Welcome to the online Northwestern College and Northwestern Media Annual Report. We’ve highlighted a few stories and an overview of facts and figures for 2007–08.
First Faculty Fulbright Scholars
Dr. Lisanne Winslow, professor of biology, and Dr. Sally Harris, professor of English, are the first Northwestern College faculty members ever to be awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Awards for Research and Lecturing overseas. And they live only about four blocks from each other in Bayport, Minn. (pop. 3,162).
So what’s in the water in Bayport that produces two faculty Fulbright Scholars in one year? Someone else will have to research that. Because Winslow’s question is to find what’s in the ocean’s water.
Winslow and her family—husband John, and daughters Arianna, nine, and Sophia, six—will be spending spring semester 2009 at the Misaki Marine Biological Station in the Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan to help answer that question. She’ll also be lecturing to graduate students at the University of Tokyo’s School of Science about the current crisis facing world ocean ecosystems due to global warming and pollution.
Winslow’s 20 years of research have demonstrated that the lowly sea urchin functions like the proverbial “canary in a coal mine,” because its immune cells are highly sensitive to abnormal temperature changes and environmental toxins. The Japanese, with their extensive global fisheries market, are very interested in monitoring the ocean’s health and learning about how sea urchins can help them do it.
Northwestern’s 120-gallon saltwater aquarium in Nazareth 2031 is where Winslow and her students study sea urchins, but Dr. Sally Harris’ office has no such mesmerizing objects—just books and more books. That’s because Harris, in applied linguistics, researches words.
Her Fulbright Scholar award is one of two available for Tanzania, Africa, this year and will send her (accompanied by her husband, the Rev. Paul Harris) to Iringa University College (IUCO)/Tumaini University (Tumaini means “hope” in Swahili) in the southcentral highlands of Tanzania for 10 months beginning in September. With expertise in English as a Second Language Harris will record and enter first-year law lectures into a database, create a concordance of the results, and use that to help new law students learn which vocabulary occurs most frequently in their courses in constitutional, criminal, family and contractual law. She will also create the curriculum for and teach IUCO’s first legal writing course.
In Tanzania, one of the world’s poorest countries, resources, especially textbooks, are scarce. Students must learn almost everything through lectures, but that presupposes that they accurately comprehend what they are hearing. All university courses are taught in English, which is not the students’ native language, so the tools of an ESL specialist can help them become more efficient.
Originally published in the Spring 2008 Pilot
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Northwestern Receives Kresge Challenge Grant
Northwestern College was awarded a $750,000 Challenge Grant from the nationally recognized and respected Kresge Foundation for the new Community Life Commons building, the centerpiece of Northwestern’s Envision Excellence capital campaign. The grant represents one of the largest grants received in the 105-year history of the College.
The Community Life Commons will be located at the heart of Northwestern’s scenic campus in Saint Paul and will serve as the “family room” for students, faculty, staff, alumni and guests. New dining facilities, an expanded bookstore, classrooms and substantial meeting space in the form of conference rooms, lounges, and study rooms will be located in the Community Life Commons.
Dr. Alan S. Cureton, President of Northwestern College, noted, “The purpose of the Community Life Commons is to improve the student experience and overall quality of life on campus. It is our intent to create adequate and designated space to connect people, build relationships, and stimulate intellectual and spiritual growth.”
Northwestern College was one of only five colleges and universities that received Kresge challenge grants in the fourth quarter of 2007. Each of the institutions selected were commended for their commitment to educating underserved student populations—non-traditional, first-generation and low-income students and those from rural and urban settings. At Northwestern, 92 percent of Northwestern students received need-based financial aid during the 2007-2008 academic year.
The Kresge Foundation has been instrumental in building facilities for U.S. nonprofit organizations for the past 83 years. Its Challenge Grant Program seeks to provide awarded institutions a significant tool to use in expanding the institutions’ donor base and creating long-term financial sustainability. Northwestern President Dr. Alan S. Cureton added, “The Kresge Challenge Grant will provide momentum and significantly impact the success of our current capital campaign as well as future fundraising efforts for Northwestern College.”
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Premiere of Original Opera
Original Work Gleans from Book of Ruth
Dr. Barbara Rogers, piano instructor and accompanist at Northwestern, has composed a full-length opera based on the book of Ruth and is bringing it to the Maranatha Hall stage this spring.
Working with poet-librettist Pamela Wynn, Rogers is in the midst of constructing an approximately two-hour-long opera for Northwestern with the character of Ruth as its centerpiece.
It will be performed by students of Northwestern’s opera workshop and the Northwestern Orchestra. “I think it’s a wonderful story and like many Bible texts, there’s always something new to be discovered in it. I’m hoping the music will help to do that,” said Rogers.
Rogers is teaming with several Northwestern faculty on the performance, including Doreen Hutchings, the opera workshop director. It was from their previous working relationship that Rogers decided to tackle the gargantuan task of writing the opera.
“I have the greatest respect for what Miss Hutchings does with our students. I thought, ‘Someday, I’m going to write an opera for them.’ And along the way, the story of Ruth appealed to me because it’s a great Bible story, it’s one of everybody’s favorites.”
Beginning early in the year, she sat down with Wynn and began to fuse Wynn’s words into melody. Rogers is still in the process of combining the orchestral and vocal portions of the program.
Rogers said that without Wynn’s insight into the biblical text, the entire program could not happen. “I have about 28 or so pages of text where the whole thing is one character and another speaking. There’s no narration. The text suggests melody to me and then I find the harmony that goes with that melody and then I decide I don’t like it and I start all over again and go around again! And that’s the way it happens.”
Though Rogers has been commissioned for pieces before by the school, this is by far the largest work she has ever composed. The piece is part of a musical growth process she continues to go through.
“Compositionally, it is a progression. I have mostly written for voices. I feel most at home chorally. I’m comfortable with the voices and knowing what they can do. I think the older you get, the more you appreciate the drama of stories, the more interesting people are. And consequently the more possibilities there are for characters.”
This is also new territory for the music department. “It’s certainly a first for Northwestern to do a world premiere of an opera,” said Rod Loeffler, chair of the music department. “This is a tremendous work. It establishes this opera program in its own right. It’s a milestone for us.”
Originally published in the Fall 2007 Pilot
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Northwestern Media Stations Roll Out New Ways to Make a Difference
In February 2008 Northwestern Media’s flagship station KTIS launched the “Drive-Thru Difference,” a creative plan to share the Gospel with listeners and invite them to live out their faith in everyday life. The Drive-Thru Difference encourages listeners to pay for a coffee—or even a meal—for the person behind them in the drive-thru at a coffee shop or restaurant, then pass a note to that person through the cashier, explaining why the order was paid for.
Since then, Northwestern stations in seven different markets have promoted the Drive-Thru Difference, and the effort has received rave reviews from veteran listeners and newcomers alike. Hundreds of grateful people—many who had never listened before—have flooded the stations with phone calls and e-mails.
The enthusiastic response of listeners to the Drive-Thru Difference has led to additional promotions centered on listener giving, rather than listener receiving. Senior Vice President for Media Paul Virts noted, “People are so responsive. What they’re looking for are ways they can very simply reach out and help other people. That’s what we’re really trying to do; it’s not making the promotions about our stations or about simply giving the listener something for free—like ‘win the CD if you’re the 10th caller’—it’s about what can we do to empower our listeners to minister to and help other people in Jesus’ name.”
adapted from the Spring 2008 Pilot
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Major Construction Projects Pave the Way for Growth
During the summer, Northwestern completed two instrumental projects that will literally pave the way for campus growth. Construction provides spectators the unique opportunity to catch a sneak preview of what is to come.
The new ring road and parking lot, constructed behind Riley Hall, were built as prerequisites for the upcoming Community Life Commons (CLC). Plans for the CLC were announced in November 2007 with the public launch of the Envision Excellence campaign. Now, one year later, preparatory construction is successfully under way for the CLC groundbreaking in the spring, with a completion goal of Summer 2010.
Associate Vice President of Facility Operations and Planning Brian Humphries defines last summer as "phase one" of the two-year project. He believes that the newly constructed road and parking lot will be significant in two ways. "First, the ring road will create new traffic patterns," Humphries explained. "Second, the new lot will provide enough parking space when those [parking by] Nazareth relocate during [future] construction."
Major construction for the summer began May 19, 2008. In order to complete the project, the construction crew transplanted trees, removed a hill, installed road lighting and created a secured pedestrian tunnel. While these activities required traffic rerouting and parking relocation, the overall impact on campus employees was minimal.
With minor setbacks and diligent efforts, the construction team successfully completed the summer project on August 15, 2008. Blessed with good weather, Humphries describes the summer as "flawless." He explained, "For a project this size, everything went as smoothly as it possibly could have."
For Humphries, a successful summer means a busy school year. Major construction on the CLC is scheduled to begin in April 2009. However, before any walls go up, more work must be done behind the scenes. Humphries’ to-do list includes partnering with architects to complete construction documents, obtaining final city approval and negotiations for a general contractor.
It’s evident that improvements on campus are happening fast. Humphries’ list will quickly evolve into maintaining the brand-new CLC building, which he says will "transform the campus." So, catch the sneak previews while you can! More trucks are coming to pave the way for an exciting time of growth for Northwestern.
Originally published in the Fall 2008 Pilot.
Facts and Figures
Numbers can tell a story all their own. Highlighted below are figures that provide an overview of key facts and figures showing Northwestern’s growth and health for 2007–08.
Access a downloadable version of the facts and figures.
Northwestern College Budgeted Expenditures
Northwestern College Enrollment
Northwestern Media Budgeted Expenditures
Northwestern Media Listenership
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