Distinguished Alumni Awards

Northwestern’s alumni office seeks nominations for future Distinguished Alumni Award candidates. Nominees should be graduates of the academy, junior college or college, or have attended the junior college for one year or the college for three semesters. Candidates must be at least five years beyond their graduation year and not currently an officer of the Alumni Association or a member of the award selection committee.

Three awards are presented during the college's annual Legacy Celebration Banquet:

  • Distinguished Professional Achievement: The alum chosen for this award demonstrates leadership, competence, dedication to continuing education and integrity in his/her chosen profession.
  • Distinguished Service to Humankind: The alum chosen for this award demonstrates leadership abilities in service to the community and/or society at large through notable Christian contributions.
  • Distinguished Service to Northwestern College: The alum chosen for this award demonstrates loyalty to the mission of Northwestern College, continued interest and support of the goals of NWC, and reflects honor on the college by his/her Christian lifestyle.

To nominate someone for a Distinguished Alumni Award who meets the above requirements, email the alumni office.

James L. FrankenDistinguished Service to Northwestern College

Franken served as president of Northwestern’s Alumni Association and on the Board of Trustees from 1989 to 1991. He was reappointed as a trustee in 1995 and served until his death in November 2001. The CEO of Harbor Group and the Interstates Companies in Sioux Center, Iowa, he joined the college’s Executive Committee of the board in 1998 and served as chair of the Finance Committee from 1999 until his death. Franken’s company endowed the Interstates Electric & Engineering Scholarship, which is available to accounting, business, communications and computer science students at Northwestern. Currently, his family, together with the college, is planning to honor his legacy by funding initiatives that will support NWC students who show potential for the kind of entrepreneurial servant-leadership for which Franken is remembered.

Steve KingDistinguished Service to Humankind

For more than 30 years, King has led nonprofit agencies serving people with disabilities. He is president and CEO of Beacon Group SW Inc., an organization that provides vocational and developmental training programs for the disabled in Tucson and Phoenix, Ariz. From 1980 to 2003, he was president of a similar agency, Tetra Corporation. King began his career when he was hired to start the Plymouth County Work Activity Center in Le Mars, Iowa, following his NWC graduation. He holds a master’s degree in rehabilitation administration from the University of San Francisco and has served as chair of the Governor’s State Rehabilitation Advisory Council and president of the National Rehabilitation Association. In 2001 he received the association’s Guy F. Hubbard Award for Excellence in Rehabilitation Management.

Stephen MacchiaDistinguished Professional Achievement

As founding president of Leadership Transformations Inc. in Lexington, Mass., Macchia seeks to help meet the spiritual formation needs of leaders and assist the spiritual discernment processes of leadership teams. A frequent speaker at national and international ministry training events, he is the author of Becoming a Healthy Church, Becoming a Healthy Disciple and Becoming a Healthy Team. Macchia also directs the Pierce Center for Disciple Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. President of Vision New England from 1989 to 2003, he ministered for 11 years on the staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Mass. Macchia, who earned M.Div. and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Gordon-Conwell, received the seminary’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2000. He is a member of several national ministry boards, including the executive committee of the National Association of Evangelicals.

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