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


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.”