The Northwestern College Board of Trustees approved financing for a new suite-style residence hall at its fall meeting, Oct. 25–26, while also discussing future building projects.
North Suites, a 68-bed men’s hall, is on target for completion next spring and occupancy next fall. The board agreed to finance the facility through $3.5 million in bonds that will be repaid over 20 years.
Northwestern officials also shared with trustees the revised plans and architect drawings for a new learning commons, which will include the library, classrooms, writing center, archives, a coffee shop and a community room. President Greg Christy told the board the advancement office plans to intensify its efforts to raise the needed $15 million within two years. The board also talked about plans to renovate the DeWitt Physical Fitness Center in the Rowenhorst Student Center, for which donors have provided significant seed money.
A plenary session focused on Northwestern students’ responses on the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). The questionnaire is administered to all Northwestern freshmen and seniors and reports the extent to which they engage in educational practices associated with high levels of learning and development. The board learned of Northwestern’s benchmark comparisons with other colleges and plans to use the data in strategic planning.
The board also had a substantive discussion about online education, accepted the college’s audited financial statements, and heard from Dr. Richard Mouw, a Northwestern alumnus who is a prolific author and president of Fuller Theological Seminary, during Monday’s dinner.
Christy said there was a positive spirit at the board meeting. “Clearly the board is very pleased with this year’s enrollment and appreciative of the great work our faculty and staff are doing with students in and out of the classroom.”