Peters to host luncheon for university workers

By Jessica Kalin

NIU President John Peters and his wife Barbara will host their fifth annual holiday luncheon today.

Staff and campus employees are invited to attend the free lunch, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The buffet lunch will be served in the Duke Ellington Ballroom at the Holmes Student Center.

Though the food is exclusively for university employees, students are welcome to come meet the president.

“Barbara and I wanted to thank employees of the university, so we decided to have cookies, soup and sandwiches,” Peters said.

The event was started in 2000 when Peters came to NIU. The luncheon was a big success the first year, with 1,100 employees in attendance, Peters said. They ran out of food and used a week’s worth of holiday cookies.

Peters is expecting 1,500 employees to turn out for this year’s lunch.

The luncheon is a way to include those who can’t come to after-hours events. The lunch hour will not take away from their daily activities, Peters said. He will give a short impromptu speech to welcome everyone before lunch.

The center will be catering the lunch with soup, salad, sandwiches and dessert. The lunch is paid for by NIU.

“It is just a great time,” Peters said. “Once a year a small celebration for the employees is appropriate.”