North Central College will celebrate its homecoming with a new entryway to campus Saturday.
College, Naperville and Naperville Park District officials will dedicate the Riverwalk Gateway at 1 p.m. just north of Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium, 455 S. Brainard St. The ceremony will be followed by the 2 p.m. kickoff of the homecoming football game vs. Illinois Wesleyan University.
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The Riverwalk Gateway connects the college to Naperville's Fredenhagen Park, located northeast of the Washington Street bridge over the DuPage River.
"The Riverwalk Gateway is now an entryway to the College that matches the beauty of the Riverwalk's Moser Bridge and the Park District's Fredenhagen Park," said Rick Spencer, the college's Vice President for Institutional Advancement.
The new Riverwalk Gateway includes stone pillars that mark the entryway to campus and a landscaped pathway along the east bank of the West Branch of the DuPage River next to Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.
Funding for the $800,000 Riverwalk Gateway improvements, which began in June, came from many sources, including a grant from the Illinois' Independent Colleges Capital Program, the North Central College senior gifts from the classes of 1961, 2004 and 2012, and a pledge of $500,000 from 1963 graduates James and Patricia Brady Bambule.
The Riverwalk Gateway is part of the college's $2.5 million Legacy Project that includes the nearby Sesquicentennial Walkway, slated for completion by early December. The brick paver walkway is a pedestrian path that runs through the interior of campus between Benton and Jefferson avenues.