Judy G. Stevenson

Judy G. Stevenson

Judy Stevenson, North Central College Life Trustee, will be remembered for being a caring mother, a successful entrepreneur and business leader, a friend of the arts and a generous benefactor of North Central College and many other causes.

Judy Stevenson, of Oak Brook, grew up in Naperville a block from North Central’s campus and studied music at Pfeiffer Hall as a youth. After graduating from Naperville Community High School in 1956, she married and moved to California, where she worked during the day and sang with the Robert Shaw Chorale at night. A couple years later, she and her husband came back to Naperville, where she raised her two children, Laurie Swallow and Jeff Swallow.

Ms. Stevenson started at _Magnetrol_—then called Schaub Engineering—as a bookkeeper in 1964. She became executive vice president in 1971, president in 1975 and bought the firm in 1978. Ms. Stevenson’s Downers Grove-based company, Magnetrol International, achieved international success as an industry leader in the production of devices that control and measure the level and flow of liquids or dry bulk products.

Judy Stevenson has been recognized and honored by numerous charities through the years for her philanthropy and community involvement. North Central College presented her with an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree in 2009.

Ms. Stevenson’s generosity helped fund the major renovation of Naperville’s former Grace Evangelical Church at 31 S. Ellsworth Street into the Meiley-Swallow Hall, which features a theatre, art gallery and classrooms. Judy Stevenson also was instrumental in contributing toward the renovation of North College’s Pfeiffer Hall and Old Main buildings and construction of the Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center that was dedicated in 2008. In 1984 she established a North Central scholarship, the Harold Emery Meiley Scholarship, in the name of her father, Harold Meiley, and in 1992, she established the Dr. C. Frederick Toenniges Professorship in honor of a North Central College music professor.

Judy Stevenson passed away in June 2010. In memory of their mother, the Swallow family set up the Magnetrol Judy G. Stevenson Scholarship to honor Judy Stevenson. The Magnetrol Judy G. Stevenson Scholarship was awarded to qualifying Lincoln College transfer students in their Junior year who continued to pursue their Bachelor’s Degree at North Central College. In 2016, Lincoln College expanded its academic scope to be a four-year college, and so 2016-17 was the last year new transfer students from Lincoln College were eligible to receive this worthwhile scholarship. The Swallow Family continues to generously fund the other scholarships established by Judy Stevenson, namely the Judy G. Stevenson Scholarship and the Harold Emery Meiley Scholarship.


When North Central awarded Judy Stevenson an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree in 2009, Professor Jeordano “Pete” Martinez described her life achievements with these words: “Judy G. Stevenson, you are a prominent business leader, entrepreneur, life trustee of North Central College and a fifth generation Napervillian. You are also one of a kind—a dynamic leader whose company, Magnetrol International, has achieved international success; and a philanthropist whose generosity of spirit has elevated her love for the fine arts into a permanent legacy at North Central College. Hundreds of deserving students have benefited from scholarship programs that you established. Our magnificent arts facilities, including Pfeiffer Hall, Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center, and of course, Meiley-Swallow Hall, are a reflection of your vision and unique spirit. We are honored by your leadership in philanthropy and your lasting commitment to North Central College, our students and our fine arts programs.”