‘Experience NIU’ event series begins in February

By Sara Rasmussen

The NIU Alumni Association is starting an event dedicated to showcasing the School of Art and Design student projects.

Experience NIU offers alumni the opportunity to reconnect with the university and fellow Huskies in a series of social and cultural events on campus, according to a Jan. 18 NIU Alumni Association media release.

Reggie Bustinza, Alumni Association executive director, said he is excited to showcase current students work to the alumni.

“Everyone talks about it being the best kept secret,” Bustinza said. “Well, I don’t want it to be the best kept secret. I want everybody to know of what we have.”

The first event will take place Feb. 15 at the Art Museum in Altgeld Hall. The exhibition will include various sculptures, computer animation and sketches. A slideshow on public sculptures will be presented by John Siblik, School of Art and Design director.

The second event in the series is set to occur March 4 and will be a choral concert in the Music Building at Boutell Memorial Concert Hall. The concert will feature the Chamber Choir, followed by a performance from the All-University Chorus.

Andrew Traver, alumnus and the Naval Criminal Investigative Services director, will give a lecture March 22 in the Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center library. Traver won this year’s NIU Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award. Traver received his Bachelor of Science in criminology and sociology from NIU in 1987 and has a long, distinguished career in criminal justice. 

The last event will be April 23, with a presentation from Kate Hannigan, an award-winning science fiction author. Hannigan will discuss her book, “The Detective’s Assistant.”

Bustinza said he would like for the event series to become an annual event.

“This is something we plan on having become long going,” Bustinza said. “We want to try to recognize as many of our different programs as we can.”

Stephanie Poulos, Alumni Association assistant director of events, chose and set up the events in the series. “My goal was to offer a variety of events that would cater to different audiences,” Poulos said.

“The main objective to get out of this whole event series is for people to see the great things we’re doing at NIU and all we have to offer,” Poulos said.

The events are free, but the receptions at each event cost $10 for paying members of the NIU Alumni Association and $15 for non-members. Those who attend all four events can purchase tickets with a discount equal to a free event. In addition, they will receive a gift from the Alumni Association.

Vanessa Vagle, freshman fine arts actor major, said it will be helpful to publicize events for the arts because she thinks people are unaware of shows. “I think it’s a good idea to sort of push the other departments that don’t get as much funding or as much traffic as others, like sports events,” Vagle said.

Vagle said she doesn’t know much about the College of Arts but would like to. “I wish that I knew more, so I could go and support other people,” Vagle said.

Those interested in attending the event can RSVP by visiting myniu.com or by calling 815-753-ALUM.