Oesterle Library News

Archive for November 2011

150th Moments – President Rall

Monday, November 21st, 2011

North Central College’s fifth president was Edward E. Rall. Rall’s tenure spanned the world crises of World War I, the boom time of the 1920’s, the Great Depression and World War II. His dynamic leadership allowed the College to weather the crises, as well as expand its physical plant, faculty and staff, and course offerings. The first challenge President Rall met was meeting new requirements for accreditation by the North Central Association, which he managed by raising the endowment to meet the new standards. During both World wars, President Rall petitioned to participate in two U.S. Army-sponsored training programs—the Student Army Training Corps during WWI and the Army Specialized Training Program during WWII. The use of campus facilities for these programs helped provide needed funds to support the College in wartime.

After the armistice ending World War I, the College was able to focus on expanding its physical facilities, including the purchase of Bolton (1921) and Johnson (1922) Halls as women’s dormitories, purchase of the Fort Hill Campus (1923), construction of Pfeiffer Hall (1926) as a chapel and performing arts venue, opening of Kaufman Hall (1928) which included a campus dining facility, purchase of the President’s Home (1929) and the completion of Merner Field House (1931). This state-of-the-art physical education facility included two gymnasiums and a pool. Rall’s relationship with the Pfeiffer family The Pfeiffer’s generosity toward the College is noted in the names of Pfeiffer Hall and Merner Field House, but they also provided generous contributions to scholarship funds and the College endowment. In 1946, Rall retired as President of North Central College.

Finals Week Hours

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Oesterle Library will be open regular hours of 8 am to midnight Monday and Tuesday. We will be open 8 am to 4 pm Wednesday. The library will be closed Thursday, November 24th through Sunday, November 27th. We will begin D-Term hours on Monday, November 28th.

150th Moments – President Smith

Monday, November 14th, 2011


On November 11, 1861, the Evangelical Association opened a new institution in Plainfield, Illinois, called Plainfield College, and named Augustine A. Smith to be the first president. Smith grew up in Massachusetts, and started teaching at the age of 17. His personal zeal for the abolition of slavery, temperance, Christian principles and women’s right to equal education shaped the development of College. In fact, President Smith stated that a college should be “a great moral lighthouse sending out a clear and steady light upon all subjects that pertain to the well-being of man.”
In 1870, the College, then called North-Western College, relocated to Naperville, taking advantage of accessibility created by the direct railroad line from Chicago. In 1883, Smith retired as the president but continued to teach as professor of Mental and Moral Sciences until his death in 1891.

150th Moments – First Homecoming

Monday, November 7th, 2011

November 20, 1920 marked North Central (then called North-Western) College’s first homecoming. The inaugural event included two football games: one for the second string against St. Procopius, and the main event where the varsity team defeated Monmouth College 21-7. A luncheon for alumni and a concert featuring Isador Berger, a renowned violinist rounded out the offerings. Following the success of the 1920 event, homecoming became an annual event with many traditions added over the years. By 1945 homecoming events included a flag raising, sack race, tennis tournament, parade, football game, banquet, and alumni gathering.

One time-honored tradition is the homecoming court. Originally, a queen and her four attendants were chosen by the students. Now both a homecoming king and queen are selected. The alumni parade and assembly continues each year at homecoming, as does the distribution of homecoming pins, which feature a different design for every homecoming, since that first date.