David ’65 and Ruth (Neuman) ’65 Arendsen

David ’65 and Ruth (Neuman) ’65 Arendsen

When David ’65 and Ruth (Neuman) ’65 Arendsen were asked “what brought you to North Central College?”, they nearly answered in unison, “our parents.” It also didn’t hurt that Ruth’s parents and three siblings, and David’s sister, also attended North Central. This Cardinal Couple came from Cardinal families!

Ruth grew up in the Austin area of Chicago and her father was a Methodist minister; David was from Michigan. They both enrolled without visiting the College first, and after meeting their second year, they started on a journey that has lasted nearly 60 years. Ruth knew she wanted to teach elementary education; David started his academic journey in engineering, and switched majors to chemistry. Following graduation at NCC, they both earned Master’s degrees from Northern Illinois University and started their careers.

Their careers were long, memorable and enjoyable. David was a senior medicinal research chemist at Abbott labs for 33 years; Ruth taught third grade at Hawthorn Elementary in Libertyville and received the Illinois Science Teachers Association Award for Excellence in Science Teaching in 1995. Their passions include being active with their church, gardening, and most importantly: travel. They agree that their travels centered around nature and wildlife, and they’ve been fortunate to have traveled to more than 17 countries, including Africa, South America, Arctic and Antarctica (their favorite spot as they were up close and personal with the penguins).

Throughout the years the Arendsens have supported their church and other philanthropies, and North Central. In 2023 they established their scholarship for either a second-year elementary education or chemistry major.

When asked for their outlook on life, David quickly responded with: “Have faith in where you want to go in life; no matter how high the mountain is, you can get to the top;” and Ruth added: “Never Give Up.” Words to live by.