What I Discovered From the Discover Campaign

President Greg Christy


In November of 2014, we embarked upon the largest single-building fundraising campaign in Northwestern's history. The Discover Campaign has a goal of $24.5 million for a new science center. It also seeks another $5.5 million to endow the facility's operations and provide more scholarships and better research opportunities for students.

On April 7, thanks in part to a successful challenge pledge, we were able to break ground on Northwestern's newest building. Praise God for the generous financial commitments of so many people! As wonderful as it has been to see people give so sacrificially, what I will remember most about the Discover Campaign are the stories I've heard from our alumni.

On almost every trip I have made, at least one alum has asked about longtime biology professor Virg Muilenburg '58, '60, '62. Many have similar memories to the person who recalled, "He used to host me at his home for homemade pizza and milkshakes!" When I tell them he is still doing that for students, they are amazed! They are also not surprised to hear "Prof," as he's still affectionately known, continues to humbly serve the college by caring for our campus grounds.

Early on, an alumnus from our junior college days told me about a professor named Ted Van Bruggen. This gentleman said, "I owe him everything." I was able to get the two of them together when they were both in northwest Iowa, and they had a great reunion. A number of others have asked about former chemistry professor Dr. Pete Hansen. Many have expressed a deep respect and appreciation for what they learned from him.

More recent graduates have shared about the impact of our current science faculty. It's clear that alumni have been profoundly influenced by their professors in the natural and health sciences throughout our history.

While the focus of the Discover Campaign has been to raise funds for a new science center for the next generation of NWC students, it has also been a reminder that Northwestern is a place where deep and meaningful relationships are cultivated between professors and students—and those relationships continue long after graduation. Our faculty and staff pour their hearts and souls into providing a whole education for one's whole life. In the end, Northwestern grads get even more than that. They also gain lifelong mentors and relationships that can never be measured in dollars and cents.

Through the generations, we have been blessed with faculty and staff members who engage students in courageous and faithful learning and living that empowers them to follow Christ and pursue God's redeeming work in the world. This campaign has reminded me yet again what a blessing it is to be part of this Christian academic community.

President Greg Christy

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