What an honor to write this column as the 10th president of North Central College!
My family and I have had a great time getting to know the College over the last few months. I’ve learned very quickly that this is one busy campus—even in the middle of a Chicago winter. From the alumni track & field meet, basketball games and the International Festival, to the Martin Luther King prayer breakfast and Chicago Sinfonietta performance, we’ve enjoyed experiencing the diverse and enriching opportunities this campus offers.
It has also been a joy to meet many of you over the past several weeks. You’ve asked me some thoughtful questions (a few of them— along with my answers—appear on pages 2 - 7.) I look forward to meeting many more of you in the coming year.
As you know, when the College celebrated its Sesquicentennial, it branded its first 150 years as “A Promising Start.” I like that optimistic but humble assessment of our accomplishments. But I feel compelled to ask, “A promising start to what?”
My answer: “A promising start to a brilliant future.”
To explain what I mean by “brilliant future,” I’ll relate it to the College’s mission statement: “North Central College is a community of learners dedicated to preparing students to be informed, involved, principled, and productive citizens and leaders over a lifetime.” Four words lie at the heart of that sentence.
- Informed. Mentored by a distinguished faculty dedicated to teaching, North Central students make the most of their interdisciplinary, integrated, and personal education. Soros, Goldwater, Fulbright, National Science Foundation and other prestigious awards recognize our students’ brilliance. Regional and national honors for teaching and scholarship attest to our faculty’s brilliance. In every field, our graduates improve their professional and personal worlds as brilliantly informed individuals.
- Involved. Members of the entire North Central community travel the globe on service trips and for intellectual pursuits. From Naperville and Aurora to the Dominican Republic and Kenya, they make the world a more brilliant place.
- Principled. A.A.Smith, the College’s first president, established our commitment to serving as “a great moral lighthouse.” In a world that often seems to devalue morals, North Central steadfastly upholds its dedication to leadership, ethics, and values both in and out of the classroom. Our beacon continues to shine brilliantly.
- Productive. I carry a passion for liberal arts education because I know what it means for students—and I know what it meant for me. North Central prepares students to think laterally and creatively, to contribute thoughtfully on teams, and to adapt, grow and learn throughout their lives. Those students become brilliant up-and-comers highly valued in today’s marketplace.
As we move into the future, we’ll continue to prepare brilliant students to become brilliant leaders dedicated to making the world a brilliant place. It will take hard work and sacrifice, but I hope you’ll join me on this remarkable journey. Together, we’ll build on our promising start. Together, we’ll create a more brilliant future.
Dr. Troy D. Hammond President