Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment that transcends traditional academic boundaries. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth in a setting enhanced by the richness of Chicago.
Northwestern University is a private institution founded in 1851 to serve the Northwest Territory, an area that now includes the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and parts of Minnesota. In 1853 the founders purchased a 379-acre tract of land on the shore of Lake Michigan 12 miles north of Chicago. They established a campus and developed the land near it, naming the surrounding town Evanston in honor of one of the University’s founders, John Evans. After completing its first building in 1855, Northwestern began classes that fall with two faculty members and 10 students.
Northwestern has three campuses. Two campuses are located on Lake Michigan: a 240-acre campus in Evanston, the first suburb north of Chicago, and a 25-acre campus in Chicago. One campus is located in Doha, Qatar.
Academics at Northwestern
Northwestern is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on two lakefront campuses in Evanston and Chicago. By any measure, Northwestern ranks among the premier universities in the nation, combining the resources of a major research university with the intimacy of a small college. The number of undergraduates here is relatively small — only 8,000 — yet, with more than 100 formal academic concentrations in six undergraduate schools, we offer an astonishing range of study.
Northwestern’s excellence is evident in many ways: test scores and class rank of entering students, library holdings, the success of our graduates. What sets us apart from many other large universities, however, is our commitment to undergraduate teaching: Our faculty teach more than 97 percent of the courses on campus, and the opportunities for undergraduates to do research projects or independent study are plentiful.
No matter which school or course of study you choose, you will find that a foundation in the liberal arts is an integral part of your education at Northwestern. Whether you enter the University knowing your major or, like most, are undecided, you will be encouraged to explore in directions both unexpected and exciting.
Our students rarely confine their talent and energy to the classroom. Northwestern’s student-run daily newspaper has received national recognition, and audiences applaud performances featuring our student body. Approximately 250 campus organizations serve the interests and needs of our students.
If you would like to apply to Northwestern or if you would simply like to learn more about the University, keep surfing. We’ve answered some of the more common questions about Northwestern in the links to the left, and we’ve also provided opportunities for you to request more information. To learn more about the concentrations, special programs, and requirements of our undergraduate programs, follow the links above.
Campus life at Northwestern
You may have many questions about life as a student at Northwestern. What are my housing options? What kind of extracurricular activities can I participate in? What services and resources can I take advantage of? The answers to these questions and more can be found in the links above.
Combe Tennis Center
There is a place inside the Combe Tennis Center where one can overlook six tennis courts in one direction while enjoying a breathtaking view of Lake Michigan and Northwestern’s own private beach in the other.
Varsity team locker rooms are state-of-the-art, with individual wooden lockers for each player. In addition, a team conference room, athletic training room and varsity equipment storage room make for a completely self-contained facility. Both of the tennis head coaches’ offices have a complete view of the beach and Lake Michigan.
“The Combe Tennis Center is an outstanding venue for college tennis,” said head coach Claire Pollard. “It is perfect for both players and spectators.”
Each of the six courts has its own electronic scoreboard. The main team scoreboard, which dominates the center of the south wall, gives a composite score and features an electronic message center.
Spectator seating for over 300 is on a balcony overlooking the courts, so fans have an unobstructed view of each match being played. Construction of the $10 million project was started on Dec. 1, 2000. The building opened for use just over a year later, on Jan. 7, 2002.
The new center takes its name from former Northwestern tennis player Ivan Combe, who offered the lead donation that made the center a reality. Combe was a member of the tennis team from 1931 to 1933. He played on legendary Wildcat coach Paul Bennett’s first team.
Many other friends of Northwestern tennis have contributed to the project as well. The 1990 men’s tennis team has donated the money to establish a Hall of Fame in the spectator seating area.
The Combe Tennis Center is part of the four-building Sports Pavilion and Aquatics Center where students, faculty, staff and members can take advantage of the fitness center, weight room, racquetball and squash courts, basketball courts and 50-meter swimming pool.
A general recreation area is located adjacent to the tennis center with three full-length hardwood basketball courts surrounded by an elevated running track that measures a tenth of a mile.
The ITA named the Combe Tennis Center the 2002 Outstanding Facility.
Vandy Christie Tennis Center
The Vandy Christie Tennis Center was dedicated on October 29, 1994 to honor an outstanding alumnus and special representative of Northwestern University. Christie’s Northwestern career began as a varsity tennis player in 1955. He returned as the men’s head coach from 1976-83 and then became the director of athletic development.
The Center boasts 15 courts, a pro shop and permanent seating for approximately 400 spectators. The courts have been home to Wildcat tennis since 1941, and have been the site of four NCAA Championships and 23 Big Ten Championships. The Christie Tennis Center is located on Sheridan Road
Bryon S. Coon Center
Northwestern student-athletes have the opportunity to train and improve their strength in one of the finest weight rooms in the nation. With its recent renovation and expansion, the Byron S. Coon Center is now a 12,000-square foot, glass-encased facility housing brand new equipment. The Coon Center is connected to the Nicolet Football Center, just off Ryan Field, and is the hub for all of Northwestern’s student-athletes. Step inside the glass walls during any afternoon; the center is a hive of activity.
Former Northwestern football star Larry Lilja is the long-time director of the Strength and Conditioning Center. Lilja, who played for the Wildcats from 1973-75, graduated from the Evanston campus in 1976. He played briefly with the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL).
Nick Zostautas, Jason Pullara and Katie Austin are the assistant directors of the Coon Center and help Lilja oversee the strength and conditioning for all of NU’s 19 varsity sports.
In the summer of 2008, Northwestern received the following brand new, state-of-the-art equipment:
• 17 Power Platforms
• 21 Power Racks
• 21 Olympic Competition Bumper Plates
• 12,000 lbs. of New Work Plates
• 28 Olympic Bars
• Two (2) 4-way Multi-Hip Machines
• 120 pairs of dumbbells, ranging from 5-150 lbs.
• 21 Power Benches
• Five (5) Free-Standing Combo Pulley Units
• Three (3) Leg Press Machines
• Two (2) Reverse Hyper Machines
• Two (2) Hip Extension Machines
• Two (2) Belt Squat Machines
• Brand New State-of-the-Art MONDO Flooring
“The equipment we’ve purchased and put in this weight room is geared toward the serious athlete, who’s intent is to train and compete at the highest level of competition. It’s very heavy duty; it’s very skill and sport specific equipment. It’s not a health club atmosphere here – when you step through those doors, you better be prepared to work.”
-Larry Lilja Director of Strength and Conditioning
Ken Kraft Wrestling Room
For his 48 years of involvement with the Northwestern wrestling program, the new wrestling facilities are named in honor of Ken Kraft. Kraft was a four-year member of the Wildcat wrestling squad and NU’s head coach for 22 years. In 2004, Kraft retired after spending 51 years at NU as an athlete, coach and administrator.
The Ken Kraft Wrestling Complex is part of the new Anderson Hall renovations. It contains three 42’x42′ mats, almost doubling the former wrestling room size. It houses coaching offices and locker rooms. The facility opened in the summer of 2005.
“The new facility has a nearby locker room, modern amenities and is among the best in college wrestling,” Kraft said.
As a student-athlete at NU, Kraft competed in the 167-pound weight class, winning the 1957 Big Ten Title. After graduation, Kraft took over the head coaching duties, compiling a 128-106-5 record in his 22 years at the helm. During that time, he coached 14 All-Americans, two of which were national champions.
One of Kraft’s greatest contributions to the wrestling program was the founding of The Midlands Championships, now in its 45th year. The Midlands brings the very best in amateur wrestling to Welsh-Ryan Arena every December between Christmas and New Year’s.
Kraft also spent time in front of the cameras as a commentator for ABC’s Wide World of Sports during the 1972 and 1976 Olympics. In addition, he has served on the U.S. Wrestling Federation Governing Council and Executive Committee, and was president of the association from 1972-76. In 1998, he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Today, Kraft continues to be actively involved in the Wildcat wrestling program as the tournament director for The Midlands Championships.
Northwestern’s new Lakeside Field hosted its first game on September 12, 2007 and hosted its first night contest on November 2, 2007. Lakeside Field is home to Northwestern’s men’s soccer, women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse programs. Located along the shores of scenic Lake Michigan and with a clear view of downtown Chicago in sight, the facility is one of the best of its kind in all of collegiate soccer and certainly one of the most picturesque.
Lakeside Field features a new scoreboard, a game operations box, permanent stands for 2,000 fans and lights for night games. FieldTurf, the company responsible for the playing surface, has informed Northwestern the field has received a FIFA 2-Star Certification — making it the first field installed by FieldTurf to receive such a distinction
Leonard B. Thomas Athletic Complex
Built in 1997 at a cost of $3.5 million, the Leonard B. Thomas Sports Complex (LBT), also known as Lakeside Field, is one of the premier venues for field hockey in the United States.
Located on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, with the world famous Chicago Skyline serving as a panoramic backdrop, the complex includes an artificial turf playing field lined specifically for field hockey, permanent seating for approximately 300 fans, a sound system, a permanent scoreboard, lighting for night games and extensive landscaping.
The LBT was the site for the 2002 Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament and, following field renovations two years later, hosted the Tournament in 2004.
The installment of the complex on the north end of Northwestern’s main campus brings field hockey closer to where the students live and has attracted additional fans to the team’s games. On a sunny day in the fall, the stands are packed to beyond capacity with fans spilling over onto the sidelines.
Northwestern field hockey is proud to call the Leonard B. Thomas Sports Complex “home” as it truly is one of the best and most picturesque facilities in the country
Luke Donald Practice Facility and Gleacher Center
In the fall of 2006, Northwestern’s newest golf practice facility was unveiled, the Luke Donald Outdoor Practice Facility, at The Glen Club, an 18-hole Tom Fazio design course, in Glenview, Ill. The Glen Club annually hosts the LaSalle Bank Open on the Nationwide Tour, as well as the Illinois Open.
Donald, the former Northwestern All-American and now one of the world’s top professional golfer, made the lead gift for the construction of this new facility. Other major donors included James Morrison and the Dougherty family.
The Luke Donald Outdoor Practice Facility includes a 15,000-square foot bent grass range tee, a 1/2-acre practice pitching/chipping area with a 6,000-square foot usga green, bent grass, bluegrass and fescue turfed areas for a variety of lies and shots. There are also three practice bunkers, totaling 5,000-square feet for shots of varying length into the chipping green.
A 3,000-square foot practice putting green is also part of the facility as well as a fairway bunker practice shot area.The facility was designed by Fazio Design.
“When we built this facility at the Glen Club, it created an opportunity for our kids to hit balls and work on their short game more often. I feel like before this we were near the top of the list in regard to facilities, but now this puts us absolutely at the top. We have access to incredible private clubs, and I am certain that no other school has better access and is more welcome at that many great courses,” said head coach Pat Goss. “We have an incredible indoor facility on campus, and now we have an outdoor facility that allows our players to hit any shot they want up to 70 yards away from the green. That allows for a lot of variety around the green. They also have a tee box that is just for them. The facility is just ours and we can use it any way we want. It allows us to work on some things that we couldn’t before. This new facility really brings us to the forefront and completes the kind of practice regime we want to use at Northwestern. It gives us the ability to practice any time we want and develop our players to the best of our abilities.”
The Gleacher Golf Center
The finest indoor learning center in the collegiate golf world.
On April 22, 1998, Northwestern University announced it had received a $6.1 million gift from Eric J. Gleacher to create a state-of-the-art indoor golf facility and to endow the men’s and women’s golf programs. The $1.1 million Gleacher Golf Center-which was enhanced in the winter of 2004 with new turf, a green expansion, new netting and a video equipment upgrade-is the finest indoor learning center in the collegiate golf world. The facility, built on the site of the University’s old swimming pool located in the Patten Gymnasium complex, includes the following features:
• A teaching area with three permanently mounted digital video cameras connected to two viewing monitors.
• A hitting area with three stations. Players can either hit full shots into a netted area or hit pitch shots onto a green.
• A 2,375 square-foot pitching and putting green with a special sand-bed golf surface which simulates play characteristics of real grass. Contouring, shaping and grading was advised by golf course architect Bob Lohmann, architect of the Merit Club, the 2000 U.S. Women’s Open site.
• A 280 square-foot sand bunker.
• A player locker area, with 18 custom made wood lockers for club storage.
• A players and sports equipment room. This “Clubhouse” structure, designed to reinforce the golf course atmosphere, overlooks the facility.
“This is the most complete short game teaching center in the country,” said head men’s golf coach Pat Goss. “We now have a place where we can chip, putt and practice bunker shots during the winter months. It is an extreme privilege and honor to have a facility such as the Gleacher Golf Center.”
The Gleacher Golf Center measures 89×62 feet and its ceilings peak at 25 feet. Construction of the facility began during the summer of 1998 with the demolition of the old swimming complex. Completion of the golf center, available for use only by members of the Wildcat golf teams, was in January of 1999.
“There is not much doubt that my ability to play golf was the most important factor in Northwestern’s decision to take me as a student, and absolutely no doubt about why I was awarded a scholarship,” said Gleacher.
“As the years have unfolded, I have thought, literally thousands of times, of how fortunate I was to be treated so favorably by such an outstanding institution, and what an enormous difference it has made in my life. Northwestern’s golfing achievements over the past decade have been the result of first-class coaching and recruitment followed by comparable performance on the course.
Norris Aquatics Center
The Dellora A. and Lester J. Norris Aquatics Center includes a 750,000-gallon, 50-meter-by-25-yard pool with movable walls that run on a track system, enabling the pool to be custom-fitted. The complex, which includes an innovative heat recycling system, also features an electronic scoreboard and seating for 800 spectators.
The facility also includes the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion and the Ivan Combe Tennis Center, located adjacent to the Norris Aquatics Center. The sports pavilion features a jogging track, three basketball courts, four racquetball and three squash courts, a weight room and lounge areas. The tennis center features six indoor tennis courts.
Large windows on the running track provide a view of picturesque Lake Michigan. The facility also features an outdoor patio and sundeck that overlook the beach and Lake Michigan. The aquatics center has been the site of numerous competitions, including the United States Swimming Elite National training camp and 1999’s Swim Meet of Champions featuring the USA National Team against the Big Ten All-Stars.
Patten Gymnasium is a historic, multi-purpose facility located on Northwestern’s main campus. The original building opened in 1910 and was home to the basketball team until 1940, when it was demolished to make room for the construction of the Technological Institute and rebuilt farther north at its current location on the corner of Sheridan and Lincoln.
It was used for basketball for twelve years before Welsh-Ryan Arena opened in 1952. The current, ivy-lined building has the original doors and statues from the old gym. It currently is the home to the women’s fencing team. Patten also is the home to the Intramural Sports program. It has offices and locker rooms for the women’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s soccer teams. The facility is named for James A. Patten, former Evanston mayor, philanthropist, commodities broker, and NU Board of Trustees president.
Rocky Miller Park
The 2008 season marked the 50th year of Rocky Miller Park and the 25th season since its rededication.
Northwestern baseball has been played at the site of Rocky Miller Park at Wells Field since 1943, but it was not until 1958 that the University formally dedicated the park. The area is named after Harry L. Wells, a former vice president and business manager at Northwestern. A 1913 graduate of NU, Wells served the University for 20 years before retiring in 1954.
Long the home of Northwestern baseball, Rocky Miller Park underwent renovation in 1983 and was rededicated during ceremonies in May of 1984. Rocky Miller Park features 600 stadium seats, a press box, as well as an electronic scoreboard.
The Wildcats’ attraction to their stadium goes beyond its beauty and utility; the team seems to play better there as well. Since the 1984 rededication, NU has posted a 293-200-2 (.592) record at Rocky Miller.
Sharon J. Drysdale Field
Sharon J. Drysdale Field, home to Northwestern since the early days of legendary coach and field namesake Sharon J. Drysdale’s tenure, has undergone a multiple-phase renovation in recent years. Prior to 2006, the outfield was rolled and new turf installed, leading ESPN.com to proclaim “the field and softball staff both earned rave reviews for staging the Big Ten Tournament…” following that season’s conference tournament.
After playing host to NCAA Tournament rounds in both 2006 and 2007, Drysdale Field’s final renovation phase (including sunken dugouts, permanent seating, a game operations booth and a plaza down the third-base line) was completed. The project, made possible by the generosity and efforts of many program friends and donors, gives Chicagoland fans a unique and exciting place to watch the best college softball in the nation.
The Purple Cow
While gathered in the dugout during NU’s 2006 spring break trip to Hawaii, Northwestern head coach Kate Drohan introduced the team to the theory of “The Purple Cow.” Taken from a marketing book of the same name by Seth Godin, the Purple Cow is a symbol to remind the team to be remarkable in all that it does. Intended initially by Drohan to be a small phase in the 2006 season, the theme grew so popular within the program that it has become a permanent fixture and symbol for Northwestern Softball.
At the inaugural Purple Auction in April of 2007, the parents of the 2007 team purchased and donated a Purple Cow to be displayed at the brand new Sharon J. Drysdale Field. After taking up a temporary residence beyond the right-field fence for the remainder of the 2007 season, the Purple Cow found a permanent home on the concrete plaza of Sharon J. Drysdale Field for 2008 and beyond.
Men’s and Women’s Basketball
The Big Ten Conference is known for its enthusiastic, record-setting crowds and first-class facilities, and Northwestern’s historic Welsh-Ryan Arena is no exception. When opponents arrive to play a game in Evanston, they know they’re in for quite a battle.
McGaw Memorial Hall has been the home of the Wildcats since 1952, when it was built in part to accommodate a meeting of the World Council of Churches at the University. One of the best facilities of its size in the nation when it opened, McGaw Hall played host to the 1956 Final Four, which saw San Francisco win an 83-71 decision over Iowa in the championship game — a contest which drew a crowd of 10,653, still the building’s basketball attendance record. McGaw Hall was one of just three different arenas to stage the event from 1953-59.
McGaw Hall was officially dedicated on Jan. 18, 1953, although the first game in it was played Dec. 6, 1952, with Northwestern taking on Western Michigan. The fieldhouse was donated to the University by Foster G. McGaw and friends in memory of his father, the Reverend Francis A. McGaw, a Presbyterian minister who died at his mission in Nairobi, Africa, in 1942
After its early glory days, the structure to which the Wildcats returned in 1983-84 was not the same one they had left 12 months earlier. A $6.75 million renovation of the building had dramatically altered its interior, with the biggest improvement being the completion of Welsh-Ryan Arena. Now considered one of the top facilities of its size in the nation, Welsh-Ryan Arena is situated at the south end of McGaw Hall, and has a seating capacity of 8,117.
As a part of the $20 million Campaign for Athletic Excellence, various facilities in McGaw Hall were updated and improved. New wood basketball courts were added to the back of McGaw Hall for extra practice and playing time for the men’s basketball, women’s basketball and volleyball teams.
The arena is named in recognition of a leadership gift to the $21 million Athletic Facilities Campaign by the Patrick G. Ryan family of Kenilworth, Ill. Ryan, chairman of Northwestern’s Board of Trustees, is president and chief executive officer of AON Corporation. The name-gift pledge to the Campaign was made by the Ryan family in honor of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Patrick G. Ryan Sr. and his wife’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Welsh Sr.
The first intercollegiate athletic event held after Welsh-Ryan Arena’s 1982-83 renovation was a women’s volleyball match between the Wildcats and Illinois-Chicago on Sept. 2, 1983. Since then, Welsh-Ryan Arena has played home to countless exciting Wildcat volleyball matches. Setting the arena apart from its conference counterparts is Northwestern’s signature purple Sport Court, making the venue a volleyball-dedicated facility and one of the premier places to play in the nation’s best volleyball conference.
Welsh-Ryan has been the home of NU wrestling since the late 1950s, and fans have been treated to some of the best amateur wrestling from around the nation. Every season in late December, the Midlands Championships draws thousands of fans to Welsh-Ryan.
“There is a lot of history in Welsh-Ryan Arena,” said NU head coach Tim Cysewski. “It is a perfect venue. Its smaller size makes for a better experience because the fans are right there on top of the action. A lot of wrestling history has been made at Welsh-Ryan Arena.”
The Brown Family Basketball Center
The Locker Room Project is a $4 million, two-phase operation. The first phase includes the locker rooms, player lounges and team rooms for the men’s and women’s programs. The McGaw Hall (Welsh-Ryan Arena Locker Room Project, part of the Athletics Initiative), includes:
• Two 1,400 square-foot locker room areas
• Wireless internet
• Theatre-style classrooms for team meetings
• Two player lounges with flat panel TVs
• New officials locker rooms
The second phase will be completed in the summer of 2008 when the coaches’ offices will be relocated to the second floor of the facility. This project was made possible by the generous support of:
Don and Alice Brown – Their leadership gift will be recognized with the naming of the Brown Family Basketball Center.
Howard and Marilyn Witt – The men’s basketball locker room will be named in their honor.
Tim and Susan Sullivan – The men’s basketball offices will be named in their honor.
Fast Break Club – The men’s basketball booster group made a commitment to name the men’s players’ lounge.
The day after the last home football game in 1996, a $30 million renovation of NU’s stadium began. Opened in the fall of 1997, the new stadium was christened Ryan Field, in honor of the Patrick G. Ryan family. Mr. Ryan is the chair of Northwestern’s Board of Trustees and has been a member of the board since 1978.
The 1959 graduate of Northwestern is the chairman, president and chief executive officer of Aon Corporation in Chicago. His wife, Shirley, a 1961 Northwestern graduate, is chairman and co-founder of Pathways Awareness Foundation and is chairman of the Chicago Community Trust. She has been a member of Northwestern’s Women’s Board since 1978.
The Ryan family made the major gift to the Campaign for Athletic Excellence, Northwestern’s fund-raising drive for athletic facilities. Mr. Ryan also led the 1982 athletic fund-raising campaign that resulted in new facilities for Northwestern basketball, baseball and several Olympic sports.
The renovations of the stadium included new seating, the replacement of artificial turf with natural grass and an enclosed three-tier structure on the stadium’s west side that includes the stadium club and two floors for the media. Also, an end zone facility housing the football locker room, sports medicine and equipment rooms was constructed.
As part of the $30 million Campaign for Athletic Excellence, a full-scale multipurpose indoor practice facility was constructed. This facility, named for former NU Board of Trustees chairman Howard J. Trienens, was opened in the fall of 1996.
Gridiron interest has helped NU’s stadium return to its status as a leading center of Chicagoland football, a position it held in the ’40s and ’50s when more than 40,000 people regularly attended Wildcat home games. In fact, Northwestern averaged more than 40,000 fans from 1996-98. The last time that occurred was from 1961-64.
The old stadium, built in 1926, was named for William A. Dyche, former vice president and business manager of the University.
A graduate of Northwestern, Dyche served as mayor of Evanston prior to his appointment as business manager in 1903. In 1905, he directed construction of the original wooden stands which had a seating capacity of 10,000.
By the early 1920s, football’s popularity had outgrown the wooden bleachers, and Dyche spearheaded the planning of a 45,000-seat stadium to be erected on the site of the old field. He proposed to the board of trustees that the project be financed by a bond issue. The original estimate of $800,000 soared to $1,425,000 by the time construction was finished in Dyche’s 23rd year as business manager.
In 1949, the stadium was enlarged by a horseshoe enclosure at the south end, increasing seating capacity to 49,256. Dyche Stadium’s capacity occasionally rose to 55,000 by the addition of temporary bleachers at the north end. A press box and an elevator to the second deck were installed in 1961.
Tartan Turf replaced the grass field in 1973 and much more refurbishing of the old stadium took place during the early years of John Pont’s tenure as head coach and athletic director.
The last renovation of the old stadium occurred in the summer of 1994, as 10-year-old SuperTurf playing surface was replaced with new AstroTurf.
Buehler Sports Medicine Center
Northwestern University’s athletic teams receive the finest in medical care. A staff of six team physicians, a talented certified athletic training and physical therapy staff tend to the medical and rehabilitation needs of all Wildcat student-athletes.
Dr. Carrie Jaworski serves as Northwestern’s Head Team Physician and Director of Intercollegiate Sports Medicine since August of 2007. Dr. Jaworski is a Primary Care, Sports Medicine Fellowship trained physician with over 12 years of sports medicine experience. As a full-time athletics department employee, Dr. Jaworski is able to dedicate her time and energy to health and wellness of all NU student-athletes, including football.
Assisting Dr. Jaworski as Wildcat Football Team Physicians is Primary Care Physician Jon Englund MD, as well as Orthopedic Specialists Greg Portland MD, Eric Chehab and Team Dentist Lance Robins DDS. In addition to our team physicians, NU student-athletes have access to over 25 specialty medical consultants in the Chicagoland area.
The philosophy of the sports medicine staff at Northwestern is twofold: to help prevent injuries as much as possible through effective preventative programs and to facilitate an effective post-injury rehabilitation program for a timely, safe return to competition. In all cases, the ultimate well-being of each student-athlete is considered the top priority, not only while athletes compete at Northwestern but over their lifetimes as well.
Northwestern’s athletic training and physical therapy staff is led by Head Athletic Trainer Tory Lindley, ATC. Additionally, the staff consists of 10 full-time staff-certified athletic trainers, one full-time physical therapist/certified athletic trainer, four certified intern athletic trainers and over 20 students seeking careers in sports medicine. Assisting Lindley with football-specific needs are associate athletic trainer Melissa Wuelser, ATC, and staff athletic trainer Jennifer Brown, ATC. Each plays an integral role in year-round delivery of health care to NU’s football student-athletes.
Associate Athletic Trainer Danielle Colegrove ATC, Rehabilitation Coordinator Michelle Krause PT ATC and Staff Athletic Trainers Courtney Jones ATC, Robbie Byrd ATC, Laura Koss ATC, Lisa Palazzolo PT ATC, and Kristi Myren ATC serve the needs of student-athletes involved in Northwestern’s other 18 intercollegiate sports.
• Recreation Management Magazine called Ryan Field one of the “Country’s Best” in 2004.
• Ryan Field was named the 2000 College Football “Field of the Year” by the Sports Turf Managers Association.
• The John Evans Club locker room includes solid oak lockers, three 32-inch flatscreen TV’s and plush carpeting.
• The Buehler Sports Medicine Center features state-of-the-art facilities including a hydro-therapy pool, hot and cold tubs, a sauna and rehab equipment.
• Trienens Hall houses a full-scale, 80-yard multi-purpose indoor practice facility. In 2003, a 40-yard annex was added to the facility.
• The John C. Nicolet Football Center is the headquarters of the football staff and players.
• The Nicolet Center features a 125-seat auditorium for team gatherings and film viewing, plus an additional nine meeting rooms.
• The newly renovated coaches offices and football reception area are located on the second floor, overlooking the interior of Trienens Hall.
• The Nicolet Center also serves as a viewing area for photographs of Northwestern’s All-Americans, All-Big Ten selections, Players in the Pros and a collection of Otto Graham memorabilia.
Institutional Purpose and Athletics Philosophy
The mission of Northwestern University is to pursue the highest order of excellence in its academic and professional programs. Special emphasis is given to high-quality undergraduate education; research committed to institutional leadership in scientific discovery, intellectual inquiry, and creative performance; and a commitment to serve society through teaching as well as research.
Northwestern is unique among private American research universities in providing so rich an array of programs in its six undergraduate schools. Its talented and highly diverse student body enters Northwestern with a broad range of interests and backgrounds. As both the talent and the diversity of undergraduate students increase, the University must also ensure that students feel part of a learning community larger than their departments or schools. All Northwestern undergraduates should enjoy such common experiences as a sense of responsibility for the ownership of their education; the opportunity to work closely with faculty; the mastery of core competencies; the appreciation of the relationship between a student’s academic concentration and that field’s social and academic or artistic contexts; and the development of the intellectual and artistic passion that defines, in part, the liberally educated person.
Intercollegiate athletics have long been an integral and visible aspect of Northwestern University life. The success of the athletic program is not measured solely by wins and losses. Rather, success in intercollegiate athletics at Northwestern University is inextricably linked to the educational mission of the University, especially with regard to the academic and personal development of student-athletes and the institution’s commitment to honoring the highest standards of amateur competition.
Northwestern associates success in its athletic program with the welfare of its student participants. A truly effective athletic program produces student-athletes who succeed in their academic work as well as in their chosen sport and whose careers after graduation are a tribute both to them and their university. The educational aspects of athletics, which include the opportunity to exercise leadership, to develop the ability to work with others as a team, to accept and appreciate the discipline of sustained practice and training, and to realize the value of good sportsmanship, are at least as important as the physical aspects.
The student-athlete concept is the guiding principle of Northwestern University’s participation in Division 1 athletics. The University’s goal is for student-athletes to receive a high-quality experience both in the classroom and on the playing field. To ensure that this goal is met, Northwestern University offers its student-athletes a comprehensive system of services and resources, including excellent athletic and recreational facilities, high-quality coaching, academic counseling and assistance, first-rate medical care, and highly competitive athletic programs. At Northwestern, athletic competition is an integral part of the education process; athletic participation enhances the intellectual, social, and personal development of student-athletes.
Strict observance of rules and regulations is another factor that contributes to the success of a program. It is the responsibility of the University administration and the Department of Athletics and Recreation to adhere to all regulations promulgated for the governance of intercollegiate athletics by the Big Ten Conference, the NCAA, and other groups to which the University belongs. Beyond these controls, and in the interest of the student-athletes, Northwestern has adopted procedures, guidelines, and policies that are more stringent than those for which it is held accountable externally. The University administration and the Department of Athletics and Recreation are equally responsible for observing these rigorous internal standards. A university must have a proactive system that enables it to monitor all athletic practices. This system must provide all the assurances necessary to anticipate and prevent any breach of the rules.
The following instructions have been issued by the president to guide the University administration, the Department of Athletics and Recreation, and other administrative units of the University in the governance of its intercollegiate programs.
Intercollegiate Financial Affairs, Personnel, and Administration
Final institutional authority in all personnel and financial affairs relating to intercollegiate athletics at Northwestern resides with the president of the University. The president and his staff are responsible for establishing and enforcing written procedures specifying the responsibilities and lines of authority for the hiring of the director of athletics and recreation and head coaches, approval of the annual operating budget for the athletic program, and monitoring institutional compliance with NCAA and Big Ten rules.
The sources and expenditures of funds associated with intercollegiate athletics will be documented and reviewed by the University Auditing Department. Furthermore, to ensure compliance with NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199, all financial transactions of the Department of Athletics and Recreation will be audited on an annual basis by an external agency selected by and reporting to the president.
The hiring procedures of all intercollegiate program personnel will include formal consideration of the candidate’s willingness and capabilities to abide by NCAA and Big Ten rules. Northwestern will not, knowingly, hire any individual who has been officially sanctioned by either the NCAA or the Big Ten Conference for violating NCAA or Conference rules.
Since the president is ultimately accountable for the administration of intercollegiate athletics and institutional compliance with all NCAA and Big Ten regulations, copies of all reports to the NCAA or Big Ten Conference regarding possible rules violations, all audit reports regarding the athletics program, and performance reviews of all head coaches must be on file in the appropriate Northwestern Department of Athletics and Recreation office and readily available to the president.
It is the responsibility of the director of athletics and recreation to develop a booster brochure outlining the philosophy and mechanics of a program to recruit student-athletes to Northwestern University. The brochure will be reviewed annually by the faculty athletic representative, the Faculty Committee on Athletics and Recreation, the dean of undergraduate admission, and the president of the University. All individuals who qualify as “representatives of our athletic interests” must receive a copy of the booster brochure. In addition, all prospective student-athletes must receive a copy of the Presidential Directive and the latest NCAA report on Northwestern graduation rates.
It is the responsibility of the director of athletics and recreation to oversee and conduct an annual program in recruiting regulations and procedures for all department staff. Annually, a written test will be given to all appropriate department staff members on rules and regulations. Results of the test will be subject to the review of the faculty athletic representative.
It is the responsibility of each coach, as a representative of Northwestern University, to know and abide by all rules, to understand thoroughly the University’s philosophy on intercollegiate athletics, to articulate that philosophy, and to become familiar with the academic programs of Northwestern University. Each coach must understand the sportsmanlike conduct regulations of the Big Ten Conference and, in particular, its prohibition of negative recruiting. In addition, each coach must accurately represent both the athletic and academic programs of Northwestern University. To do so, each coach will include academic information in mailings to all prospective student-athletes early in the recruiting process.
The director of athletics and recreation is responsible for ensuring that files are maintained on all prospective student-athletes who are recruited in accordance with NCAA guidelines. These files are to include information on off-campus contacts by University personnel, on-campus visits (official and unofficial), official correspondence/mailings, and admissions materials. Additionally, the Department of Athletics and Recreation will monitor all department staff travel to ensure compliance with NCAA/Big Ten and department rules concerning travel and expenditures. Furthermore, all expenses associated with the recruitment of prospective student-athletes will be reviewed in compliance with the external audit guidelines of NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52.
The faculty athletic representative, on a periodic basis, will assess the extent of actual compliance with institutional recruiting policies and procedures.
The University’s external auditors will conduct interviews with selected coaches and other representatives of the University’s athletic interests and use other means to verify that all personnel involved in the recruiting process have a firm understanding of the principles, policies, and rules governing recruiting for Northwestern University.
All formal contact between the Department of Athletics and Recreation and the Undergraduate Admission and Registrar’s offices will be through individuals designated by the director of athletics and recreation. Coaches, assistant coaches, and other department staff will not deal directly with either of these offices but will transmit materials through the appointed liaisons.
The requirements for admission to Northwestern are the purview of the faculties of the various schools and colleges of the University. Responsibility for individual decisions regarding undergraduate admission has been delegated by the faculties to the associate provost of University enrollment, who relies on the dean of undergraduate admission and his/her staff. Appeal of the decision on admission of any potential student-athlete may be made only to the provost. All members of the staff of the Department of Athletics and Recreation who recruit student-athletes must understand the admission policy standards of Northwestern University.
All transcripts mailed through the Department of Athletics and Recreation or handled in any way by department staff members will be considered to be unofficial by the Office of Undergraduate Admission but may be used by the dean of undergraduate admission for a preliminary admission evaluation for recruiting purposes. Before an admission decision is rendered, an official transcript (secondary school and/or college) must be forwarded directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admission along with the admission application. Such transcripts must come from the school and/or college responsible for processing transcripts.
The transcripts of transfer students and transcripts validating any summer session work taken at other institutions by student-athletes will be subject to special scrutiny in the Registrar’s Office and to review by the faculty athletic representative before presentation to the Office of Undergraduate Admission.
Determination of eligibility of transfer students for participation in athletic practice and/or for receipt of financial aid is contingent on the following steps:
1. Completion of a credit evaluation by the Registrar’s Office (prior to submission to the dean of undergraduate admission of a Student-Athlete Admissibility Form on a prospective transfer student-athlete).
2. Determination of admissibility by the dean of undergraduate admission. Materials submitted at this time must include a completed Student-Athlete Admissibility Form and attached credit evaluation. These materials are submitted at the same time to the faculty athletic representative for review. Prior to the final admissibility decision, the dean of undergraduate admission will consult the faculty athletic representative.
3. A written summary of the prospective student-athlete’s eligibility status both at the time of admission and projected over his/her time of enrollment at Northwestern is distributed to the prospective student-athlete and the coach and is filed with Student and Academic Services. This summary will also include an analysis of the student’s progress towards a degree at Northwestern. This summary is the responsibility of the director of student and academic services.
The dean of undergraduate admission is responsible for preparing a confidential report to the president prior to November 1 of each year listing SAT scores, high school rank, and other academic information on all new student-athletes.
The University’s external auditors will attest to the adequacy of controls over materials used in making admission decisions on student-athletes and will review the integrity of the admission process.
It is the policy of Northwestern University that an individual who is offered and accepts athletically related financial aid will continue to receive such support provided that he or she continues to be a team member and continues to make normal progress towards graduation as defined by the University and the Big Ten Conference. A student-athlete whose athletic grant-in-aid has been reduced or canceled is entitled to an appeals hearing, as designated by NCAA, Big Ten, and University financial aid regulations.
All decisions regarding the packaging of financial aid for student-athletes will be made by the director of financial aid or his/her official representative. At the beginning of the academic year, all student-athletes receiving athletically related financial aid must submit a written statement listing any commitments that have been made to them for any forms of financial assistance and summer jobs other than that contained in their financial aid packages.
Academic Advising and Assistance
It is the responsibility of Northwestern University to provide academic advising to student-athletes. Academic advising is the mutual responsibility of the faculty, the undergraduate deans’ offices, and the designated academic adviser in the Department of Athletics and Recreation. Each student-athlete must be assigned a faculty academic adviser in accordance with the general policies of the undergraduate school or college in which the student-athlete is enrolled. While decisions regarding course programs and individual course choices are ultimately the sole prerogative of the student-athlete, the athletic academic adviser and faculty adviser of the undergraduate dean’s office should be involved in all aspects of the academic advising process. The athletic academic adviser is responsible for ensuring that student-athletes consult faculty advisers on a regular basis and may not assume the sole responsibility for advising student-athletes.
In all cases involving a student-athlete’s eligibility or normal progress towards a degree, the athletic adviser must be consulted, but the final decision regarding a student-athlete’s academic program rests with the student-athlete in consultation with the faculty adviser or the dean’s office involved.
All schedules of competition in intercollegiate athletic events are subject to the approval of the Faculty Committee on Athletics and Recreation. Competition must be arranged so as to provide minimal interference with classes and laboratories. Neither classes nor laboratories should be missed due to individual or team practice. Northwestern expects coaches to tolerate an occasional absence from practice for valid academic reasons.
There will be no in-season competition during any final examination week without the express written approval of the Faculty Committee on Athletics and Recreation. Any postseason competition that interferes with a student-athlete’s final examination schedule must also have the express written approval of the Faculty Committee on Athletics and Recreation or its designated subcommittee on scheduling. Coaches should also be sensitive to the academic demands of midterms.
The Faculty Committee on Athletics and Recreation is also responsible for reviewing the effects of intercollegiate practices and competitions on the academic performance of student-athletes and for reviewing the Department of Athletics and Recreation’s academic assistance program for student-athletes on an ongoing basis.
The director of student and academic services will have on file data that will be subject to review by the faculty athletic representative, the Faculty Committee on Athletics and Recreation, the vice president for student affairs, the president, or the president’s designee. This data will include tutoring activities, eligibility statistics, graduation statistics, and a team-by-team summary of grade point averages. It will also describe steps taken to improve the academic performance of student-athletes both in general and in specific cases.
The external auditors may periodically interview selected student-athletes with regard to their academic experience at Northwestern University.
Certification of Eligibility
Certification and monitoring of athletic eligibility involves a variety of individuals and a wide range of rules and situations. Given the inherent complexities of these matters, Northwestern University has developed a set of guidelines designed to facilitate the certification and monitoring of eligibility for student-athletes. These guidelines also define clearly the roles and responsibilities of the University registrar, athletic staff, academic deans, and the faculty athletic representative. These guidelines must be updated whenever changes in NCAA, Big Ten, or University regulations alter existing eligibility rules, procedures, or policies. Final approval and responsibility for updating these guidelines rest mutually with the director of athletics and recreation, the faculty athletic representative, and the president.
All records of student-athletes are to be specially flagged in the University database. Full-time enrollment reports based on information in the University database are run daily by the director of compliance in the athletics department.
One copy of the required forms certifying eligibility to the Big Ten Conference and one copy of the internal forms verifying the data used on such certification will be filed both in the athletics department and in the Registrar’s Office at the time of submission to the Big Ten office. The external auditors will perform periodic audits of the information contained on these forms.
In order for a student-athlete to graduate from Northwestern University within four academic years, it is necessary for that student-athlete to make progress towards a degree at a faster rate than the minimum required for athletic eligibility by the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference. The director of student and academic services is responsible for monitoring the academic progress of student-athletes on a quarterly and yearly basis. In all cases, when a student-athlete’s record is insufficient to predict graduation in four years, the director of student and academic services must inform the faculty athletic representative and the appropriate undergraduate dean. The faculty athletic representative and the dean will advise both the student-athlete and the director of student and academic services on the appropriate action. While every effort must be made to give every student-athlete the opportunity to graduate after attending Northwestern University for four academic years, the University recognizes that in certain cases this is not possible. Under such circumstances, the University is fully committed to the concept of financial support of such student-athletes during their fifth year when indicated. The director of athletics and recreation will file a report with the president’s office each summer listing every student-athlete who has completed four years of eligibility without graduating. The list will include a brief summary of mitigating circumstances and the expected graduation date for each individual. In addition, the faculty athletic representative and the Faculty Committee on Athletics and Recreation will conduct exit interviews with selected graduating student-athletes. The University fully supports the graduation rate studies of the NCAA. As mandated by the NCAA, the Academic Reporting Form will be prepared annually by the director of athletics and recreation and forwarded to the president.
Physical Well-Being of Student-Athletes
Northwestern University is deeply concerned with both the short- and long-term effects of intercollegiate competition on the physical well-being of student-athletes. All coaches must conduct their programs of practice and competition in such a way as to minimize the risk of athletic-related injuries. A team physician will be appointed annually, in writing, by the director of athletics and recreation. The team physician will be responsible for the quality of medical care available to the student-athletes of Northwestern University. The team physician or his/her designee will have sole authority with respect to the return to practice and/or competition of any student-athlete who has been injured. The team physician will also directly supervise the athletic training staff regarding medical decisions and treatments.
Northwestern’s concern for the physical well-being of student-athletes includes opposition to the use of all illegal and NCAA-banned chemical substances by student-athletes. The director of athletics and recreation will, in consultation with the team physician, provide a written statement outlining the University, NCAA, and Big Ten Conference policies on such chemical substances to all student-athletes, coaches, and department staff on an annual basis. Northwestern University supports the NCAA Drug Testing Program.
The team physician will file an annual report with the president of the University furnishing data on athletic-related injuries incurred during the previous year, the treatments and results achieved from the treatments, and recommendations for the abatement of such injuries in the future. The team physician and the director of athletics and recreation will provide the president of the University with a confidential report that evaluates coaches on their performance in minimizing injuries. The report will also examine the competence of the training room staff and the general operations of the training room. These evaluations will be shared with the individual coaches and members of the training room staff.
Relation with Personnel outside the Department of Athletics and Recreation
The director of athletics and recreation and the faculty athletic representative will notify in writing N Club members, booster club members, and others who may come in contact with student-athletes or prospective student-athletes of the constraints imposed on such contacts by NCAA, Big Ten, and University regulations. Where appropriate, such notification will also be extended to Northwestern University faculty and staff members.
No recurring guest benefits or privileges may be extended to members of the Northwestern teaching faculty, staff, alumni, or friends. Personnel of the Undergraduate Admission, Financial Aid, and Registrar’s offices may not be invited as nonpaying guests to any games, trips, or other special functions. No payments may be made from the budget of the Department of Athletics and Recreation to any member of the teaching faculty or to personnel of the Undergraduate Admission or Registrar’s offices for any services rendered to the department. Any exception to this policy must meet with the approval of the director of athletics and recreation and the provost.
It is permissible, however, for each member of the Faculty Committee on Athletics and Recreation and the University’s faculty athletic representative to receive two complimentary season tickets for football, men’s basketball, or any other home athletic event, as requested. A complete manifest will be maintained of all individuals traveling with athletic teams to any contest away from the Northwestern University campus. Such files will be maintained by the director of athletics and recreation and will be subject to examination by the University’s internal and external auditors at any time.
A complete list of individuals (and their affiliations) who receive complimentary tickets to football and men’s basketball games will be maintained in the athletic ticket office and readily available to the president. A list of individuals invited to the Stadium Club for home football games will also be maintained on file. Unauthorized personnel are not permitted in the football and basketball locker rooms prior to the halftime of a contest.
Annual Review of the Directive
This directive will be reviewed annually and revised to ensure compliance with all internal, NCAA, and Big Ten principles and regulations.
Henry S. Bienen
President, Northwestern University