1948-1966


See the timeline of growth, leadership changes, and the temporary closing of the college.

First KTIS broadcast with Billy Graham in 1949

1948 | The campus moves to Memorial Hall on Loring Park. The Robert L. Moyer gymnasium is a boon for the burgeoning varsity sports program for both men and women.

1949 | Radio station KTIS goes on the air. Hawthorne Hall is purchased for freshmen, and Plymouth Hall is leased for married students.

1950 | The Fine Arts Building is purchased for the music and speech departments, and Mitchell Hall houses the department of missionary medicine and school infirmary.

1952 | Billy Graham, answering God's irresistible call to full-time evangelistic ministry, resigns as president.

1953 | Dr. Richard Elvee becomes the school's third president and begins laying the groundwork for accreditation.

1956 | Financial tension leads to the closing of Northwestern Theological Seminary and the Bible School. The surviving liberal arts college becomes known as Northwestern College.

1957 | Dr. Curtis B. Akenson, who succeeded W.B. Riley as pastor of First Baptist Church, becomes the fourth president.

1963 | McAllister Library is dedicated with 23,000 volumes and seating for 250 students. The library enables the College to build its biblical literature collection as well as periodicals and audio-visual equipment.

1966 | North Central Association delays accreditation for two years, citing need for a stronger financial and constituency support base. Music department chair William B. Berntsen becomes president and closes the college while making plans for an emerging "New Northwestern."

The four years [1957-1961] were among the most impactful of my life. The culture encouraged by staff and faculty was centered on following God fully and enthusiastically pursuing whatever we might chose to do in life. Early in my years there, I was given a modern-English translation of the New Testament by J.B. Phillips. I was encouraged to become immersed in the word of God, and form a personal relationship with Him. A strong focus on academic excellence helped shape our future linguistic and translation work positively. We also formed some wonderful friendships with fellow students along the way.
Steve Sheldon
Department of History & Related Fields, 1961

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