University to receive funding for anniversary projects

By Dan Doren

DeKALB — Eight university projects, selected by committee as part of a competitive process, will receive grant funding in celebration of NIU’s 125th anniversary.

The eight projects were chosen based on how effectively they would increase awareness of the university’s history and future while respecting the university’s “mission, vision and values,” according to the 125th Anniversary website.

The selected projects are as follows, according to NIU Today:

NIU History Calendar

125th anniversary calendars, containing significant historical dates and archived photographs from the university, are available in limited supply at the Founders Library, Fourth Floor.

Southeast Asian Performing Arts Showcase

The College of Visual and Performing Arts and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies are collaborating on a concert in honor of the university’s connection to Southeast Asia.

Among the performances are Balinese shadow puppetry, traditional Thai music, Indonesian dance and Pan-Southeast Asian contemporary art music.

The event is scheduled for 3 p.m. April 4 at the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall, according to the events calendar.

Huskie-Go 125

A free mobile gaming app, Huskie-Go, will put students’ knowledge of NIU to the test.

Inspired by Pokémon GO, the game is a virtual scavenger hunt in which players can earn points and prizes while answering trivia about the university’s 125-year history. 

The app is set to launch March 16, and another round of questions will be introduced with the arrival of fall.

River Weaving

The value of the Kishwaukee River will be demonstrated by John Siblik, associate professor from the School of Art and Design, who will install a series of woven elements in a section of the river and give a walk-and-talk lecture on the river’s significance to the university.

The weave is meant to serve as a symbol of appreciation for the earth and its elements.

Event-goers will meet at 11 a.m. July 25 in the School of Music parking lot, according to the events calendar.

Somos Huskies (We Are Huskies)

Latinx alumni who attended NIU in the 1970s and 1980s will be returning to the campus during Homecoming 2020 to talk about their university experiences and bring personal items to symbolize those experiences.

The project, originating from the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies, is meant to foster awareness of Latinx students and faculty during an era when they were advocating for greater support from the university, as well as to honor the legacy of Latinx students on campus.

Forward Together: Celebrating NIU’s Native American Past, Present and Future

This project’s purpose is to create a better understanding of Native American peoples, traditions and legacies on campus and in the greater region of northern Illinois.

There will be an exhibit on campus honoring Native American students and their activism, and people can learn about historical connections between Native American and African American communities, including the naming of DuSable Hall.

DuSable Hall was named for Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, a black trader and the first non-Indigenous permanent settler of the area that has since become Chicago.

125 Years of Preparing Teachers

A celebration of NIU’s start as Northern Illinois State Normal School will be provided by the College of Education, with guided tours of Milan One-Room Schoolhouse and a live-history exhibit walk.

The exhibits will feature 12.5 decades worth of teacher preparation history, with significant evolutions in education being emphasized.

Huskie Philanthropy: 125 Years of Giving to NIU

A compilation of NIU philanthropists since the beginning of the university’s history will be published on the Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies’ website.

The project will recognize donors by decade and include those who have given a notable amount of time, money or talent to the university.