1986 Recipients

Grant V. Graver

Class Year: 1938
Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1986

Rev. Grant Graver was the senior pastor at Grace United Methodist Church for 18 years. He retired in 1981. During his tenure, the Church’s membership rose from 600 to 1,900. Rev. Graver was instrumental in moving Grace U.M.C. from its landlocked, downtown location to its current 14-acre site on Garner Road. Graver was also active in several Naperville civic groups and organizations. He was one of the first members of the Naperville police chaplaincy program, the Boy Scouts citizenship program, the Naperville Rotary Club and he also served on the College’s Alumni Board.


Evangeline Klee Poling

Class Year: 1928
Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1986

Evangeline Poling was a former high school teacher. She was a member of the national board of the Reformed Church of America and was chairperson of its scholarship committee. Poling served on the Commission of Work Among Native-Americans and the Commission on Depressed Areas of the United States. She was a conference leader at the 1968 Presidential Prayer Breakfast and was delegate to the White House Conference for Children and Youth. In 1976, she was honored by the National Mothers Committee and was named New York State’s Mother of the Year. Poling was also given a special Citation of Honor and Document of Recognition for her many contributions to society. She appeared on national television on NBC’s “The First Estate” and “Not for Women Only” with Barbara Walters.

Ward J. Larson

Class Year: 1948
Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1986

Ward Larson’s studies were interrupted by a three-and-a-half-year tour of duty in the U.S. Army in 1943. He returned to North Central in 1946 and was captain of the swim team and editor of the College newspaper. A Harvard Law School graduate, Larson was employed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for 19 years, rising from assistant counsel and assistant secretary to senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. Since 1981, he has specialized in bank-related and other matters through his private practice in Glen Ellyn, Ill. Larson has served North Central in a variety of capacities: Alumni Board member, acting director of alumni relations for six months, and member of the Board of Trustees from 1980 to 1981.


Nancy Henninger

Class Year: 1965
Alumni Recognition Award Winner 1986

Nancy Henninger graduated from North Central College with a music degree. Further studies continued at the American Conservatory of Music where she earned a master’s of music degree in vocal performance in 1969. Her vocal studies took place in Munich, Essen, Giessen and Bonn, Germany. Professional organizations include the American Opera Society of Chicago, Musicians Club of Women and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Henninger is the music director at Grace United Methodist Church of LOGAN Square in Chicago. She also works at Intimate Opera of Chicago—an opera company with staged and costumed productions of grand opera. She most recently founded and directed the Kid’s Chorus of Logan Square Chicago—a children’s choir for ages 5-12.