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Academic Alchemy

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On the cover: Rev. Dr. Rajkumar Boaz Johnson, Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, and student Deima Thompson C’13 at the nearby Kimball Brown Line CTA station. Read more on page 10.

Walking Alongside Our Students Recently I visited with the worshipping community at Second Baptist Church in Evanston. North Park and Second Baptist live side-by-side. The church’s senior pastor, Rev. Mark Dennis, is a recent trustee at the University; the director of music is on the faculty in our School of Music; the director of the children’s choir is a North Park graduate; one of the staff members in North Park’s Collaboratory for Urban and Intercultural Learning leads a wonderful collaboration between the young people of this African American church and those of Beth Emet congregation to be markers of reconciliation in the city of Evanston; and many others in the congregation have ties to the University. On that Sunday I visited to hear Dr. Allan Boesak preach, as he was to be a guest in our home for dinner that evening and then present on North Park’s campus for the next two days. Much more than this, however, I met a wonderful group of teenagers who were recognized for completing the church’s Rite of Passage Experience. Some churches call this confirmation, others carry differing nomenclature. At Second Baptist, the Rite of Passage program “is designed to provide an Afri-centric, Christian foundation for youth…[giving them] the tools to become successful in life and to be the best that they can be while following in God’s footsteps.” We often refer to this kind of care between generations as “mentoring.” At North Park I like to describe it as “walking alongside our students.” The feature article of this issue of the North Parker picks up on this theme. Here we describe, largely through photographs with just a bit of text, what it means to walk alongside our students. What is presented is only an illustration, a small number of examples taken from a large number of cases. Ask any student today to describe what is special about their North Park experience and they will quickly tell you about an out-of-the-ordinary relationship. The same is true, I’ve discovered, with our graduates—both recent and more distant. North Park is a place of relationships, a place of mentoring, a place of walking alongside. I’m confident that in reading this issue of the North Parker you will identify closely with one or more of these stories, and in doing so you will recall those who walked alongside you during your days at North Park.

David L. Parkyn President, North Park University

North Parker Staff Editorial Board David L. Parkyn President Nate Mouttet Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing Mary K. Surridge Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Marcia Mawe Director of Marketing Melissa Vélez-Luce C’04 G’12 Director of Alumni Relations

Editorial Staff Mary Nowesnick Editor John Potter C’05 News and Copy Editor Megan Gilmore C’05 S’13 G’13 Web Editor Tatjana Jovancevic Lead Designer Melissa Hamming Designer Anthony Barlich Chris Padgett Bradley Siefert Photographers

2 Campus News

by John Potter C’05


Academic Alchemy

by Mary Nowesnick

11 12 14 15 16 17

A Poet. A Scholar. A Sense of Belonging Your Full Voice Awakening the Soul Heart for the Underserved Achieved & Acknowledged

20 See Our Campus: Reimagined. Redefined. 2 4

Homecoming 2013

27 President’s Club Appreciation Series 28 2013 Alumni Award Honorees

Alumni Profiles

30 Alumni Notes

by Melissa Vélez-Luce C’04 G’12

36 North Park Fund

The North Parker is published twice a year for alumni and friends of North Park University, 3225 West Foster Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625-4895. For mailing list adjustments, address changes, questions, or suggestions, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at (773) 244-5273.

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

Campus News

Dr. Ahlem at the inauguration ceremony of President Parkyn, 2006

Dr. Ahlem, third from left, at the dedication of the Lina Sandell statue on North Park’s campus, 1976

University Mourns Loss of Former President Lloyd Ahlem Dr. Lloyd Ahlem C’48, president of North Park College and Theological Seminary from 1970 to 1979, died September 29 in Turlock, Calif., after a period of hospitalization. Ahlem, 83, served as the sixth president of North Park.

North Parker | Winter 2014

As president during a financially challenging decade for many colleges, Ahlem’s leadership was critical to establishing a firm base for North Park’s four-year undergraduate curriculum, granting approval for female students to be admitted to the master of divinity program, and setting the context for the decision in the 1979–1980 academic year to keep the school in its historic urban location. An athlete himself, Ahlem cheered the men’s basketball team to two NCAA Division III national championships during his time as president.


During Ahlem’s presidency, areas of career preparation for the undergraduate programs were broadened. Several new concentrations, including computer science, accounting, and public administration, were added, and a Sweden exchange program was launched. The Seminary added programs and students as the Evangelical Covenant Church voted to ordain women. Students, colleagues, and friends of Ahlem were often struck by his open-door office policy, listening ear, and personal warmth. “Even before I officially became president at North Park, Lloyd reached out to warmly welcome me to this community,” said President Parkyn. “It had been two and a half decades since he had led North Park, yet he still loved this school deeply.”

A native of Minnesota and California, Ahlem graduated from North Park Junior College in 1948. Prior to his presidency, Ahlem worked for eight years as an administrator and professor of psychology at California State University, Stanislaus (then Stanislaus State College), Turlock, Calif. A member of Turlock Covenant Church (originally Beulah Covenant Church), Ahlem also served on North Park College and Theological Seminary’s board of directors from 1966 to 1970, including terms as chair of the College committee of the board and vice chair of the board of directors. In 1976, Ahlem was knighted by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden for his interest in “the preparation and enhancement of Swedish culture in America.” He wrote five books on psychology, as well as a regular column for The Covenant Companion throughout the 1970s and 1980s. After serving as president, Ahlem became director of Covenant Village, Turlock, Calif., under the Evangelical Covenant Church Board of Benevolence. Ahlem is survived by his wife, Anne, and their five children, Dan (Karen) C’79, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Ted (Gretchen) C’80, Broomfield, Colo.; Carol Eide (Timothy) C’83, Ventura, Calif.; Aileen (Bob) Callahan C’85, Mt. Prospect, Ill.; Mary Jo Lee (Jay), Turlock, Calif.; fifteen grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Campus News

Dr. Carlson at the Seminary’s commencement celebration, 2012

North Park Community Remembers Richard W. Carlson Richard W. Carlson C’62, professor emeritus of ministry at North Park Theological Seminary, died July 26 after a long battle with esophageal cancer. Carlson, 73, came to the Seminary in 1975, where he taught spiritual formation and ministry courses until his retirement in 2012. He served as the director of field education for more than 25 years and was integral in launching the Seminary’s C. John Weborg Center for Spiritual Direction, of which he served as director in recent years. Throughout his years as a faculty member at the Seminary, Carlson was “a pastor among pastors, a scholar among scholars—widely read with tremendous expertise in the field of ministry—but probably best known for his care and mentoring of students,” said Rev. David Kersten, dean of the Seminary. “He gave the most significant portion of his vocational life to the Seminary and the formation of a whole generation of Covenant ministers.”

dorm receptionist, first director of the campus center, Seminary orientation student, and for the last 34 years as Seminary professor. “North Park and its peoples, students, staff, administrators, fellow alumni, and faculty colleagues have all been grace-bearers in my journey as a Christian pilgrim and constant source of delight and gladness as fellow human beings,” Carlson wrote. Beloved by students, Carlson was their professor, mentor, friend, and even coach of the school’s Covenant League softball team. “Richard was a students’ teacher,” said Jay Phelan, former president and dean of the Seminary. “Richard focused on the students and not just his topic. And students flocked to his office for counsel, encouragement, and support. Generations of students benefited from his compassion, his gentleness, and his firmness.”

In a letter to President Parkyn just before his retirement, Carlson wrote, “It will be hard to leave North Park. Here has been much of my vocational life. In fact over 70 percent of my adult life has been spent on this campus as a college student, physical plant worker,

He was ordained as a minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church in 1967 and served Immanuel Covenant Church in Bronx, N.Y.; Trinity Covenant Church in Livingston, N.J.; and Douglas Park Covenant Church in Chicago.

North Parker | Winter 2014

“I would not be in ministry today if he hadn’t guided and mentored my early and difficult years in ministry,” Kersten added.

Carlson earned his bachelor’s degree in history from North Park College in 1962; a master of divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York in 1965; and his doctor of ministry degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago in 1975.


Campus News

New Academic Programs Expand Learning Options The University introduced and announced several new programs this academic year.

faculty on an independent study project, then begin a two- to threeyear doctoral project that focuses on individual ministry interests.

School of Music launches certificate and four degree concentrations

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Dr. Soong-Chan Rah, Milton B. Engebretson Associate Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism, brings extensive experience Students in the School of Music are the first in the nation to have an and scholarship in urban and multicultural ministry as director of undergraduate academic certificate option to prepare them to teach the new program. A nationally recognized author, speaker, church classical music using El Sistema-inspired methods, the new certifi- planter, and professor, Dr. Rah was the founding senior pastor of cate in music for social change. Growing out of a social movement Cambridge Community Fellowship Church, a multi-ethnic church in Venezuela, El Sistema is a philosophy of providing free music committed to ministry in the urban context. education to school-aged children as one way of bringing communiMaster of arts in counseling psychology announced ties together and inspiring young students to achieve great things. The School of Adult Learning announced a new master of arts in The certificate in music for social change will introduce University counseling psychology program, targeted to launch in fall 2014. music majors to this philosophy through teaching stringed The two-year program sequence consists of 16 three-credit courses instruments to elementary-aged students. Through theory and in an accelerated seven-week format, culminating in a 600-hour methods courses, as well as three semesters of internship, graduates internship. For students seeking a pastoral focus in their counseling of the program will gain the tools and experience to use El Sistema- work, the Seminary is partnering with the School of Adult Learning inspired techniques throughout their career, developing young to offer course options that can be substituted for two of the required musicians who might not otherwise have the opportunity to learn degree courses. Students who choose to take the Seminary courses classical music. will still meet state professional counselor licensure requirements.


The School of Music is also now offering an enhanced bachelor of “The degree will build upon the broader North Park identity of emarts (BA), providing concentration options for students to focus bracing cultural diversity and the active integration of an inclusivelytheir degrees. Now, along with a broad general studies option, stu- defined Christian perspective,” said Dr. Paul Priester, professor of dents can select concentrations in arts administration, composition, psychology. Priester said the program builds upon the assets that or instrumental jazz studies. the School of Adult Learning’s undergraduate degree in counseling psychology currently offers. “Our counseling psychology major also “Right now, students can come here and get a top-notch performance has an internship component, so we have already developed exceldegree, audition for graduate schools, and pursue their dream of lent networking with clinical sites in the Chicago area.” being a classical musician or opera singer,” said Dr. Craig Johnson, dean of the School of Music. “But they can also pursue this enriched Dual-degree engineering program announced BA with a much broader approach and free themselves up to experi- The University, in partnership with the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Engineering, will launch a dual-degree ment with many more options.” program in engineering in Fall 2014. Students who complete the Seminary launches doctor of ministry program will receive a bachelor of science in physics from North in urban ministry leadership Park University and a bachelor of science in civil engineering or The Seminary, in partnership with Fuller Theological Seminary, mechanical engineering from UIC, where North Park alumnus will launch its doctor of ministry in urban ministry leadership in Peter Nelson C’84 serves as dean of the College of Engineering. the spring semester. The new cohort doctoral degree is designed The five-year program will enable students to complete alternating for ministerial leaders to develop the theological foundation and coursework at both universities. practical skills for effective urban ministry and leadership. “With the dual degree, we now have a program where engineering The cohort program blends online learning throughout the year with and liberal arts portions of the program can be intermixed during face-to-face intensive courses in which students will meet annually the student’s five years in college,” said Dr. Johnny Lin, professor of in three different cities—Chicago, Los Angeles, and Atlanta—for physics. “This will help the student experience an enhanced interdisone week. After completing three cohort years, students work with ciplinarity in their studies.”

Campus News

News Highlights Recently Published Faculty and Staff Books

Members of the University faculty and staff have recently authored publications on a wide range of topics, including a book of poetry by Cherita Banton, books on music by Dr. Karen Bauer and Dr. Thomas Jefferson, and books on finance and fundraising by Dr. Deena Marie Carr and Penelepe Hunt, respectively. Dr. Linda Craft co-edited a collection of author Manilo Argueta’s writing, and Dr. Lida Nedilsky co-edited a volume of essays on Chinese governance. Other publications included a children’s book by Dr. Barbara Levandowski and texts on calculus and analysis by Dr. Alice Gorguis. Dr. Paul De Neui, Dr. Rajkumar Boaz Johnson, Dr. Klyne Snodgrass, and Dr. Joel Willits wrote or edited books on theology and biblical studies, and Dr. Anne Marie Andreasson-Hogg wrote a translation of theologian Jacque Ellul. For a complete list of publications, see

Axelson Center Symposium Draws More than 500 Nonprofit Leaders

Nonprofit leaders and volunteers from throughout the Midwest met in Chicago June 4 at the 14th Annual Axelson Center Symposium for Nonprofit Professionals and Volunteers to learn how to engage and motivate key stakeholders in their organizations. At the sold-out event, nearly 570 attendees learned from keynote speakers and a variety of workshop leaders who addressed the conference theme, “The Engagement Effect.” The symposium is organized and presented annually by the University’s Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management. Each year, the Axelson Center presents awards recognizing the achievements of Chicago-area nonprofits. This year, AlfordAxelson Awards for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence were given to organizations Between Friends and Concordia Place, and the Axelson Center Excellent Emerging Nonprofit Organization Award went to Porchlight Counseling Services. The 15th Annual Symposium will be held June 2–3, 2014, in Chicago.

Professor Nnenna Okore Featured in Sculpture Magazine

North Parker | Winter 2014

Nnenna Okore, associate professor of art, was featured in the July/August 2013 issue of Sculpture magazine, a publication of the International Sculpture Center. In the piece, “Political by Nature,” Okore discusses her process and approach to creating, her use of a wide range of materials, and her subtle approach to issues of poverty, social class, status, and wealth through her work. Among Okore’s artistic goals is the desire to “engage the viewer visually and provoke questions,” she said. Okore began teaching at the University in 2005, and returned this year after a sabbatical leave spent working and teaching on a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Lagos in Nigeria.


Campus News

2013 Hall of Fame Inductees Six North Park University athletes were inducted into the Viking Hall of Fame at an October 4 ceremony during the University’s annual Homecoming festivities. This year’s inductees were Lucia Abel C’05, track and field and cross country; Lennart “Len” Benson C’49, golf and basketball coach; Keith Born C’96, baseball and basketball; Daniel Breems C’00, track and field and soccer; the late Michael Lundberg C’01, football; and Christine (McCarrell) Horner C’91, volleyball.

Lucia Abel C’05

Abel works as a sourcing leader in Bucharest, Romania. She came to the University as a student athlete from Namibia, where she had fled as a refugee from civil war in her native Zambia. Abel was a three-time NCAA All-American in track and field, a four-year letter winner in track and field and a three-year letter winner in cross country. She won five CCIW Championships: 2003 long jump, indoor and outdoor; 2004 long jump and triple jump; and 2005 triple jump. A four-time national qualifier, Abel is the North Park University record-holder in four events, and in the school top ten in six events.

Christine (McCarrell) Horner C’91

Len Benson C’49

Keith Born C’96

New North Park Fund Rededicates Focus on Student Scholarships

Born lives in Round Lake, Ill., with his wife and two children, and works as a tax accountant. He was a four-year letter winner in baseball and a letter winner in basketball. He won CCIW Championships in baseball in 1994, 1995, 1996, and CCIW Championships in basketball in 1995 and 1996. Born holds three school top ten records in baseball, and six top ten records in basketball.

Daniel Breems C’00

North Parker | Winter 2014

battling leukemia. Lundberg worked as a youth minister after graduation, and was living in Minnesota at the time of his death. He was a four-year letter winner in football, and team captain in 2000. He was a CCIW All-Conference winner in 2000, and a CCIW Academic All-Conference and Jack Schwartz CCIW Award winner in 1999. Lundberg was the starting fullback in 1998, 1999, and 2000 (1,661 total yards) and led the team in touchdowns each year.

A teacher and volunteer coach, Horner lives in Wheaton, Ill., with her husband, fellow Hall of Fame inductee Marc C’92, and their four children. Horner was a four-year letter winner in volleyball and team captain. She was a CCIW All-Conference Honorable Mention in 1990, a CCIW Champion in 1987, an All-Tournament team member in 1987 and 1990, and North Park Female Athlete of the Year in 1991. She had 22 kills in a single match in 1990, and led the team in blocking serve percentage in 1987, kills in 1988, kills and blocks in 1989, and kills and digs in 1990.

A North Park Junior College letterman in golf and basketball, Benson became an elementary school teacher in Chicago after graduation. He returned to North Park as the varsity golf and freshman-sophomore basketball coach for North Park Academy from 1953–1967. Benson earned six Private School League Championships in golf. He helped organize and lead summer canoe trips for Academy students to the Boundary Waters for many years.


Celebrating Hall of Fame honors: Keith Born C’96, Christine (McCarrell) Horner C’91, Dan Breems C’00, and representing the late Michael Lundberg C’01, Mara Lundberg and Janet Christenson. (Not pictured: Lucia Abel C’04 and Lennart Benson C’49)

Breems lives in Chicago with his wife, Heather (Stewart) C’03, and four children, and works as production manager and replication shop supervisor at the Field Museum. Breems was a four-year letter winner in track and field and a four-year letter winner in soccer. He won CCIW Championships in 1998, 1999, and 2000, and was North Park Athlete of the Year in 2000. A three-time national qualifier, Breems is the school record-holder in five events, and in the school top ten in five events.

Michael Lundberg C’01

Lundberg was known to many at the University as a campus leader, teammate, mentor, role model, and friend. He died in 2008, after

“Removing barriers to a quality, affordable education at North Park is so essential that we’ve replaced our Annual Fund and introduced the new North Park Fund, which is wholly dedicated to meeting the highest needs of our University and Seminary students,” said Mary K. Surridge, vice president for development and alumni relations. The North Park Fund, which launched in August, is committed to achieving these singular goals to assist students: strengthening undergraduate scholarships and advancing Seminary scholarships. “The mission is clear,” said Surridge. “Gifts to the North Park Fund every year will be used to help our students, every day.” Gifts to the North Park Fund enable the University to award scholarships and financial aid to 95 percent of undergraduate students each year. Generous support also helps to provide critical support to 78 percent of Seminary students.

Campus News

More News Highlights Making education accessible to all North Park undergraduates ensures they will successfully complete their college degrees. These students are helped by financial support from academic scholarships in all areas and talent-based scholarships in art, journalism, media studies, music, and more. A new logo signaled the debut of the North Park Fund, including a renewed message: “Annual giving for student success.” An announcement brochure and new web pages enable alumni, donors, and friends to learn more about the North Park Fund and read profiles of students who benefit from generous gifts. To support the North Park Fund, learn more on page 36 in this issue of the North Parker, or visit the North Park Fund website:

University Continues to Be Counted Among Best Midwest Schools

The University again appeared in the top tier of Midwest regional universities in U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 edition of the annual “Best Colleges” rankings, released on September 10. The University is tied for 53rd among 147 ranked institutions. “We are pleased to be among the top tier of Midwest universities,” said Nate Mouttet, vice president for enrollment and marketing. “We are in a part of the country with other great schools, and this ranking showcases the excellent programs and unique community that are hallmarks of a North Park University education.” Criteria used in U.S. News rankings include peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, and alumni giving.

North Park Begins 2013–2014 Academic Year

The University opened its 122nd year August 26, welcoming more than 3,100 undergraduate and graduate students this year. More than 580 students are entering college for the first time or are undergraduate transfer students. Faculty and staff met August 20 for the University’s annual Gathering Day, where President Parkyn presented his annual State of the University address. This year, President Parkyn addressed the ways in which the University has evolved and adapted throughout its history while retaining the core values that make it unique. New undergraduate students and their parents were welcomed to the University August 21 at an opening convocation.

Nyvall at 150: Founding President’s Enduring Impact Celebrated

North Parker | Winter 2014

In honor of the 150th anniversary of the birth of early Evangelical Covenant Church leader and founding University president David Nyvall (1863–1946), leading Nyvall scholar Dr. Scott Erickson C’89 S’93 presented a lecture on the leadership role Nyvall played at North Park, and how his influence continues to shape its mission and culture. Sponsored by the F.M. Johnson Archives and Special Collections and the Zenos E. Hawkinson Covenant Heritage Fund, Erickson’s lecture, “Nyvall at 150: The Founding President’s Enduring Impact at North Park,” coincided with the opening of “David Nyvall: 150 Years Young,” a special exhibit on display during the 2013–2014 academic year in the lower level gallery of Brandel Library.


Campus News

More News Highlights New Faculty and Staff Welcomed

John Born

Wanda Burns

Dr. Martha Cammarata

Dr. Janet Cullen

Dr. Tanya Prewitt

Dr. Jodi Koslow Martin

North Park welcomed new full-time faculty and staff to the University as the 2013–2014 academic year began. They were introduced to the University community August 20 at Gathering Day. New faculty include John Born, assistant professor of sports management; Wanda Burns, assistant professor of nursing and coordinator of the degree-completion program for RNs; Dr. Martha Cammarata, visiting assistant professor of nursing and biology; Dr. Janet Cullen, visiting assistant professor of nursing and biology; and Dr. Tanya Prewitt, visiting assistant professor of exercise and sport. Dr. Jodi Koslow Martin, named vice president for student engagement last May, was formally installed September 16 at University Convocation. President Parkyn noted that the annual Convocation honors the call for University faculty and staff to “spread knowledge, discover knowledge, and teach it to others.”

Athletics Adds New Programs and Staff

The 2013–2014 academic year has seen the enhancement and reestablishment of several athletic programs, including a new women’s tennis program, coached by Dr. Karl CliftonSoderstrom C’93 S’95, who also serves as associate professor of philosophy and director of general education. In addition, three new coaches have been welcomed to campus. Michael Conway began his first season this fall after having been named as head football coach last December. Chris Wright was introduced as the new head women’s soccer coach in July, after having served for two years as a graduate assistant and for four months as interim head coach. Michael Drake was announced as head men’s and women’s golf coach in August. More information is available at

Volleyball Player Earns National Ranking

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Michael Conway


Chris Wright

Senior Shelby Switzer ranked as high as second among NCAA Division III volleyball players in kills and points this season. In statistical rankings released by the NCAA in October, Switzer, a native of Phoenix, Ariz., ranked as fifth in the country in total kills (482). She was eighth in kills per set (4.50), and seventh in points per set (5.07), and had remained in the national top ten in both categories throughout the season. “She’s having a sensational senior year,” Vikings head coach Tim Walenga said. “Shelby is the perfect example of what it takes to be a student athlete,” Walenga added. “Not only is she an exceptional athlete, but she’s an extraordinary student.” Switzer is now the all-time kills leader in North Park volleyball history, surpassing the record set by Mallory Bieritz C’11 in 2010.

Softball Team Finishes as Top-Ranked Defensive Squad in All of NCAA

Michael Drake

Shelby Switzer

The Vikings softball team finished the 2013 season as the top defensive squad in all of the NCAA (Divisions I, II, or III). The team earned a North Park University-record 24 victories, with a .986 fielding percentage, including a University-record 70-inning errorless streak. They committed only 14 errors all season.

Campus News

Eight different players finished with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage, including All-CCIW Second Team and NFCA AllRegion selection Lindsay Synek C’15 and All-CCIW selection Paige Massa C’15. “This just shows that if you put the time and effort into improving and getting better in every game, good things will come to you,” said softball head coach Dan Gooris C’73. “I couldn’t be more proud of our players, our assistant coaches, and the program as a whole.”

Campus Theme Series Asks, “What is Peace?”

The University is hosting prominent speakers throughout 2013– 2014 to address this year’s Campus Theme, “What is Peace?” Each academic year, the University offers a series of public discussions reflecting on a common theme. Author Aleksandar Hemon, a Bosnian author who has lived in Chicago since 1992, kicked off the Campus Theme Lecture Series on September 24. After visiting the United States as a journalist, he was unable to return to his country as Sarajevo was under siege in the Bosnian War. All first-year students read and discussed Hemon’s set of autobiographical stories, The Book of My Lives. In addition to giving a public lecture, Hemon met with small groups of University students. Other series speakers include authors Allan Boesak and Curtiss P. DeYoung, and Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core.

Student Awarded Critical Language Grant by U.S. State Department

Sophomore Isaac Bauer, a global studies and politics and government double-major, minoring in Arabic, spent last summer in Morocco, studying the language and learning about Moroccan culture. Bauer, of Normal, Ill., was awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS), and left in June for 10 weeks in Morocco. Bauer is one of about 600 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students awarded CLS scholarships in 2013 by the State Department. Recipients are assigned to one of 13 countries to become more proficient in a specific language. Bauer hopes to continue language study by volunteering with neighborhood organizations near campus, and to study abroad in North Africa or the Middle East through the University.

University Hosts CPS Summer Writing Camp

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Last summer, the University partnered with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to help incoming high school seniors with their college application process. CPS students also had the opportunity to meet and learn from University students, faculty, and staff, getting a firsthand look at the college experience. University senior Gwen Munoz-Arroyo headed up the program, having designed it alongside Carol Martin, Writing Center director, and Annette Moy, director of outreach programs and international admission. “One of our biggest goals is that students will end the program with something complete—a solid essay or personal statement that they can use as a framework or example for other applications and essays,” Munoz-Arroyo said. “We want to help students in the community and local high schools with their goal of getting into college.”



North Parker Winter | Winter2014 2014

It is a magical process— the connection, the interaction, the click that brings together professor and student in surprising and impressive ways to further enrich lectures and learning.


By Mary Nowesnick

When our teachers and students fuse their knowledge, interests, and ambitions, amazing results emerge: a stronger voice, a poem to God, a flourishing bakery—and more. The following six special matches showcase only a sampling of the transformative teaching and learning that happens here every day. Even more important, these pairings reflect the University’s unique hallmarks: leadership in science and health, dedication to community service and nonprofit leadership, a reliance on Chicago as our classroom, and a pledge to a faith journey in search for God. Read more about these remarkable students and teachers here and online at

A Poet. A Scholar. Rev. Dr. Rajkumar Boaz Johnson Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies Deima Thompson C’13 Majoring in Biblical and Theological Studies ................................................................. Deima met “Dr. Boaz” in his course Old Testament Poetry and Wisdom Literature, which launched their collaboration and Deima’s translations of the Bible from Hebraic-English text to African American poetry. Boaz: “I have a deep passion for the study of God’s word. North Park gives me the opportunity to enable my students to translate the Bible into song in their own languages. My long-term goal is to see the Bible sung in African American churches, so I have been looking for students who are gifted in poetry. Deima is an amazing poet and a unique African American thinker. When she translates Hebraic poetry texts, her eyes light up. It gives me great joy to see Deima become her creative best.” Deima: “Being African American and a poet, putting the Bible into my words was the coolest idea ever. Dr. Boaz gave me all the tools I needed in order to be true to the text. To be so immersed in the word of God is not easy. Dr. Boaz encouraged me to know my gifts and talents, and made me a stronger and better person. He helped me to step outside the box by presenting my work at the undergraduate research symposium. That was my transformation from being a student to becoming a Bible scholar.”

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A Sense of Belonging Linda McDonald Assistant Professor of Physics

North Parker Winter | Winter2014 2014

(From left) Bjorn Larson C’13 Anika Zima C’15 Mario Gutierrez C’16 Olivia Chisman C’15


The four physics majors are the entire class for the Fall 2013 course Modern Physics. Linda: “As a woman physicist, I know what it’s like to be the ‘only one.’ I love teaching, but I’m most proud of creating a sense of belonging with these students. No matter who you are, you will be welcome in the physics department at North Park. Our kids come from all over and do all sorts of things, and what brings us all together is the love of physics.”

Mario: “Linda is helping me to accomplish my goal of going to graduate school to study mechanical engineering. She encourages me to never give up. I really believe I can accomplish this—and more.” Anika: “Linda makes physics fun and when something is boring, she explains why we need this boring lesson in order to move on to the next exciting thing. Whenever I walk into her classroom, I feel welcomed and I know she is there for me.”

Bjorn: “Linda breaks down difficult problems into smaller parts. She stays late helping us with questions—and then taking us off on tangents about other cool science stuff. Her love and enthusiasm for physics inspire me to want to learn and understand.” Olivia: “I didn’t think it was possible for me to be a physics major, but with Linda’s encouragement, I’m in a major I love. Linda not only explains physics clearly, she creates an environment of community and family in her classroom.”

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Your Full Voice Nyela Basney, Artistic Director of the Opera Alexandra Plattos G’14 Master of Music in Vocal Performance ................................................................. Nyela met Alexandra at her audition for the master’s program in the School of Music. Last summer, Alexandra studied at Orvieto Musica in Orvieto, Italy, an annual summer chamber music festival, which Nyela founded and serves as director.

Alexandra: “One day in Italy, Professor Basney stopped me to say that I have a bigger voice than I think and to take a chance to sing with my full voice. She made me realize I have the potential to do more, so challenge accepted! I’ve had the opportunity to sing the role of Mozart’s Queen of the Night, a notoriously difficult role with sky-high notes and fast coloratura passages. I worked closely with Professor Basney, who urged me to take risks to master the role. I did. And I will always remember her advice: Are you singing with your full voice?” Nyela: “I am actively conducting in Chicago while teaching at North Park, so there’s a constant interplay. I take the energy and enthusiasm of students like Alexandra into my conducting work. Throughout our work, Alexandra has been willing to take risks and stretch herself, and work hard to be successful. I’m moved and delighted when Alexandra and other students raise their own expectations and take pride in their accomplishments. I believe in the power of music to move people and want to help young musicians contribute their talents to this tradition.”

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At the urging of the Seminary’s Chapel and Globalization and Diversity Committees, Michelle (front row, right) and Brandi volunteered to organize the Seminary Gospel Choir (shown behind them), which now performs on- and off-campus. Michelle: “Brandi is the talent and passion of this choir, and it’s evident she loves Jesus. By entering the world of gospel music with Brandi, I found an art form that glorifies God and awakens my soul. I welcome relationships with students like Brandi who stretch me to learn what they have to offer. It’s such a gift.”

North Parker Winter | Winter2014 2014

Brandi: “This is the first cross-cultural mentoring relationship I’ve ever had. This is a big deal. Watching Michelle has taught me what community really is and that people want me to be me. I love what I’m doing with the choir, teaching people who are unfamiliar with gospel music. I believe a great teacher not only teaches you but also acts as a positive role model. Michelle is a great teacher.”


Awakening the Soul Dr. Michelle Clifton-Soderstrom S’95 Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics Brandi S. Sanders S’15 Master of Divinity Director, Seminary Gospel Choir

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Heart for the Underserved Heather L. Duncan Assistant Professor of Nursing Jaimie Rickards C’11 G’16 Bachelor of Science with a major in Nursing Master of Science, Family Nurse Practitioner Community Health Nurse, Heartland Health Centers ................................................................. Heather: “As a teacher and nurse practitioner providing health care to the homeless, I am passionate about students learning that every person is a child of God and worthy of respect. Jamie was a student leader on my first Global Partnership trip to Zambia and very vested in providing health care to the underserved. We meet often to discuss faith, poverty, and life. It’s such an honor to be part of her journey.”

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Jaimie: “Visiting Zambia really transformed my faith and allowed me to connect with Heather, who has such a heart for the underserved. How many professors can also say they’ve seen their student baptized? I first went for a master’s in public health but realized I’d lose patient interaction. Heather helped me again to see the FNP track at North Park is the right place for me. I’m ecstatic about what I’m doing and Heather has encouraged me every step of the way.”


Achieved & Acknowledged Patricia McCanna, Academic Advisor and Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Coordinator Stephanie Rybandt C’13 Bachelor of General Studies, Business Administration Co-owner, Fannie Schmoe’s Bakery

Stephanie: “As adult students, we are constantly thinking of what else has to be done next and not what we’ve already accomplished. I told Patti one day that I started this small bakery business. She listened and we created my PLA project so I could earn credit. Patti has a way of revealing an accomplishment that you achieved but never acknowledged. I’ve been in and out of college for 10 years and without Patti, I would not have completed my degree. Anything seems conquerable after you’ve talked it out with Patti.” Patti: “I was once a returning adult student, and the support I got made a huge difference. Paying that forward is rewarding. I had some deep conversations with Stephanie as my student and advisee so I saw how committed she was to earning her degree and starting the bakery with her brother. My job was to give her the tools and resources, and she did all the heavy lifting.” Learn more at

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North Parker | Winter 2014

See Our Campus.

North Parker | Winter 2014

Reimagined. Redefined.


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The Johnson Center

As the newest and most dynamic addition to campus (top photo), the Johnson Center for Science and Community Life is located in the central campus and well-positioned to put North Park at the leading edge of science education and at the forefront of vibrant college life. Learn more and watch construction online at

Welcoming Streetscape

Starting at the busy crossroads of Foster and Kedzie Avenues, North Park University now even more proudly announces its presence with a new brick ornamental sign (above), positioned to be a welcoming entryway. The University’s formal new front gates (pages 20–21), leading to Old Main, are part of an elegant stretch of wrought iron fencing that creates a dramatic new streetscape along the campus on Foster Avenue.

Dining Hall

Magnuson Center now offers an exciting on-campus destination for meals as well as socializing, studying, and relaxing. The Dining Hall’s seating and settings (above) now include restaurant-style booths, counters and stools, lounge chairs, and even a fireplace. New windows and lighting, repainted walls, and fresh artwork based on the geography of Chicago offer a fun setting for students to enjoy new menus and favorite foods.

River Park

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently joined with North Park to celebrate the renovation of the River Park track and soccer facility located two blocks from campus. The University and the City of Chicago partnered in a $1.26 million project to rehab the facility, originally built in 1999–2000. The resurfaced 84,240-square-foot artificial turf soccer field and eight-lane running track are used by our Viking men’s and women’s track and soccer teams, as well as by the Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Schools.




Through the Years Homecoming October 3–6, 2013

Hundreds of alumni returned to campus to celebrate Homecoming 2013. Be sure to save the date for next year’s Homecoming Celebration, October 23–26, 2014. For more photos from the weekend’s celebrations, visit

Hamming Hall was filled with alumni celebrating their reunions at the Annual Reunion and Awards Breakfast.

North Parker | Winter 2014

The stands were packed with faithful Viking supporters at athletic events throughout the weekend.


Friendly volunteers greeted runners at Saturday’s River Run.

The Classes of 2003–2013 all came together for the Young Alumni Event, held at Golden Crust Pizzeria.


The Alumni Art Triennial featured several submissions from talented artists.

As always, Homecoming provided the opportunity for sharing memories and having fun.

Britt Erickson C’03 visited with Professor Emeritus Cal Katter and Roger Thorpe C’51 S’60 at the Reunion and Awards Breakfast.

A future North Parker enjoyed the Block Party.

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Homecoming included a victorious football win against Carthage College. Go, Vikings!

Alumni, students, faculty, and staff participated in the River Run 5K. 25

The 2013 HONOR ROLL of Donors and Annual Report: Available Online Each year we are blessed with the generous support of many individuals, families, and organizations. We recognize these gifts through the Honor Roll of Donors and Annual Report. We publish these online as a way to prudently steward the University’s resources and make the Honor Roll available to a broader audience. Please visit

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The gifts from our donors support the breadth of student scholarships and campus activities, and ensure the vital mission of our University. We express our deep gratitude for your generosity and faithfulness.


We make every effort to properly recognize your gifts. For questions, comments, or further information please contact the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at (866) 366-8096 or via email at

President’s Club From left, LeRoy Johnson, Dr. Tim and brother Randy Johnson, Roger Olson

Enjoying dinner at Hawkinson House

New Series Salutes Donors This fall North Park University launched the President’s Club Appreciation Series to both recognize and involve valued donors in the University community.

Under construction: Johnson Center

President’s Club donors have been invited to choose one of the following three campus events that also include either brunch or dinner at Hawkinson House, the home of President David and Linda Parkyn, and a tour of the Johnson Center construction site: • September 12: School of Music Student Recital • November 2: Home football game: North Park vs Elmhurst • February 7: Hymn Fest at Anderson Chapel

Nancy Johnson

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Sixty longtime and faithful donors participated in the September 12 event, as shown in the photos at right, including special guests Dr. G. Timothy and Nancy Johnson, the namesakes for the new Johnson Center for Science and Community Life. “This new series allows us to properly welcome our donors to campus for a few very important reasons—to interact with our students, to engage with our leadership, and to get a firsthand look at how our campus is changing with the building of the Johnson Center and other enhancements,” explained Mary K. Surridge, vice president for development and alumni relations. Donors who make annual cumulative gifts of $1,000 or more enjoy membership in the President’s Club. To learn more, please visit or call (773) 244-5790.

Learning about the interior of the Johnson Center


Alumni Awards

2013 Alumni Award Honorees by Mary Nowesnick

Gov. James Thompson A’53

Gov. James Thompson A’53 North Park Academy 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award “What I remember most from my Academy years: small classes, good friends, common goals, and exceptional teachers. We also were privileged to share a campus with the Seminary. I look back on that time as the golden years.” James R. “Big Jim” Thompson was the longest-serving governor of the state of Illinois from 1977 to 1991, when he chose not to seek reelection. A former U.S. district attorney, Governor Thompson joined the Chicago law firm of Winston & Strawn, LLP, serving as chairman of the Executive Committee from 1991 to 2006, and chairman and CEO from 1993 to 2006. “I predicted for myself in the Academy yearbook that I would be President of the United States,” he said. “I didn’t achieve that— but I got as close as I could.”

Colin Kihnke C’93

President George H.W. Bush appointed Governor Thompson as chairman of the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board from 1989 until 1993. He also was appointed a commissioner of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States (9/11 Commission). Today the Governor is senior chairman of Winston & Strawn and serves on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards. In 2013 The National Law Journal again recognized him as one of the nation’s 100 most influential lawyers. The Governor received his JD from Northwestern University School of Law in 1959 and is the recipient of 17 honorary degrees.

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“Every job I had is the best job I ever had,” he said. “My advice to students today is to take advantage of opportunities and lucky breaks. There are a lot of lucky breaks in your life and you’ve got to recognize them for what they are and take advantage of them.”


The Governor and his wife, Jayne Carr Thompson, reside in Chicago and are the parents of Samantha Thompson.

Dr. Britt Erickson C’03

Alumni Awards

Colin Kihnke C’93 North Park University 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award

Colin Kihnke is President of CMK Companies, which he founded in 1995. A leading Chicago real estate firm, CMK is responsible for more than $1 billion in real estate development. Chicago magazine has recognized the firm for “developing forward-looking, contemporary-styled condominium buildings.” CMK Companies has won numerous awards for its innovative residential developments from such distinguished groups as the American Institute of Architects. “I’m now in real estate development but I didn’t get a degree in this area at North Park,” Kihnke explained. “But what I did get was a great well-rounded education that was more focused on core values and relationships. What was so special to me about North Park was the focus on family and relationships, and a Christian education. It’s stayed with me all these years. What I learned about values and people is part of my business dealings to this day,” he said. CMK’s many residential development projects range from 235 West Van Buren, a 714-unit residential tower, located at the edge of Chicago’s South Loop, to the Contemporaine, a 28-unit condominium at 516 North Wells Street.

Kihnke and his wife, Tracey, who is a dolphin trainer at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, have three children, Myles, Kate, and Keesen.

After earning her bachelor of science in physics, Britt Erickson, MD, went on to Mayo Medical School, graduating in 2008. Following her residency at Northwestern University’s McGaw Medical Center in obstetrics and gynecology, she joined the University of Alabama Medical Center, where she is currently completing a surgical fellowship in gynecologic oncology. “Majoring in physics and studying with professors Larry Martin and Linda McDonald taught me how to approach challenging and seemingly impossible problems,” she said. “They showed me that with hard work, intuition, and definitely some collaboration, there is no limit to how much we are capable of learning, growing, and gaining a better understanding of the world around us.” As part of University of Alabama’s Medical Center, which is the South’s only national comprehensive cancer center that also serves some of the country’s poorest patients, Erickson is focusing her research on racial disparities in cancer outcomes. “I am now in a very specialized field of medicine that I never would have imagined, but I kept following my interests and it took me to unexpected places. As a surgical fellow in the field of gynecologic oncology, I still spend most of my days learning and teaching. It’s these things that make all of the long hours and hard work worth it,” she said. Erickson is part of a family of North Park alumni with parents Donna and Dean, both 1971 graduates, and brother Bjorn, who graduated in 2002.

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“One of the biggest things I focus on is not to believe in failure but to believe in experience,” Kihnke explained. “So many people let fear of failure prevent them from chasing their dreams. I say, don’t buy into this. When you don’t succeed, you don’t fail—you just get experience that will help you do better next time.”

“I discovered a community of intellectual curiosity at North Park. A spark really ignited in me during my years at North Park, and I was very encouraged to pursue a career in science, and eventually medicine. I also found that the focus always came back around to serving the world around us. I never felt like my mentors at North Park pushed me to find success in making money or climbing the ladder. Instead, they led by example and showed me that a career in teaching, learning, and serving is the ultimate reward.”

“My fondest memories of North Park are all the social aspects and hanging out with friends. Together we explored all the city had to offer and all that North Park provided. Along with my buddies, we did all the big city activities. It was exciting for me because I was from western Michigan and had only been to Chicago one or two times before I started at North Park. Those were exciting times. The campus has undergone an amazing transformation in the years since then.”

Dr. Britt Erickson C’03 North Park University 2013 Distinguished Young Alumni Award


Alumni Notes







Marge (Gustafson) Elowson C’55 and Dave Elowson C’54 S’60

are happy to see a third generation of their family at North Park. This fall, their granddaughter Julia Bakken, a senior, welcomed her brother, Tommy Bakken, to campus at freshman orientation. Julia and Tommy were preceded by their sister Desiree Bakken C’12 and are the children of Laurie (Elowson) Bakken C’84 and Keith Bakken C’85. [1]

Ted Sares A’55 was inducted into the Boston Ring 4 Boxing

Hall of Fame in April 2013 for his work as a boxing writer. Ted was awarded the Humanitarian Award by Ring 4 in 2012. [2]

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Charles Olson A’59 C’63 retired as director of the Chancel



Choir of North Park Covenant Church, Chicago, in June 2013 after 31 years of service. He previously served in a similar position at Irving Park Lutheran Church, Chicago, for 10 years. Dr. Marvin Curtis C’72 was commissioned to compose “A Psalm of David” (based on Psalm 98) to honor Chuck’s years of service and his retirement. The piece was performed on May 19, 2013, by the Chancel Choir with soprano soloist Linden Christ, organist Sharon (Rich) Peterson C’79, and trumpeters Sylvia Carlson and Tom Madeja. [3]



Rollin Swanson S’63 celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination into pastoral ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on Sunday, July 7, 2013, at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Kennewick, Wash. Bishop Martin Wells of the Eastern Washington Idaho Synod presided and preached at the worship service while Pastor Swanson was the communion celebrant. Rollin is pictured with his wife, Nyla. [4]

Dan Thyreen C’62 and Ann Louise (Johnson) C’63 celebrated 50 years of marriage on August 10, 2013, in Door County, Wis. Of the 67 guests at the daylong celebration, 31 were either North Park graduates or have North Park family members. The day began with a breakfast buffet, then a ferry ride to Washington Island and a tram trip to the Stavkirke. After a renewal service, a picnic and sunset were enjoyed back on the mainland. [5]

A small group of lifelong friends (pictured L-R), Irene Stoesser, Sue (Green) Gost, Nancy (Giannetti) Bang, and Linda (Karsted) Newton from the Academy Class of 1964, gathered in Arlington Heights, Ill., to honor Linda Karsted Newton, who became a first-time grandmother in August. [6]

Alumni Notes





career, Bruce has served on numerous task forces and boards of directors to help improve the quality of life for senior adults. He and his wife are mentors to young adults and founders of Engage Fayette, a Fayette, Ga., community service organization that serves the needy. After graduating from North Park, Bruce earned his master of health administration degree from the University of Washington, Seattle. [9]

More than 30 North Parkers joined Paul Hedberg C’73 S’78 and his wife, Hope, on September 14 for the Third Annual Fall Golf Classic benefiting the Peder Hedberg Foundation in Orland Park, Ill. The foundation supports Christian camping ministries, programs for children with special needs, and elementary education—all of which were important to Paul and Hope’s late son, Peder Hedberg C’08. Visit for Peder’s story. [8]

Linda Solie C’79 has written a book entitled Take Charge of Your Emotions: Seven Steps to Overcoming Depression, Anxiety, and Anger, published by Bethany House Publishers. Released in September, the book is available in bookstores as well as on and Linda is in her 23rd year of private practice as a psychologist in Minneapolis. [10]

Bruce Erickson C’79 has been named executive director at

Covenant Shores, a Covenant Retirement Community in Mercer Island, Wash. He is responsible for all operations at Covenant Shores, which serves 300 residents in 208 apartments, 32 assistedliving residences, 15 memory support residences, and a Medicarecertified skilled nursing center with 43 private and semiprivate suites. He directs a staff of approximately 160. Throughout his

Owen R. Youngman C’75 taught Northwestern University’s

first massively open online course this fall, “Understanding Media by Understanding Google.” Owen’s virtual classroom had more than 41,000 students enrolled—more than 1,000 times the number of students in his face-to-face classes. Owen, who received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from North Park in 2005, is the Knight Professor of Digital Media Strategy in the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.

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Marvin Curtis C’72 was commissioned by North Park Covenant Church to write a musical work in honor of Charles Olson A’59 C’63, who recently retired as the Chancel Choir director. Dr. Curtis was also honored to have five of his arrangements of spirituals performed by baritone Lawrence Mitchell-Matthews, accompanied by the Chautauqua Symphony at the Chautauqua Institute in New York on July 11 before an audience of 3,000. [7]



Alumni Notes







Greg Asimakoupoulos S’83 was appointed chaplain at

Covenant Shores, a Covenant Retirement Community in Mercer Island, Wash. In his position, he provides pastoral care and counseling to Covenant Shores’ 360 residents. He is the author of 12 books, hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles, and a poetry blog about current events, Rhymes and Reasons, at Greg and his wife, Wendy, live in Mercer Island, Wash. Their daughter, Allison (Asimakoupoulos) Anderson C’08 and son-in-law Tim Anderson C’10 live in the North Park community. Allison teaches at North Park Elementary School and Tim serves as worship leader at Deer Grove Covenant Church while attending Seminary. [11]

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Steve Portokalis C’92 received a master of humanities degree

from Tiffin University in Ohio on May 4, 2013.

Ken Carlson C’93 has released his first book, entitled Come Alive, which features 23 inspiring poems for living an authentic life. [12]



Future North Park alumni from the Class of 2033, Finley McKnight and Gus Awes, enjoy hanging out with their parents, Annika (Nelson) McKnight C’02 and Lukas McKnight C’04, and Marit Johnson Awes C’03 G’11 and Seth Awes C’04 G’10 G’12, and big brother Aksel McKnight (future Class of 2029). [13] Kris (Duncan) Thulson C’02 and Matt Thulson C’04 celebrated their

son, Liam John Thulson, as he turned one year old on June 25, 2013. It was a busy year for the Thulsons as Matt launched his photography company, Thulson Design ( [14] Dan Shelton S’03 was chosen by the Kerman Chamber of Commerce to serve as Grand Marshal of the 2013 Kerman Harvest in Kerman, Calif., in September. Chosen for his volunteerism and commitment to the community, Dan has served as a volunteer with Goldenrod Elementary School, the Kerman Future Farmers of America, and FCI-Mendota, and has provided leadership in the Kerman Area Ministerial Association and the Kerman Kiwanis Club. He serves on the board of the Kerman Food Bank. Dan has served as lead pastor of Kerman Covenant Church since June 2003. He and his wife, Debbie, have two children, Hailey and Luke. [15]

Alumni Notes



Kristi (Lach) White C’03 and Tim White C’04 welcomed Joshua Nathan on June 10, 2013. He is the baby brother of Kayla, age five, and Benjamin, age three. The new family of five resides in Chicago. [16] Rachel Bergstrom C’04 graduated from Mayo Graduate School

with a PhD in biomedical sciences/neurobiology of disease. She has accepted a position as assistant professor at Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., for the 2013–14 academic year.

Lesley Anne Foglia C’04 married Charlie Tiller on September 1, 2013, in Kingsport, Tenn. Lesley works as an assistant district attorney in Sullivan County, Tenn., and Charlie teaches English and government at Tennessee High School in Bristol, Tenn. Jessica (Kreusch) Sawyer C’08 and Eric Sawyer C’02 also attended the wedding. [17]



Morgan Elise White was born March 21, 2013, to Jonathan White C’04 and his wife, Candice. Jonathan is currently attending law school. [20] Ashlee Lien C’05 completed her PhD in psychology at Wichita

State University in May. Her concentration was community psychology and her dissertation was entitled “Unequal Equality: The Impact of Differing Perspectives on Race-Based Choices.” Ashlee is now working as an assistant professor at SUNY College at Old Westbury in Old Westbury, N.Y. [21] Jenny Phillips C’05 married Matthew Borba on June 22, 2013,

in Pasadena, Calif., where they now reside. Jenny has worked for the last five years at Warner Home Video, and Matthew recently received his PhD in clinical psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary. [22]

Ryan S’07 and Devyn Chambers Johnson S’08 adopted their daughter, Rosemary Louise Marie Johnson, December 7, 2012. Rosie was 5 lb. 15 oz. and 19.5 inches long when born on December 5, 2012. Devyn, Ryan, and Rosie live in Northern Virginia, where Ryan and Devyn serve as co-pastors at Community Covenant Church, Springfield. [23]

Lt. Col. Pat Testerman S’04 retired from the Air Force in August

Hope (Thompson) Borseth C’08 and Thomas Borseth welcomed daughter Grace Elizabeth on June 29, 2012, at 2:11 am. Grace was

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Mark Simulis C’04 and Anna Seager-Simulis welcomed their first child, Clara Grayce Simulis, on June 27, 2013, at 3:19 pm. Clara was born at Memorial Hospital in Easton, Md., weighing 6 lb. 11.4 oz. and measuring 20.2 inches. Mark, Anna, Clara, and their four dogs are healthy and happy, living on the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland in the city of Salisbury. [18]

and now lives on a farm called the Flying T Ranch. Learn more at [19]




Alumni Notes




8 lb. 6 oz. and 20 inches long. On June 20, 2013, at 4:45 am, they welcomed Silas Patrick, who was 7 lb. 13 oz. and 21 inches. [24] Erika Joyce G’10 recently earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). Erika lives in Wilmette, Ill., and is assistant director of the Division of Member Services at the American College of Healthcare Executives in Chicago. [25]

Hailey Elyse McCallister was born to Emily (Efrisunus) McCallister C’10 and Chris McCallister C’12 on July 29, 2013. Hailey was 6 lb. 5 oz. and 19.5 inches long. Her parents are hopeful that she will graduate as a North Parker with the Class of 2035. [26]

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Addition to Summer 2013 issue: In the photo of Rev. Art Nelson A’52 C’55 S’60 receiving the Spirit of Compassion Award from


Swedish Covenant Hospital at its 2012 gala, we did not include mention that the award was presented by Swedish Covenant Hospital CEO Mark Newton C’72.

OBITUARIES Elaine (Oberg) Gabriel A’46 passed away May 8, 2013, in Excel-

sior, Minn. Her life was shaped by the Covenant Church, from Bethlehem Covenant, Minneapolis—where she was baptized, confirmed, and married—to Excelsior Covenant, where she was a member for 52 years. Her grandfather, C.W. Boquist, was the only


person to sign both charters starting the Covenant denomination in Sweden and the United States. After attending North Park Academy, she went on to college and earned a master’s degree in child psychology. She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Marsh; her five children, including Kristin (Gabriel) Kissell C’77; 11 grandchildren, including Megan (Kissell) Blumenshine C’05 G’10 and Allison Kissell C’07; and one great-grandchild. [27] Charles “Chuck” Edward Nelson S’64 of Tacoma and Ridgefield, Wash., died on May 4, 2013. Chuck was born on December 2, 1928, at his family home in Aurelia, N.D., a small farming community, before moving to Seattle. His children grew up hearing his stories about walking to school in the harsh North Dakota winters, the local characters, and his pranks and adventures with his brothers. In 1959, he was called to serve the Covenant Church in Winnetka, Ill. He returned to Washington with his family in 1966, when he was called to the First Covenant Church of Tacoma, which he served until 1971. His children’s sermons, usually accompanied by an illustrative prop (sometimes a live animal) were a regular part of the Sunday service that adults looked forward to as much as the children. After retiring from full-time ministry, Chuck began a second career as a teacher in Tacoma’s alternative high school for students experiencing legal and other difficulties. Chuck also enjoyed refurbishing old homes (doing most of the work himself), and running—especially participating with children and grandchildren in the annual Sound to Narrows and Polar Bear runs. A memorial service was held June 8 at Cascades Camp and Conference Center in Yelm, Wash. [28]

Alumni Notes



Kathleen May Leach passed away at the VNA Horton Hospice Center in Valparaiso, Ind., on May 28, 2013. Kathleen was 100 years old. She was born on December 10, 1912, in Beaver Dam, Ky., and worked as a teacher for 43 years, including several years at North Park Academy, where she taught Latin. Robert Douglass

A’68 writes of Kathleen, “She was beloved by many of her students

who kept in touch with her over the years. She was admired and respected not only for the discipline she taught in mastering Latin but also for the discipline needed by her students to be successful in school and in life. The annual Latin banquet complete with ancient Roman costumes was always a great time.” Services took place in May in Chesterton, Ind.

Evelyn Lindgren of Golden Valley, Minn., passed away July 15, 2013, at the age of 91, surrounded by her family. Born on December 13, 1921, she is survived by her children, Joanne Budd C’64 (John C’65), James C’65 S’70, and Karyn Bryngelson A’63 (Gary). She also leaves a brother, nine grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. In 1961, Evelyn moved to Chicago, where she worked at North Park University, first as the assistant dietitian and then as the supervisor of mailing and printing. In 1987, after retirement, she moved to Florida to care for her father. In August 2001, she moved to Covenant Village in Golden Valley, where she remained until her death. During her 24 years at the University, Evelyn supervised thousands of students, many of whom kept in touch with her until her death. She will be remembered for the hundreds of students she invited to her home for Sunday dinners and her birthday remembrances for the students who worked for her. She also catered many weddings and special occasions for college students and faculty members. At her request, memorial donations may be made to North Park University.

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Dennis Anderson A’64 C’69 died unexpectedly at the age of 66 on June 14, 2013. Dennis was born August 6, 1946, in Chicago. After graduating from college, Dennis earned his master’s degree in administration education from Loyola University Chicago. He was married to Jenanne Erickson C’66 on June 21, 1969, and they lived in Chicago until moving to Beaver Dam, Wis., in 1977. Dennis devoted his professional career to education as a classroom teacher, admissions officer, and administrator. He taught fifth grade in Des Plaines, Ill., from 1969 to 1977 and was president of the school district’s teachers association. He served first as assistant director and then director of admissions at Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam; was a consultant for Dick Hedberg and Associates; and worked as assistant principal of Beaver Dam Middle School. From 1988 to his retirement in 1993, Dennis was the grammar school principal for the Lomira School District. Dennis was proud of his Scottish and Swedish heritage. He enjoyed golf, reading, music, the outdoors, and followed most Chicago professional sports teams, especially his beloved Cubs. Survivors include his wife, Jenanne (Erickson) Anderson C’66, daughters Jessica Rodin C’94 (Dave), Karin Johnson C’94 (Brandon), son Joseph (Lisa), and three grandsons. [29]




Your Gift to the North Park Fund

Every student is at the heart of our mission every day at North Park University. Their highest need is for financial aid through scholarships. Today, more than ever, scholarships remove barriers and open the way for students to enroll, complete their studies, and graduate with pride from North Park University or from North Park Theological Seminary.

Fulfill the Highest Need

Strengthen Undergraduate Scholarships • Partner with our students to successfully complete their undergraduate degrees. • Help fund scholarships and financial aid to 95 percent of undergraduate students each year. • Support academic scholarships in all areas and talent-based scholarships in art, journalism, media studies, music, and theatre.

Advance Seminary Scholarships • Strengthen the future of the church by helping Seminary students pursue their call to ministry. • Assist 78 percent of Seminary students with critical financial support and scholarships.

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came from Brazil to North Park “ Ibecause I was awarded a scholarship. 


I’m from a different culture and being here has expanded my horizons even more and allowed me to start my dream of studying music.

Francisco Malespin C’15 Bachelor of Music in Performance

Every Student. Every Day. Giving to the North Park Fund means that you will: • Meet students’ highest need by helping to fund scholarships and financial aid • Enable students to gain a superior, affordable education at North Park University and at North Park Theological Seminary

Make a difference.  Make your gift today.

To support the North Park Fund: Make a gift at Development and Alumni Relations Office (773) 244-5790 or (866) 366-8096

North Parker | Winter 2014 37


Save the Date September 12–13, 2014

Dedication Weekend Johnson Center for Science and Community Life

North Parker, Winter 2014  

The magazine for alumni and friends of North Park University. Volume 74 Number 1

North Parker, Winter 2014  

The magazine for alumni and friends of North Park University. Volume 74 Number 1