Alumni Council


In support of the University’s mission, the Council exists to represent and connect alumni with one another and to the University by supporting events and information that seek to develop relationships, promote involvement, and encourage support.

Meet the Council Members

portrait of Andrew Voelker
Andrew Voelker, Alumni Council President

General Business, 2007

Andrew has several fond memories of his time at Northwestern. One of those memories was playing a lot of pick-up basketball in the old Riley gym. Another memory of his is that he proposed to his wife, his sophomore year of college. He waited for her after choir practice outside Totino in a suit with flowers, and then later that night got engaged on the Stone Arch Bridge. Because of these fond memories, Andrew is eager to serve on the Alumni Council. Knowing the impact that Northwestern had on his life as the result of attending, he wants to help as many students have the same experience.

portrait of Karen Case
Karen Case, Reunions & Events Committee Chair

Psychology and Bible, 1992

Karen shared that a few of her favorite memories from her time at Northwestern include playing on the Women's Softball Team, playing intramural broomball, and taking a class trip to Israel. Karen is thrilled to be serving on the Alumni Council as it allows her to connect with old and new friends, and continue to share with current students and alumni what a great school Northwestern is and all that they have to offer.

portrait of John Benham
John Benham

Music Education, 1964

John greatly appreciated his time at Northwestern. He has great memories of traveling with the music team on weekends and throughout the summer as a student. He also met his wife at Northwestern, who also happened to be his accompanist during his four years at Northwestern. John values the theological integrity that Northwestern has maintained during his time as a student and as an alumni. John is delighted to serve on the Alumni Council and share his experiences and knowledge with current students and alumni.

portrait of Terry Esau
Terry Esau

Music Education, 1978

Terry loved his time at Northwestern. From meeting his wife, Mary, walking in the tunnels to playing basketball and being a part of New Beginnings. Terry was able to make several friends while attending Northwestern, some who he still spends time with today. Terry is excited to serve on the Alumni Council as it is an opportunity to influence future attendees to become broadly educated, to learn to think deeply and critically, and love the world with the love of Jesus.

portrait of Gracia Reed
Gracia Reed, Alumni Engagement Committee Chair

Communications, 1986

Gracia has so many great memories from cheerleading for soccer and basketball at Northwestern. One her favorites is that they were able to introduce male cheerleaders at basketball games to help them with lifts and mounts. Gracia also enjoys the memories that came from somewhat ordinary moments, such as doing laundry late at night and chatting with friends while they waited. Gracia loves Northwestern and is serving on the Alumni Council to help keep it a world-class, Christ-centered university.

portrait of Brian Gilbert
Brian Gilbert, Alumni Council Vice President

Management and Computer Information Systems, 1990

Brian describes his time at Northwestern as a great experience. The thing that he values most about Northwestern is that it is a Christ-centered university. He thoroughly enjoyed the knowledge and wisdom that he gained through his many Bible classes as well as the mentoring he received from faculty. Because of the impact Northwestern had on him, Brian is serving on the Alumni Council to make sure that Northwestern remains a Christian first university.

portrait of Bob Hosman
Bob Hosman

Biology, 1966

Bob's experience in finishing his degree was a little different than most that attended Northwestern. In 1966 the downtown campus closed leaving Bob unable to finish out his last year of college at Northwestern! While he was not able to complete his degree at Northwestern, Bob still cherishes the time he was able to spend with friends and his future wife. Bob is excited to be serving on the Alumni Council as he enjoys caring for all fellow alumni and keeping them up to date with what is happening on campus.

portrait of David McCalip
David McCalip

Social Science and Bible, 1992

David made some great memories while attending Northwestern. Some of his favorite memories include organizing and playing intramural sports and working on the Northwestern grounds crew for all four years. David is delighted to serve on the Alumni Council as it allows him to give back to Northwestern in a variety of ways through his God-given talents.

portrait of Betty Mertens
Betty Mertens

Communications and Bible, 2007

Betty greatly enjoyed her time at Northwestern. She remembers being on the cast of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat and the choreographer told them that they were all going to learn to do the splits, they were skeptical at first but it did happen. She also cherishes the time she was able to travel to Egypt and see the Great Pyramids with a group of art students. Betty is excited to serve on the Alumni Council as Northwestern has been such a huge part of her own story and hopes to share that with others.

portrait of Hubert Ngabirano
Hubert Ngabirano

Master of Business Administration, 2021

Hubert has many memories from his time at Northwestern, one of those is meeting his wife. Hubert remembers meeting his wife for the first time in the Bersten Library on Valentine's Day, and they have been together ever since. Hubert also enjoyed being able to surround himself with a community of believers that he was able to learn from and gain insights on how to live out the Gospel in the business world. Hubert is excited to serve on the Alumni Council because he wants to help other alumni be engaged with the life here at Northwestern and share their experiences with current students.

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Abby McDermott

Nonprofit Leadership and Bible, 2019

Abbie enjoyed some great moments at Northwestern! From meeting her husband in a ministry class, to working in the Alumni Office, and making lifelong friendships on the softball team. Abbie values how much the professors, staff, and coaches truly care about the students at Northwestern. Abbie is honored to be serving on the Alumni Council and continue advocating for the best interest of the students.

portrait of Jodi Richert
Jodi Richert, Career & Mentoring Committee Chair

Music, 1992

Jodi had the best four years of her life as a student at Northwestern with the most wonderful professors and friends around her. Some of her favorite memories include choir rehearsals and concerts, as well as tours to England and Scotland. Because of the love that Jodi has for Northwestern, she is serving on the Alumni Council to help keep the university moving forward, growing, and thriving.

portrait of Dick Schirmacher
Dick Schirmacher

Music, 1964

Dick valued his time at Northwestern very much. He was able to make lifelong friends that he stays in touch with to this day and even meet his future wife, who he has been married to for over 55 years. Dick values the sincerity of the students at Northwestern as well as the excellent faculty. Dick is excited to serve on the Alumni Council to help others see what a special place Northwestern truly is.

portrait of Branson Smith
Branson Smith

Marketing, 2015

Branson had a fantastic time at Northwestern whether that be attending basketball games, volleyball games, or praise chapels. Branson valued the faith that was incorporated into the classroom and that he was able to surround himself with friends that shared similar beliefs. Branson is motivated to serve on the Alumni Council because he wants to continue being a servant for students at Northwestern and help them as much as he can.

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