SOURCE: North Park University

North Park University

May 17, 2011 18:20 ET

North Park University's Axelson Center Symposium Marks 12th Anniversary With Appearance by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

More Than 500 People Attended This Year's Symposium; Awards Presented to Three Local Nonprofit Organizations

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - May 17, 2011) - North Park University, which prepares students for lives of significance and service, announced today that Rahm Emanuel, the newly-elected Mayor of the City of Chicago, spoke about the importance of the nonprofit community in Chicago at its 12th Annual Axelson Center Symposium for Nonprofit Professionals and Volunteers. More than 500 people attended the symposium, which was held on Tuesday. May 17, and is the largest conference in the Midwest focusing on nonprofit management. It included more than 40 of the country's top nonprofit management experts and thought leaders, who provided nonprofit strategy-level discussions and practically-focused mini workshops throughout the day. Awards for nonprofit managerial excellence and emerging nonprofit organizations were presented to Children's Home + Aid, Lincoln Park Community Shelter and Urban Initiatives.

While at the Symposium, Mayor Emanuel spoke about the importance of Chicago's nonprofit community and introduced the closing keynote speaker, Darell Hammond, CEO of KaBOOM!, which is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to create great playspaces through the participation and leadership of communities.

Commenting on the Symposium, Mayor Emanuel said, "We as a city benefit by what nonprofit organizations do for the City of Chicago."

"The attendance of Mayor Emanuel at today's Axelson Center Symposium affirms the critical role schools and colleges like North Park University and all nonprofit organizations have in supporting the well-being of the City of Chicago," said North Park University President David L. Parkyn.

Pier C. Rogers, Ph.D., director of the Axelson Center, added, "We are delighted that Mayor Emanuel's friendship with our speaker Darell Hammond has brought him to North Park University's Axelson Center Symposium. His comments about our nonprofit community suggest his appreciation of nonprofit organizations in contributing to the vitality of Chicago and all its citizens."

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence, which was given to three nonprofit organizations that embody exemplary management practices. Children's Home + Aid won the Large Nonprofit Award (annual budget exceeding $3 million annually) and Lincoln Park Community Shelter won the Small Nonprofit Award (annual budget under $3 million annually) and will each receive a $5,000 unrestricted grant. Additionally, Urban Initiatives won the Excellent Emerging Nonprofit Organization Award, which targets smaller, emerging organizations and includes more than $25,000 in pro bono capacity-building services and a $2,500 grant.

About the Axelson Center
North Park University's Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management, established in 1999, seeks to enhance the performance and effectiveness of individuals and organizations in the nonprofit sector through education, service and resources. The Axelson Center's vision is to help build vibrant communities in Chicago and beyond through strengthening nonprofit leadership. For more information, visit

About North Park University
Located in Chicago, North Park University is a Christian comprehensive university that serves nearly 3,200 undergraduate and graduate students of all faiths and diverse multicultural backgrounds from around the country and the world. North Park offers a values-based education to students through more than 30 undergraduate majors and an adult degree-completion program, as well as graduate and continuing education in business, nonprofit management, nursing, education, music, and theology. By integrating faith with learning and service -- as it has done since its founding in 1891 by the Evangelical Covenant Church -- North Park University continues to focus on the important task of preparing students for lives of significance and service. More information is available at

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