. “I remember my first day stepping into Portage Park School. It was a big day for me. I walked in, smelled the hallway, and thought, ‘I’m here!’ I was where I was supposed to be.” Emily Gonzalez, a senior majoring in business, interned with NorthShore University HealthSystem, where she worked on social media and digital campaigns. “I was a nervous wreck going into this,” Gonzalez said. “I had never done this before. I took on new challenges, created strategies, and implemented them.” She adds: “North Park taught me to bring my confidence, strength, and skills. After this experience, I feel I can be a leader one day.” North Parkers who have had internships prove they aren’t merely about gaining job experience, but are about becoming leaders who will go on to make positive changes in Chicago and beyond.

Shawn Duncan, BA ’23 Second-grade teacher

“My number one goal and objective is that our students are around good leaders, whether they be pastors in churches or leaders of nonprofits because they need to learn from people.” —BRET WIDMAN

Winter 2024


Alumni Spotlight


The Problem-Solver and Mentor Aaron Olson BA ’96 has always loved solving complex problems and helping others, which he credits to his days as a philosophy and English major at North Park. While the problems he’s engaged with today as executive vice president (EVP) of Aon are less esoteric than those of a philosophy undergrad, they are still meaningful. The fifth generation of North Parkers in his family, Olson, whose

parents are both ordained ECC pastors, celebrates 25 years with the risk management company this year. His path to becoming EVP of Aon began with an interest in leadership at NPU, where he served as president of the Student Government Association. This interest grew into a passion for leadership, which drove him to pursue a Master of Education from Northwestern University. He also served on the faculty at NPU and Northwestern, teaching leadership courses and coauthoring a book titled Leading with Strategic Thinking. “The ideas I studied in philosophy and the values I learned at North Park align with the problem solving and

mentoring that I do today,” he said. The sophisticated problem solving he contributes to at Aon includes figuring out how to help healthcare companies anticipate changes that come with the rapid advance of medicine and technology. Helping others succeed is another vital aspect of his work. He is most proud of creating Aon’s apprenticeship program, profiled nationally in the Wall Street Journal, which helps City Colleges of Chicago students work toward their associate’s degrees while gaining valuable work experience. “We were one of the first companies in Chicago to provide this alternative career path,” he said. Olson is also the executive sponsor of Aon’s partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which aims to create a more diversified talent pipeline through curriculum development and internships. Finding time to give back to his alma mater, Olson has served as a member of North Park’s Board of Trustees since 2017, where he is vice chair of the finance committee and champion of the DEI campus climate study. “Our focus on first-generation students and social mobility was true a century ago with Swedish immigrants and remains true today with our student community,” he said.

The ideas I studied in philosophy and the values I learned at North Park align with the problem solving and mentoring that I do today. 30

North Parker Magazine

Alumni Spotlight

One of the things I value about North Park is that you’re building a network of contacts even before you leave.


The BusinessMinded Athlete Lorena Soria BA ’21 considers herself lucky to work for one of Chicago’s most prominent family-owned businesses, the Chicago Bears. “It’s such an honor to work for an iconic team like the Bears,” said Soria, an events coordinator. “It’s also incredible to be surrounded by a sport

I’ve loved my whole life and be part of an organization that puts family first.” She credits family matriarch Virginia McCaskey and her son George, who knows all his employees by name, with making her feel a part of the extended Bears family. Soria’s enviable, if rigorous, job duties include handling all event operations on game day and coordinating corporate partner and community events at Halas Hall, the Bears’ Lake Forest headquarters.

Soria’s path to her dream job began as a business and economics major at North Park, where she says professors like Brian Vollmert, associate professor of marketing, encouraged her to pursue a career in sports. “I remember a conversation he and I had so vividly,” Soria recalled. “I knew I wanted to work in sports, but when I told a lot of people that, they were like, ‘what’s your plan B?’ but when I said it to him, he never looked at me funny or questioned it.” Her love of football sparked right after high school, when she worked at Soldier Field as a part-time member of their event management team, which led to a position as an event operations team member at the Bears training camp post-graduation. Following an internship with the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team, she returned to the Bears in her current full-time position. Soria also credits her stint as captain of North Park’s women’s soccer team with developing her leadership skills and self-discipline, as well as giving her lifelong friendships. “One of the things I value about North Park is that you’re building a network of contacts even before you leave,” she said.

Winter 2024




North Park Recognizes Outstanding Alumni

Lori Lindstrom Leifer BS ’78 Distinguished Alumni Award

Lori Lindstrom Leifer’s first encounter with North Park was at a Covenant camp. “I saw the counselors’ vibrant faith and decided then to emulate what I saw in them, so I set my sights on North Park,” she said. Luckily, generous scholarships made it possible for her to attend and earn her degree in biology. Lindstrom Leifer went on to earn her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Kansas Medical Center and is now an associate clinical professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine and a radiation oncologist at the University of Kansas Cancer Center. In 2013, however, Lindstrom Leifer became a cancer patient herself.


North Parker Magazine

Following her journey through testing and surgeries into survivorship, she and her husband, John Leifer, authored a “survival guide for patients and their families,” After You Hear It’s Cancer: A Guide to Navigating the Difficult Journey Ahead. Over the years, Lindstrom Leifer has been an active member of the North Park community, from contributing to the creation of the Johnson Center to supporting the research of science students to attending choir trips overseas. She also served on the Board of Trustees from 2008–11 and was a member of the campaign committee.

Nancy Valentin BA ’13 Distinguished Young Alumni Award A native Chicagoan, Nancy Valentin has spent her entire career working to create a more equitable city. Valentin currently serves as director of health equity at Northwest Center, a nonprofit founded in 2003 to address the housing crisis in Belmont Cragin. The organization’s mission has since expanded, encompassing programs that increase financial literacy, promote community activism, and improve the quality of life in Chicago’s northwest neighborhoods. Valentin has led notable initiatives at Northwest Center, including Women Forward Chicago, a financial education program for Latina mothers that has produced more than 194 graduates. In 2022, Northwest Center received the City of Chicago Mayor’s Medal of Honor for its work as a member of the Racial Equity Rapid Response team. Today, Valentin is a co-leader in the City of Chicago’s Healthy Chicago Equity Zones initiative, which seeks to close the city’s racial life expectancy gap via regional agency networks. More than 50 organizations on the northwest side comprise the network Valentin oversees. About this opportunity, she said, “I found people here who believe in me the same way people at North Park did.” Always searching for ways to increase her and Northwest Center’s impact, Valentin became a fellow with the Aspen Tech Policy Hub last summer in its inaugural nonprofit cohort. The subsequent policy training Valentin received will allow her to create an even more significant policy influence in Chicago.


I found people here who believe in me the same way people at North Park did. —NANCY VALENTIN

David (BA ’73) and Janice (BS ’73) Dwight Distinguished Alumni Award

David and Janice Dwight come from, what North Parkers colloquially call, a “North Park University Legacy Family.” David earned his degree in psychology, and Janice earned

her degree in nursing. Their son, Jonathan Dwight BA ’10; daughter, Jennifer Dwight; David’s father and mother; and Janice’s father, brother, and sister all attended North Park. The Dwights’ history with the university doesn’t end there—David served as a member of the Axelson Center Advisory Board and North Park’s Corporate/Foundation Advisory Board. He is a current member of the Board of Trustees, having begun his term in 2019 and now holding the advancement committee chair. David retired as president of Covenant Ministries of Benevolence in 2017 after 37 years of service. Janice is a registered nurse and worked at Holy Family Medical Center. Together, they have been giving to North Park for 45 years, 28 consecutively. When presenting the Dwights their award, President Surridge said, “These faithful alumni say the greatest gift North Park could have given them was each other.”

Winter 2024




Homecoming 2023

1 | Alumni, students, and friends gather for Homecoming Fest in front of Old Main.

2 | A Viking family poses before getting their faces painted.

3 | North Parkers participate in the River Run 5K.


4 | Students pass out spirit sticks before the Homecoming football game.

5 | Cheering on the Vikings during their Homecoming game victory.

6 | Generations of Vikings have fun at the photo booth.


7 | Student sports foam finger spirit wear. 8 | Football players stand during the National Anthem.



North Parker Magazine


Homecoming 2023





Winter 2024




Alumna Reflects on Her Lifelong Giving to North Park Mary Benson Palmer BA ’68 always felt connected to the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), even when moving around as a child. “We didn’t always live in a town with a Covenant church, but when it came time for college, I knew I wanted to attend a smaller liberal arts school, and that was North Park,” she said. During the era Palmer attended North Park, women generally took education classes alongside their majors with the expectation they might teach one day. So when Palmer later earned a mathematics degree, the acts of teaching and helping people do their taxes became intertwined for her. After working in accounting for a while, Palmer joined the Covenant Trust Board of Directors, where she served until she was asked to direct the capital campaign for the Brandel Library. “That started my lifelong giving to North Park.” She went on to establish the Benson Family Scholarship to North Park Theological Seminary, honoring her father and his siblings. “They were always very supportive of the seminary and the Covenant Church, and this was my way of giving back and ensuring their legacy by helping others.” Palmer currently gives via her IRA deductions, which she encourages for anyone who has reached that “magic age” when withdrawals are required. “I have my funds at Covenant Trust, and they just let me know how much


North Parker Magazine

I need to take out and donate every year,” Palmer said. “It couldn’t be easier.” When reflecting on her time at North Park, Palmer spoke fondly of the friendships she made and continues to have with her classmates. “There are five of us who started at North Park together in the fall of 1964, and we’ve taken a trip together every year since 1999. We met at 18 in Chicago and became friends; it’s a different type of friendship that you form when living together at that age.”

Vibrant memories from her time at North Park and the relationships she formed are another reason Palmer chooses to give toward scholarships like the Promise Scholarship fund, which encourages Covenant and STEM students to attend North Park. “I’ve always been very interested in getting more Covenant students to attend North Park, and this is one way I can support that goal,” she said.

If you are 70 ½ or older and have an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), you can contribute up to $100,000 each year to your favorite nonprofit organization (North Park, of course!) as a qualified charitable distribution. This satisfies the required minimum distribution and decreases your taxable income. Distributions must be completed by December 31. Contact the Office of Advancement for more information: or (773) 244-5790.


Alumni Notes 1960s Margaret (Uhe) Goodmonson A ’68 and her husband Guy have been married 54 years and praise the Lord for three daughters, 11 grandchildren, and great-granddaughter. Margaret served as a certified municipal clerk for 25 years before retiring, and Guy is a simulation engineer. Margaret loved her years at North Park Academy and the teaching staff that mentored her.

1980s NPU Alumni Pictured: Seated: Lois (Thornbloom) Sundberg A ’61, C ’65; Kathy (Shaheen) Kivi A ’61, BA ’65; Dr. Ann Sallas A ’61; Carol (Sanders) Ficks A ’61, BA ’65; Jim Lindskoog A ’61, BA ’65; Nancy (Lucas) Evans A ’61; Steve Matson A ’61; Ruth (Olson) Blohm A ’61, BA ’65; Sandy (Mardirosian) Hitik A ’61. Standing: Christine (Sundberg) Warren A ’61; Marge (Spann) Mauer A ’61; Ingrid (Olson) Stalle A ’61; Pat (Rich) Young A ’61, C ’62; Armand Allina A ’61, C ’66; Bev (Miller) Walquist A ’61; Sandy (Kanzler) Keller A ’61, BA ’66; Carol (Carlson) Young A ’61; Pam (Barry) McCabe A ’61; Rich Blohm A ’61, BA ’65; John Cedarleaf A ’61, BA ’65, MDiv ’71; Rod Berglund A ’61; Rev. Dr. Jeff Lindgren A ’61; Ron Zaar A ’61; Thomas Noreen A ’61; Raymond Ultsch A ’61; Norma (Backstrom) Green A ’61, BA ’65.

North Park Academy class of 1961 held a 60th reunion lunch combined with an 80th birthday party for class members on June 10. Twenty-seven classmates and eight spouses attended the event, with three ministers in the class offering prayers for deceased classmates.

STAY IN TOUCH We want to know about the important milestones in your life, from marriages to career changes to expanding families. Please contact with your news. (And when you let us know about your new little one, we’ll send you a bib!)

Anita Olson Gustafson BA ’82 was named president of Presbyterian College.

Winter 2024


Alumni Notes Contents


Christine (Lindholt) Wittusen BA ’98, Amy Oseland BA ’95, Gry Brenne Johannessen BA ’97, Sunniva Lange BA ’99, Sunila Tuft BS ’00, and Hedda Kolle Bøhmer BS ’99 reunited in Sweden and Norway during Oseland’s recent trip.


Alyssa Anderson BS ’12 graduated from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions with a PhD in Health Sciences. She serves as an assistant professor and the clinical education coordinator of athletic training at North Park University. Her parents, Kevin Anderson BA ’82 and Sue (Borg) Anderson BA ’81, are also pictured.

Marisa (Moyet) Lugo BA ’17 was selected as a 2022–23 fellow in the Hispanic Association of Colleges’ Leadership Academy/La Academia de Liderazgo. The program is designed to increase Hispanic/Latinx representation in executive and senior-level positions in higher education and prepare fellows for leadership roles in Hispanic-serving institutions.

Katelyn Olszak BS ’15 married John Wollney on July 16, 2022. Jennifer Pope BA ’98, MA ’00 and Megan (Helbling) Ahlberg BA ’11 reunited at the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law where Pope serves as the dean of students and Ahlberg recently graduated with her JD degree.

2000s Lani Lappinga BA ’07 was named chief of staff to Texas State Senator Nathan Johnson in November 2022.


North Parker Magazine

Kathryn Chleboun BS ’18 and Alexandra Awrahem BS ’19 graduated this spring with doctorates in pharmacy from Midwestern University.

Ivana (Brkljačić) Chmielewski BS ’18, MS ’23 was selected to participate in the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Chicago chapter, which allows her to design and implement a program that serves immigrants and refugees in the neighborhoods surrounding North Park University.

Amy Oxendale-Imig MNA ’11, MA ’12 and Steve Imig MA ’17 now reside in western North Carolina with their son Nathan and recently welcomed a new addition to their family, daughter Kira.

Alumni Notes

In Memoriam were significant and his pioneering work in Jewish-Christian dialogue was profound.

Daniel Philip Bloomdahl AA ’55

Daniel Philip Bloomdahl AA ’55 passed away on June 27. He attended North Park Junior College, where he met his wife Sue Nelson AA ’55, who precedes him in death. Bloomdahl’s career as a certified public accountant extended into retirement, as he shared his skills with Covenant and civic entities.

Dr. Fredrick Carlson Holmgren AA ’47, MDiv ’52

Dr. Fredrick Carlson Holmgren AA ’47, MDiv ’52, retired Covenant pastor and North Park Theological Seminary (NPTS) professor emeritus, died on May 24. A generation of NPTS students and pastors within the Evangelical Covenant Church were inspired by his passion for the Hebrew Scriptures. Holmgren’s contributions to the field of Old Testament studies

Charles (Chuck) C. Hoppe, Jr. BA ’75

Charles (Chuck) C. Hoppe, Jr. BA ’75 passed away on March 2. He was dedicated, hardworking, and a devoted husband to his wife, Anita. He was also a proud father to his four children and grandfather to 11 grandchildren.

Mary L. (Armstrong) Olson BA ’76

Mary L. (Armstrong) Olson BA ’76 passed away on May 21. She was a retired art teacher who enjoyed involving her school and community in art projects, often helping those in need. She is survived by her husband Harvey, son Jamie, and daughter Courtney.

John Keith Tungseth BA ’67

John Keith Tungseth BA ’67 passed away on April 8. He is survived by his wife, Joan (Kenyon) Tungseth BA ’70, whom he met at North Park College, married at Isaacson Chapel in 1967, and spent 56 years with. Tungseth graduated with bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and psychology. For the past 35 years, John and Joan worked for Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ), where they were involved in several ministries including Global Hope Network and Global Media Outreach.

Jane (Mabes) Wiberg AA ’47

Jane (Mabes) Wiberg AA ’47 passed away on June 19. She was a student at North Park Junior College and later graduated from William Jewel College. She will be remembered for her outgoing spirit and her constant support of her late husband Glen’s ministry. Wiberg treasured her family and friends and loved them all until the end of her life.

Winter 2024


From the Archives

From the Archives

This aerial image of North Park University was taken around 1950 and includes the former Budlong Farm, where pickle crops were grown Today, this site includes a McDonald’s restaurant, a CTA service station, and a building owned by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. The City of Chicago recently purchased this building and converted it into a shelter to house more than 500


North Parker Magazine

asylum seekers. The image shows how NPU has evolved and grown alongside its host city. In the process, Chicago has become part of North Park’s very identity, a fact that was reaffirmed when university officials opted to remain in the city instead of moving to the suburbs. This photo also reminds us that there is more to Chicago than the grand skyscrapers of downtown, and

that smaller neighborhoods like North Park also comprise the character of the city. By viewing North Park from this unique vantage point as a growing institution in an ever-evolving city, we can better understand our history and place in the world.

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