Northwestern to celebrate 125-year anniversary

Northwestern College will launch a yearlong celebration of its 125-year anniversary during Homecoming Oct. 5–7.

Alumni and friends of the college are invited to come together, share their stories, and enjoy the experience of being part of the Northwestern family.

“Whenever we celebrate a major anniversary, it’s always a time to remember both where we’ve been and who we are,” says President Bruce Murphy. “Reflecting on the experiences of the past helps us understand the character, identity and purpose of the college. It’s also a time to pause and be grateful for what God has done at Northwestern—and to hear his call for the future.”

The centerpiece of the kickoff celebration is an all-school reunion on Saturday, Oct. 6. Scheduled for 5 p.m. in the newly renovated Rowenhorst Student Center (RSC), the gathering is open to all alumni and friends of the college. Participants will have the option of purchasing food from area restaurants at on-campus booths while attending reunions organized by class decades or centered around academic or co-curricular interests.

Among the departments planning special get-togethers are campus ministry, education, English, the International Club and the Writing Center. Current and former members of the college’s Board of Trustees are also invited back for a reception in their honor. And former President Friedhelm Radandt will return to Northwestern for the celebration.

At 7 p.m. on Saturday, a 125-year anniversary program will begin in the Bultman Center gymnasium. The nostalgia-filled event will include a multimedia presentation, theatrical tribute, and combined A cappella/alumni choir. An hour later, guests are invited to the Anniversary Dance in the RSC gymnasium, with swing and jazz music by the Des Moines Big Band, along with lattes, Italian sodas and desserts. Admission to both the program and dance is free. Child care is available from 6:30 to 10 p.m.

Along with these special 125-year anniversary events, the weekend will include such traditional Homecoming activities as the Distinguished Alumni Dinner, the Raider 5K Run/Walk, the Morning on the Green carnival, and the football game.

Also planned in conjunction with the launch of Northwestern’s 125-year anniversary celebration is an alumni art exhibition during October. The month-long show will feature paintings by Amanda Bultman ’02, jewelry by Nicole (Vanderhill ’98) Hughes, sculpture by David Rhodes ’03, mixed media by Greg Schoon ’75, prints by Berwyn Stoel ’76, and mixed media by Sue (Van Rees ’95) Van Geest. A reception with the artists is scheduled for Homecoming weekend, Saturday, Oct. 6, at 11 a.m. in the Te Paske Gallery of the Korver Visual Arts Center.

Other anniversary events planned for 2007–08 include a “Minding Place” symposium April 5–12, 2008, and a community picnic in summer 2008. The symposium is part of Northwestern’s first Day of Learning in Community—open to the public—with readings and comments by Kathleen Norris, the award-winning author of Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, on Wednesday, April 9.

For more information about Northwestern’s 125-year anniversary, as well as a complete schedule of events for the Oct. 5–7 launch of the celebration, visit