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Chicago Family Business Council Presents Northwestern College with its Centennial Award

Five companies were honored with these inaugural Centennial Awards by the CFBC. In addition to Northwestern College, which was founded in 1902, honorees included Wisdom Adhesives Worldwide (1875); Larson Forgings (1895); William V. MacGill (1904); and Lavezzi Precision (1908). The awards were presented during the concluding luncheon of the CFBC Family Business Day, appropriately themed, “Celebrating Centennial Companies.” This awards ceremony marked both the conclusion of the CFBC’s 20th Anniversary Year, as well as the end of its 2014/15 programming year. Nearly 150 family business owners were in attendance, with the award presentations immediately following special remarks made by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, marking the first time an Illinois Governor has ever spoken to the Council’s membership.

Northwestern College (formerly known as Northwestern Business College until 2008) was presented with the CFBC’s Centennial Award in honor of its 113 years of commitment to higher education. The College was founded in 1902 in Chicago at 1747 N. Robey (later renamed “Damen” Avenue) just north of North Avenue. It has continued to be a family-owned institution of higher learning which began with a mission of providing men and women with specialized training necessary for successful careers in business. In 1958 the Schumacher Family bought the College when Violet Schumacher – a former student, receptionist, staff member and finally Director of the College – attained ownership. Decades later, Violet (who recently passed away in 2013 at 98 years of age) sold the College to her two children, with her son Lawrence Schumacher taking over as President in 1978. Lawrence became the sole owner of the College in 2007 and has continued to serve as its President for the past 37 years.

When it started in 1902, Northwestern College offered just two programs: Stenography and Accounting. But as the years passed, new programs were added to meet the needs of Chicago’s rapidly growing business community. Over the past 113 years Northwestern College has grown to consist of two physical campuses including Oak Lawn and Chicago-Jefferson Park, and also boasts of NC Online, a venue which allows students to obtain degrees fully online in three programs. Today, Northwestern College continues to meet the needs of career-oriented students with its Schools of Commerce & Technology, Health Sciences, Legal Studies, and Nursing. With smaller class sizes, the College offers a level of personalized instruction not found at the majority of larger institutions.

Northwestern College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and several programmatic agencies; in addition it is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. In 2012 the HLC granted continuation of Northwestern College’s accreditation for the highest term available – ten years. Students graduate from Northwestern College and are prepared to enter the workforce as, for example: nurses, massage therapists, law enforcement officers, medical assistants, medical billing & coding specialists, radiographic technologists, paralegals, executive accountants, and human resource managers.

“We’d like to thank the Chicago Family Business Council for honoring Northwestern College with their Centennial Award,” stated Lawrence Schumacher, the College’s President. “Few businesses can boast of reaching a milestone 100 years of age, and Northwestern College will be commencing its 114th year shortly – truly, a testament to my Mother, Violet. She put her magical touch on this institution, and I, and the rest of the Schumacher Family, are proud to continue her tradition well into the 21st Century. Our success, though,” he concluded, “is based on the students Northwestern College has educated for well over a century! They are the true testament of what we have accomplished!”

Northwestern College's Chief Operations Officer Dimitrios Kriaras accepts the Chicago Family Business Council's (CFBC) Centennial Award from Vickie Reilly, the CFBC's Program Committee Chair.

Northwestern College’s Chief Operations Officer Dimitrios Kriaras accepts the Chicago Family Business Council’s (CFBC) Centennial Award from Vickie Reilly, the CFBC’s Program Committee Chair.