News and Notes

By Anne Lindahl, Bruce Carlson, and Phil Johnson

Gold Medal Morning for NPU Crew

It’s 4:45 a.m. My alarm kicks me awake, and I know I only have 15 minutes to get ready and leave my apartment. Flying around, I throw on all my layers of clothes and junky shoes, and I’m out the door. It’s just another morning of crew, and I’m so excited.

I meet the rest of the team in the parking lot. It’s so dark and cold, but the vans are warming up. Before I know it, we’re on our way to Skokie Rowing Center, our hub for practice every day.

We pull up to the Boat House—the left garage is opened and lit—we’re on the water today! The stars are still shining overhead as we listen to Coach Tim give us the line up. I’m in the four person women’s boat, and I am to sit in three-seat. The four of us women crowd around our boat, and we lift it off the racks. It feels heavier this morning, but it must be our arms straining to wake up.

We carry our boat down to the water.

“Ports to oars, starboards to locks” yells the coxswain as we all scramble to our positions. We push off, and glide out a bit on the water as we continue to ready ourselves.

Warm ups by twos first, then comes the sprint-2000 meters of heart racing, body pounding rowing. We begin. Our seats roll forward together at the catch.

“Pull!” yells the coxswain.

Our arms nearly rip out of our sockets, and our legs explode back on the seat. Again and again we pull and slide, pull and slide. Sweat is dripping from our faces, and it is only practice. We hear “Way enough” from our coxswain, and we slowly come to a stop. Our breaths are gasping—it’s been a good row.

With all of the grueling practices, our hard work paid off at the end of our season in Topeka, Kansas. Our novice crew team, not even one full year in existence, won the gold in two major events. The women’s lightweight four boat and the men’s novice eight boat all returned home proudly with their first place medals around their necks.

Though the medals were a great accomplishment, the true prize was getting to be a part of something so great. The crew team for me was more than just a team, it was my family. And, through it all, I learned countless lessons on unconditional love, physical strength, and a reliance on Christ to carry me through when I couldn’t possibly do any more.

Next year, the crew team at North Park University has had the honor of becoming a women’s varsity sport. This would not have been possible without the support of many different individuals. Many thanks to Dr. Jeff Nelson, Coach Tim, the Science Division at NPU, and to all of the people who contributed prayers and financial support during this past year.

We still have a ways to go before our boat house is completed on campus, but I am so excited to get to be a part of it all. The North Park Crew team has truly been an opportunity that I will never forget. — by Anne Lindahl

Kristen Prescott and Michael Pietro Wed

August 2, 2003. Father Bernard McLaughlin, with the homiletical assistance of the Bride’s Uncle Phil, Pietisten Managing Editor, married this delightful couple in Saint Gerard Majella Church, Canton, Massachusetts. Michael and Kristen met in Boston and now live in Albany, New York where Kristen teaches and Michael is a managing engineer. In the homily, the preacher praised the freedom of marriage and stressed to this athletic couple that they were now called on to play the most important positions—husband and wife—that they have played in their illustrious careers. Both Bride and Groom were happy to be in the starting lineup.

Anders Peter Johnson Arrives

Very early on September 8, 2003, Anders Peter was born to Venessa and Peter Johnson. A serious heart defect precipitated his first crisis. He was quickly transferred to Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago where problems with his little heart were diagnosed. Two heart surgeries were required. Anders conducted himself such that the doctors and nurses called him Champ, Super Star, Super Baby, and the Strong Little Viking.

The surgeries were successful and Anders is at home with his two “big” sisters, Kjersten and Annika who are little moms to him. Another surgery will be needed before his first birthday and several more throughout his life so we should keep this little Christian in our prayers.

A Life of Academic Commitment at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois.

In July of 1975, Dr. Thomas Tredway became president of Augustana College after serving as dean of the college for five years and as a member of the history faculty for 11. A 1955 graduate of North Park Junior College and a 1957 graduate of Augustana, Tredway earned his M.A. at Illinois and his B.Div. at Garrett before completing his Ph.D. at Northwestern.

While his tenure may be remembered for the unprecedented growth of academic facilities—including the College Library, the Science Building, and the Franklin W. Olin Center for Educational Technology—a more lasting legacy will be the strengthening of Augustana’s faculty and academic program as well as the college’s endowment. As Tredway wrote in a recent President’s Report, “No amount of new construction or success in fundraising will compensate for an inferior academic program. We do well to remember that a college is really about teaching and learning, about faculty and curriculum and students.”

Dr. Tredway retired at the conclusion of the 2002-2003 academic year. In recognition of his service, the College Library was dedicated on May 24, 2003, as the Thomas Tredway Library. — Pietisten Wireless Service

St. John 24 Mount Union 6

When I was in college, I had a job as sports reporter for The North Park College News. It was great fun covering some of the NCAA Division III games and observing the formations and superb players (Bach, Baker, Johnson) of the day. Since then I’ve kept up this interest even though big time professional sports as entertainment on a Las Vegas scale is losing me.

Well, I got pretty excited last December 20, when the St. John’s University football team beat Mount Union College for the Division III championship. St. John’s is located in Collegeville, Minnesota. It was founded by Benedictine monks in 1857 and is widely known as the home of the great illuminated manuscript St. John’s Monastic Bible. It’s also where Minnesota Public Radio got its start.

John Gagliardi, St. John’s coach, has won more college games than anyone else in history. He is 77 and in over 50 years of coaching has won 414 games. Gagliardi’s philosophy is unique: no contact in practice, no yelling, no calisthenics, no playbook, and no practice in bad weather. He says he has “no rules” except to “treat others as you would want to be treated.” He runs lots of nice quiet drills and is very friendly and collegial with his players.

The Mount Union win was no cake walk. Their line averaged 300 pounds and they had won 55 straight games. Yet, God’s team, the Johnnies, mopped the floor with these secular brutes. Just 5000 people were in the stands and there were little dogs running around in the end zone at half time. Tickets cost $8. The atmosphere was like football before it was hyped, glitzed, and completely swamped by television money. The Johnnies, with a perfect 13 and 0 season, came up with a thrilling game and victory. I’m not just nostalgic: this style and scale for football is metaphysically correct. —Bruce Carlson

Anne Lindahl is Spring graduate of North Park University in Chicago.

See all articles by Anne Lindahl

Bruce Carlson (1940-2006) was the Executive Director of the Schubert Club and Pietisten Editor of Poetry and Navigation.

See all articles by Bruce Carlson

Phil Johnson is Editor Emeritus of Pietisten.

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