Pictured from left, David Brewer ’64, Heidi Lang ’64 Brewer, Katri Brewer Delac
For the John and Frank Sparacio Charitable Foundation, North Central College is a family affair. The foundation’s late president, Dorothea Lang, was proud that her siblings Martin ’59, Theodor ’71, Ernstfried ’58 and Adelheid “Heidi” Lang ’64 Brewer all attended the College (Ernstfried attended the Evangelical Theological Seminary).
“[Dorothea] really wanted to make a meaningful gift to the College,” explains Katri Brewer Delac, a foundation board member (with cousin Ruth Haines Lang and Martin) and daughter of Heidi and David Brewer ’64. “She was very involved in deciding how to distribute it.”
Their $500,000 gift supports the Brilliant Future Campaign with three naming gifts in the Dr. Myron Wentz Science Center—including a first-floor classroom and two gathering spaces—as well as a scholarship in memory of John Sparacio and in honor of Heidi, Martin and Theodor Lang. “My mom and uncles are so grateful they could attend tuition-free,” says Delac. “We want to help other students who need that kind of financial help.”
“We want the College to be a beacon of light to help guide future generations of young people as they work to make the world a better, kinder place to live,” adds Theodor.
Delac and her parents recently toured the Wentz Science Center and reminisced on the light-filled third floor:
“I was born in Japan, where my parents worked as German missionaries sponsored by the Evangelical Brethren Church in America. After the war I came to the College completely alone with just one ridiculous pink suitcase. The people at North Central really became my second family. There was a lot of warmth on this campus.” [Heidi]
“Heidi and I met when we were both working as dishwashers at Kroehler [now Little Friends]. We worked our way through school that way, also serving the family-style meals and putting on fancier meals with tablecloths once a week.” [David]
“Mother Dom was my housemother and she was just wonderful. She went with me and David to Chicago so I could apply for citizenship. I passed the test and David and Mother Dom were there to act as my witnesses … but then we found out Mother Dom wasn’t an American citizen— she was Canadian! But the judge made an exception, thank goodness, and I got my citizenship anyway.” [Heidi]
“One of my favorite memories was the bonfire we had for Homecoming at Fort Hill. It was huge—probably 20 feet high—and fueled by railroad ties. I think that was the last year it was allowed!” [David]
Delac emphasized that the family feels honored and privileged to be able to help the College and the Campaign. “We’re confident that this gift will have a real impact on students, and that’s what matters most to us.”