I M PAC T REPORT J U LY 1 , 2 0 1 9 — J U N E 3 0 , 2 0 2 0
Pete Garrity, ’71, M.B.A ’76 President, NIUAA
Huskie Alumni, Family and Friends,
Many of us are growing tired of hearing the word “unprecedented” in describing the past year. It typically is used to connect the dots between COVID-19 and an organization’s unforeseen budget issues or plan shortfalls, signaling the delivery of bad news. However, in our case, I prefer to use “unprecedented” to describe the effort that our staff and leadership made to pivot and shift focus when it became clear that COVID-19 was going to have a huge impact on our planned engagement activities. Going into the spring, the NIUAA was on track to blow away last year’s metrics in nearly every area. We were lined up to engage with more alumni than we ever had in past years. When the pandemic hit, it was necessary to rethink pretty much everything related to how our alumni engage with the association and each other. In a matter of days, however, our staff developed an entirely new virtual engagement plan—through virtual events and volunteer opportunities, a s well as more targeted communications—and implemented it without missing a beat. While this year’s NIUAA metrics may not be where we expected them to be, they are still something to be proud of. In uncertain times, the association team was able to find unique and meaningful ways to continue to bring our alumni community together. I am very proud of that effort and all that we were able to accomplish. It was quite a year in many ways. Let’s continue to stay connected, and be safe out there!
LETTER FROM NIUAA BOARD PRESIDENT
ReggieReggie Bustinza Bustinza
Executive Executive Director,Director, NIUAA NIUAA
2020 marks the 125th anniversary of NIU’s founding, and nobody can say it has been a boring year. Just as it has throughout the world, the COVID-19 pandemic brought many challenges to the NIU Alumni Association. Disruption reigned across many programs; from the rescheduling of international trips to the cancellation of the NIUAA Alumni Awards and NIU Advocacy Day in Springfield. Despite the many challenges, we experienced successes as well. New business partnership deals were launched, including the wildly popular Dawgma, a Kölsch beer produced in conjunction with alumni-owned Pollyanna Brewing Company. We still hosted events in 21 different regions across the country, placed nearly 1,000 alumni volunteers in opportunities around campus, off campus, and virtually. We also saw our email open rate increase by almost a full percentage point. Additionally, we formalized a deeper partnership with the NIU Foundation, as we merged our two organizations into one. Prior to the pandemic, we were trending towards another year of growth across all programs. While some of that may have been derailed, I am proud of how we shifted our activity and engaged graduates through enhanced communications, online events and virtual volunteer opportunities. I hope you will enjoy this year’s Impact Report. Go Huskies!
LETTER FROM NIUAA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Catherine B. Squires, CFRE, ’80
President & CEO, NIU Foundation Vice President of University Advancement, Northern Illinois University
Dear Huskies, The last fiscal year was unlike any in memory. Amidst a global pandemic, the NIU Foundation was able to adapt and find innovative and creative ways to engage alumni and donors in the virtual world. Just like you, we had to adjust to dramatic change in nearly every aspect of our lives and business. Despite the disruption, the NIU Foundation and NIU Alumni Association completed a merger of our organizations, which will provide greater strength, collaboration and flexibility as we tackle the challenges ahead. This merger has been more than a year in the making and was recommended by a task force comprised of both NIU Foundation and Alumni Association Board members. It creates a host of efficiencies and allows us to streamline operations. Beyond the merger, the foundation had a solid year, raising $15.1 million, which provided 2,150 scholarships, as well as funding for research, operations and new initiatives at the University. We also made a quick pivot during the early days of the pandemic and raised $199K for the newly created Student Emergency Fund, which helps students who have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The foundation persevered through the tumultuous spring, and now, merged with the alumni association, we are poised for big things as we look toward the future. Go Huskies,
Catherine B. Squires
TABLE OF CONTENTS 2
Change and Adapt
NIUAA Board of Directors
Alumni Award Winners
NIUAA Scholarship Winners
20 NIU ALUMNI Membership
23 Graduation Statistics
CHANGE AND ADAPT Suffice it to say, nobody could have predicted what FY20 would look like when it started. What began as a banner year for the growing NIU Alumni Association and its Huskie family was uprooted earlier this spring when COVID-19 hit. The NIUAA’s reality was much the same as so many other Universities and institutions around the world. Connection and community—what is at the very heart of the Huskie Pack—was challenged in ways we had never seen before. Rightly so, health and safety came to the forefront. Travel Program trips, national and regional events were canceled. By the tail end of FY20, anxieties over our “new normal” amid a pandemic remained high, but our hopes remained higher. If there has been anything the last months have taught us, it is that our slogan is more than just a saying. Indeed, Huskies never quit. The NIU Alumni Association has worked tirelessly to ensure that our alumni remain “in the know”, that they have outlets for community, and their stories are heard. Since the start of the pandemic, Huskies have been there, on the frontlines, fighting for the rest of us. We have had the honor of telling incredible stories of ER doctors and nurses who put others first, scientists who search for medical treatments, and school administrators and teachers who continue to innovate in order to educate our children. We spoke to farmers and nonprofit workers who came together to feed the hungry, law students who counselled distressed clients virtually, and a panel of economists who discussed their predictions for a financial and job market recovery. NIUAA events and volunteer teams rewrote the rulebook on events and giving, succeeding in helping alumni to congregate virtually for fun, educational, and philanthropically meaningful opportunities. In June, we witnessed the pack come together to raise $486,000 for our virtual Huskies United fundraiser, which assisted students who are in need during these uncertain times. Yes, the adage is true. The Huskie Pack keeps going, through wind and snow and rain. Through adversity, uncertainty and even when the finish is difficult to see in the distance. We Huskies stick together, we help each other, and we weather the storm.
NIUAA STAFF ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM
PAT ANDERSON ’00, M.S. ’04
DANA KING ’05
Director of Alumni Relations
Director of Communications
Director of Events
LIZ MCKEE M.S.Ed. ’14 Director of Volunteer Engagement
JEANNE BAXTER ’96 Volunteer Engagement Coordinator
CODY CARTER ’09, M.A. ’15 Public Information Associate
SCOTT FLEMING ’02
NIUAA BOARD MEMBERS 2020-2021 EXECUTIVE BOARD
JOSEPH SENER ’93 M.S. ’10 President
PETER GARRITY ’71 M.B.A ’76
RICHARD ESCALANTE ’74
Immediate Past President
SANKAT PATEL ’00 Vice President
MICHAEL HUGHES ’92 M.A. ’93 Treasurer
2020-2021 NEW BOARD MEMBERS
KIMBERLY BUCHANAN ’95 M.A. ’98
CHAD FITZ ’01 M.A.S. ’02
PAUL GREEN ’81
MARK PIENKOS ’72 M.S.Ed ’74
KARLA VILCHEZ-NEAL M.S.Ed ’17
2020-2021 BOARD OF DIRECTORS David Albright ’87
Marty Johnstone ’09
Louis Apostol M.B.A. ’74, J.D. ’78
Thomas Libert ’74
Marlo Barnett M.S.Ed. ’12, Ph.D. ’17
Jacqueline Marcus ’72, M.S. ’79
Kimberly Buchanan ’95, M.A. ’98
Kimberly Moore ’01, M.M. ’04
Michael Cahill ’12, M.A.S. ’13
Vinay Mullick ’00
Lane Coleman ’86
Sankat Patel ’00
Richard Escalante ’74, M.A.P.A. ’78
Mark Pienkos ’72, M.S.Ed. ’74
Chad Fitz ’01, M.A.S. ’02 Carlos Fulcher ’90
Sherry Reynolds-Whitaker M.B.A. ’09, M.S.Ed. ’13, Ed.D. ’16
Peter Garrity ’71, M.B.A ’76
Valerie L. Salmons ’74, M.A.P.A. ’77
Paul Green ’81
Joseph Sener ’93, M.S. ’10
Patricia Gregolunas ’77, M.S. ’11
Joe Sosnowski ’99
Donald Hubbartt ’96, M.B.A. ’01
Karla Vilchez-Neal M.S.Ed. ’17
Michael Hughes ’92, M.A. ’93
Fred Vinciguerra ’88
HUSKIES ARE FAMILY.
We are resilient, and we never let obstacles stand in the way of success. We have battled through some of the toughest times, often in the public eye, and remained strong. I believe each student that passes through the University takes a piece of that strength with them, and they go on to do special things in life.” KIMBERLY BUCHANAN, ’95, M.A. ’98 NIUAA Board of Directors NIUAA BOARD MEMBERS
CAMPUS PARTNERS Several activities planned with campus partners were transitioned online this spring. These online events ensured that students had access to curricular experiences, including topics like leadership development and making transitions, helping them to complete their academic requirements for the year. Conversion to virtual volunteer opportunities increased the involvement of alumni from across the country. The NIUAA continued its strong relationship with Admissions. Sixteen alumni helped recruit students at 14 college fairs. The NIUAA also connected with nearly 90 alumni and their prospective students at in-person open houses and pivoted to add alumni to virtual chatrooms and a pre-recorded panel for virtual Admissions events. The association worked with volunteers to send 7,334 letters to prospective students last year. Meanwhile, a deepened collaboration between the NIUAA Events Team and campus partners improved the number of National NIU Football Watch Parties, more than doubling the number of hosts for events in FY20.
Partner List COLLEGES & SCHOOLS
COLLEGE OF BUSINESS
• Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion • Athletics • Center for Black Studies • Division of Student Affairs • Fraternity and Sorority Life • Graduate School • Housing and Residential Services • Institutional Communications • International Student and Scholarship Services • JobsPlus • Latino Resource Center • Foundation • Marching Band • Office of the President • Orientation and First Year Programs • Outreach • Orientation and First Year Programs • Study Abroad • Undergraduate Admissions • University Honors • University Libraries
• • • • • • •
Accountancy BELIEF Ethics Program Business Administration Department Finance Management Marketing Operations Management and Information Systems • Society for H uman Resource Management • Student Accountancy Society
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY COLLEGE OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SCIENCES • Military Sciences • Nursing • Rehabilitation Counseling
COLLEGE OF LAW COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES • • • • •
Computer Science Geography and Atmospheric Sciences History Nonprofit and NGO Studies Physics
COLLEGE OF VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS • School of Theatre & Dance
128% % 100
GROWTH IN THE NUMBER GROWTH IN OF ALUMNI AT THE NUMBER COLLEGE FAIRS.OF
FAIRSATTENDED FROM FY19.
100% GROWTH IN THE NUMBER OF FAIRS ATTENDED FROM FY19.
NIUAA SCHOLARSHIP AWARD WINNERS Each year, for over 50 years, the NIU Alumni Association has provided financial assistance to thousands of students, and FY20 was no different. The NIU Alumni Association offered 10 $2,500 Merit Scholarships to continuing undergraduate students who will be sophomores, juniors or seniors in the 2020-2021 school year and are enrolled full time at NIU for both fall and spring semesters ($1,250 each semester). Each applicant is eligible to receive only one merit scholarship per academic year. Just over 100 continuing and transfer students applied for an NIU Alumni Association Merit Scholarship. After meeting all qualifications, 41 applications were ready to be reviewed by the Student Engagement and Scholarship Committee. Each application was reviewed by committee members and ranked with a score. The top 10 applications were identified and the scholarship recipients were:
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Marketing and Psychology, 4.0 GPA
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Communications-Corporate and Counseling, 3.891 GPA
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Foreign Language-French, 3.918 GPA
College of Business Accountancy and Business Administration, 3.842 GPA
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Economics and Foreign Language-French, 4.0 GPA
Buffalo Grove, Illinois
Elk Grove Village, Illinois
College of Business Accountancy and Management, 3.957 GPA
Colleges of Health and Human Sciences and Liberal Arts and Sciences English and Linguistics and Speech Language PathologyAudiology, 4.0 GPA
College of Business Accountancy, 4.0 GPA
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Sociology and Nonprofit Studies, 4.0 GPA
College of Business Business Administration and Marketing, 4.0 GPA
St. Charles, Illinois
Coal City, Illinois The Alumni Association Luncheon, where scholarship recipients are recognized, was scheduled for April 2020 at the Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center. However, due to the pandemic, the event was canceled.
NIUAA SCHOLARSHIP AWARD WINNERS
ALUMNI BREAKDOWN TOTAL NUMBER OF LIVING ALUMNI: 255,563 LIVING ALUMNI BY COLLEGE COLLEGE OF BUSINESS COLLEGE OF EDUCATION COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY
UNDERGRADUATE MAJORS ELEMENTARY EDUCATION
TOP FIVE COUNTIES
COMPUTER SCIENCE, APPLIED DATA*
COLLEGE OF LAW
COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES COLLEGE OF VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS
COLLEGE OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SCIENCES
TOTAL NUMBER OF LIVING ALUMNI IN ILLINOIS
* This major is now known as enterprise software
LAKE 12,841 MCHENRY 10,670
DEGREES EARNED BY LIVING ALUMNI BACHELOR’S DEGREE: 203,452 MASTER’S DEGREE: 73,376 DOCTORATE DEGREE: 9,580 LAW DEGREE: 4,180
# OF LIVING ALUMNI WITH 3 DEGREES
ALUMNI BY AGE
# OF LIVING ALUMNI WITH 4 OR MORE DEGREES
90 & OLDER 2,228
LIVING ALUMNI BY U.S. STATES BREAKDOWN
ARMED SERVICES FLORIDA
ARMED SERVICES NEW YORK
ARMED SERVICES EUROPE
ARMED SERVICES CALIFORNIA
ARMED FORCES PACIFIC FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA
PUERTO RICO UNACCOUNTED
COMMUNICATIONS Communications to our alumni and friends of the University were never more critical than in FY20. The year was filled with many unknowns, and the NIU Alumni Association Communications team made every effort to keep Huskies connected. Weekly alumni feature stories on www.myniu.com highlighted exciting Huskie careers and hobbies, including stories about some of our most notable alumni, such as actress Joan Allen, ’89 and
In March and April, in the heights of uncertainty, the Communications team developed a weekly COVID-19-focused newsletter, bringing Huskie expert opinions
comedian Sebastian Maniscalco, ’95. In November, the NIUAA released its second Impact Report in as many years and increased the page capacity from 16 to 20 pages.
and front-line workers’ experiences to alumni readers. These newsletters were recognized by Annual Giving Network (AGN) Resources as a “best practice” for cultivating community online.
The NIUAA dipped its toes into promoting and endorsing various products, ranging from selling branded leather goods and travel neck pillows, and most notably our co-branded beer Dawgma with Pollyanna Brewing Company. What began as a seasonal run in October 2019 is now entering its fourth batch of the Kölsch beer, and we have even begun to sell Dawgma merchandise for loyal Huskie and Pollyanna fans to wear!
The Fall 2019 issue of Northern Now brought several stories about innovation and handson experiences. The coronavirus also played a role in our magazine production. The pandemic forced the team to pivot a planned food-themed issue to a COVID-19-specific issue that was released digitally in July.
JOAN ALLEN, ’89
SEBASTIAN MANISCALCO, ’95 FOLLOW US ON:
“ WEBSITE SESSIONS INCREASED BY NEARLY
I WANT TO COMPLIMENT YOU AND YOUR STAFF ON A SPECTACULAR FALL ISSUE OF (THE NORTHERN NOW) MAGAZINE.
- CHERILYN MURER, J.D. ’78
NIU Foundation Board of Directors
SAW AN INCREASE OF OVER
15,000 NEW VISITORS FROM THE PREVIOUS FISCAL YEAR.
FOLLOWERS GREW BY
IN FY20, TRANSLATING TO 4,625 HUSKIES.
SOCIAL MEDIA AMBASSADORS GREW BY
FROM 88 IN FY19 TO 122 IN FY20.
THROUGH NIUNIVERSE, THE NIUAA’S SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM, OUR MARKET VALUE INCREASED BY ALMOST 100% IN FY20, GROWING FROM
$42,266.85 OF FREE MARKETING!
NIU Alumni Association Travel Program
As it has for the past 50 years, the NIU Alumni Association’s Travel Program provided educational and economical trips for our alumni and friends in FY20. As part of its mission—to build lifelong relationships with NIU alumni and friends and create opportunities to reconnect with the University—the travel program seeks to connect, inform, serve and engage the University’s diverse alumni and friends. Alumni and friends enjoyed trips to the Norwegian Coast, the Dalmatian Coast, New England, Chile and Easter Island, and Israel and Jordan this year, before several trips had to be cancelled or rescheduled to another year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the alumni travel program has faced many changes and challenges, but through the dedicated leadership of Pat Anderson, ‘00, M.S. ‘04, director of alumni relations, it has adjusted and planned ahead to the best of its ability.
I DON’T KNOW HOW PAT ANDERSON CAN KEEP HER SMILE IN TIMES OF STRESS. FROM 7 A.M. TO 10 P.M., SHE IS ALWAYS SO CONGENIAL. SHE ALWAYS HAS A BIG SMILE, AND SHE IS SO FRIENDLY UNDER PRESSURE.
- BILL MARUTZKY, ’68, M.A.S. ’73
TOTAL NUMBER OF LIFETIME TRIPS
OBTAINED ADVANCED DEGREES
FY20 TRAVELERS GIVING TOTAL
TRAVELERS’ LIFETIME GIVING TOTAL
m i s sion
EVENTS NIUAA events are often the glue that binds our alumni together. Each year, we host dozens of events, from casual mixers to more cultural and formal occasions, all with the thoughtful and nostalgic details that make Huskies feel at home. Needless to say, physical events became more challenging than ever in FY20, and the team pivoted quickly from in-person events to virtual get-togethers and learning opportunities.
Enhancements to our alumni Homecoming tent made connections even more possible. With balloon artists and face painting, robots and cars, and the “Spin the Swag Wheel,”
Even with necessary cancellations, the NIUAA held an impressive 101 events in FY20, including 81 alumni events, 16 NIU Foundation events, and three college-centered events. These events spanned 20 locations nationwide and connected people virtually in new and exciting ways.
there was something for the whole Huskie family.
From education job fairs, a gangster pub tour, Dawgma-tasting parties, and regional alumni events in Arizona and California to interesting “Meet a Huskie” virtual learning opportunities, the NIUAA allowed alumni to gather together in meaningful ways during the past 12 months.
I HAVE REALLY BECOME MORE INVOLVED DUE TO THE COVID-19 AND INCREASE IN VIRTUAL EVENTS, AS I LIVE 750 MILES FROM NIU. IN THE PAST, I COULD NEVER PARTICIPATE IN EVENTS DUE TO MY DISTANCE SO, IN MY OPINION, THIS HAS MADE IT EASIER FOR ME TO BE A MEMBER OF THE NIUAA VOLUNTEER TEAM!
- BRETT FEINSTEIN, J.D. ’97, M.B.A. ’98
A deepened collaboration between the NIUAA Events team and the Volunteer Engagement team improved the number of National NIU Football Watch Parties in November from 17 hosts at 16 locations in nine states to 38 hosts at 24 locations in 11 states. This was a 123% increase in hosts and 50% increase in locations. Over 250 alumni and friends attended a football watch party in November 2019.
TOTAL NUMBER OF ALUMNI
WHO ATTENDED EVENTS IN FY20
NUMBER OF FIRST-TIME EVENT
ALUMNI ATTENDEES IN FY20
I LOVE CONNECTING WITH OLD FRIENDS, TALKING TO THE ADMINISTRATORS AND STAFF, AND MAKING NEW FRIENDS. I MET SOME WOMEN AT LAST YEAR’S NIUAA HOLIDAY PARTY THAT I ENJOYED BEING WITH SO MUCH. I INTEND TO TRAVEL WITH THEM TO EXPLORE A NEW COUNTRY ON A FUTURE NIUAA TRIP!
AGES OF ALUMNI UNIQUE ATTENDEES
3.0% 12.0% 80-89
SUPPORTERS OTHER HUSKIE SUPPORTERS
COLLEGE OF LAW
COLLEGE OF VISUAL & PERFORMING ARTS
COLLEGE OF HEALTH & HUMAN SCIENCES
COLLEGE OF ENGINNERING & ENGINNEERING TECHNOLOGY
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS & SCIENCES
- ELLEN STREBAR, ’88
COLLEGE OF BUSINESS
25.7% 9.9% 3.0% 8.5% 27.6% 3.5% 0.8% 21.0% ALUMNI UNIQUE EVENT ATTENDEES BY COLLEGE
VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT Volunteerism is at the core of what it means to be a Huskie. We take care of one another. We look after the pack. That truism has never been more important or evident than in this last fiscal year. In FY20, nearly 900 alumni gifted their time and talents to their alma mater, and 22% of those volunteers volunteered more than once, which is up 7% from the prior year. Even though the NIUAA was not able to conduct some of its signature events in the Spring such as NIU Advocacy Day and NIU Cares Day, there was an enormous gain in volunteering over the year. There are plenty of ways alumni volunteers were able to make a difference in. For starters, the Volunteer Engagement team worked to build stronger relationships with colleges by providing professional development workshops and supporting their volunteer needs. On the advocacy front, initiatives transitioned to a new platform, which proved to be the foundation for stronger online advocacy participation in FY20—with a 740% participation increase from 15 volunteers to over 120. And digital ambassadors made a huge impact last year,
I MOST ENJOY CONNECTING WITH THE STUDENTS. IT’S GREAT TO SEE THE TALENT AND BRAINS COMING THROUGH AND THE OPPORTUNITIES THESE YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE IN FRONT OF THEM.”
- DAN CHAMBERLAIN, ’92
with nearly 100 NIUniverse social media ambassadors bringing $42,266.85 earned media value and continuing to help alumni stay connected. Diverse and meaningful volunteer opportunities were cultivated both virtually and in person in FY20, and the NIUAA is thankful to our Huskies who led the pack through their steadfast generosity and creativity.
NIU HAS A GREAT PROGRAM FOR MENTORING. I HELP WITH RÉSUMÉS, SHARING MY NETWORKS AND OFFERING OTHER LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES… FOR ME, VOLUNTEERING IS ALL ABOUT MAKING CONNECTIONS, MEETING NEW AND INTERESTING PEOPLE, HELPING OTHERS GROW AND ALSO LEARNING FROM THEM.
– DON HUBBARTT, ’96, M.B.A. ’01
% 123 INCREASE IN HOSTS
OF VOLUNTEERS HAILED FROM OUT OF STATE
% 50 INCREASE IN LOCATIONS
PERSONAL LETTERS SENT TO PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS
NIU FOOTBALL WATCH PARTIES
ALUMNI & FRIENDS
ATTENDED A WATCH PARTY
OF FY20 VOLUNTEERS WERE RETAINED FROM FY19
36% percent of volunteers gave this year, up 2% from last year.
OF VOLUNTEERS SAID THEY WOULD RETURN IN THE FUTURE
STUDENT ENGAGEMENT FUND
RAISED $480,000+ UNIVERSITY-WIDE
AMBASSADORS HELPED RAISE
BEING A VOLUNTEER AT NIU FOR THE PAST 15 YEARS HAS GIVEN A DIMENSION TO MY RETIREMENT THAT I NEVER SAW COMING.”
- MARCIE ROGERS, ’69, M.S.ED. ’79
$75,000+ AWARDED TO
SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED TO STUDENTS
FACULTY-MENTORED & COMMUNITY-BASED RESEARCH PROJECTS FOR STUDENTS
APPLICATIONS REVIEWED BY
AFFINITY GROUPS BLACK ALUMNI COUNCIL The NIU Black Alumni Council exists to support black students at NIU and serve as a bridge between alumni and their alma mater. They held another successful alumni reunion weekend at the Dan Ryan Woods in Chicago over Labor Day in 2019. Hundreds of alumni, friends, faculty, and staff attended and showed their support, including NIU President Lisa C. Freeman, members of the President’s Cabinet and Board of Trustees. The Black Alumni Council (BAC) also awarded three scholarships through the Fanny Ruth Patterson Scholarship Fund, totaling $9,000 in scholarships for students for the next academic year. The BAC continued to build ties with the University, helping to select the CHANCE program director as well as the director for the Center for Black Studies and supporting plans that brought close to 1,000 alumni back to campus during Homecoming. The BAC also met with the Office of Academic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to review, discuss, and conclude work on a proposal that BAC leadership submitted to NIU leadership in 2017. This proposal included recommendations about improvements to be made to enhance recruitment and retention of students. Plans exist to continue to work with the BAC to identify areas where the group can support and enhance NIU’s mission and goals.
GREEK ALUMNI COUNCIL The Greek Alumni Council (GAC) is focused on supporting current students and alumni who participated as members of fraternities and sororities while at NIU. This year, they focused on building awareness of their organization by hosting events, networking with other affinity groups and connecting with alumni at the 2019 Boat Cruise, which they support annually. The council also sent their first all-Greek alumni email, which yielded a 19% open rate, and included a collection of Greek alumni stories. In addition, the council built a connection back to campus by meeting with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority life to discuss the current Greek student experience and how they could support these students. Their signature event, the annual golf outing, was canceled due to COVID-19.
LATINO ALUMNI COUNCIL The Latino Alumni Council (LAC) continues to be a valuable resource to the NIU Latinx community, striving toward the goal of touching the lives of the NIU Latinx community. The LAC executive committee members are leaders in educating the community and advocating for Latinx in higher education. The LAC has accomplished its mission through various activities in FY20. The group hosted social opportunities for new graduates and alumni, such as the Pilsen Neighborhood Mural Tour and the Chicago Fire soccer game. The LAC also hosted educational workshops to support student career development, such as the “Plática,” an online presentation called “Life After NIU,” and the Connecting through Networks panel discussion with other Alumni Council leaders. The council is active in fundraising for the PROMISE Fund and other funds that support Latinx students.
COMPUTER SCIENCE ALUMNI COUNCIL The Computer Science Alumni Council (CSAC) seeks to serve alumni and students, act as a resource to NIU and connect industry back to the University. In Fall 2019, they completed another successful career panel for students with 55 students attending, which consisted of four NIU alumni from across the industry. The panelists discussed career planning, information technology impact throughout organizations and emerging trends. Spring plans were canceled due to COVID-19.
HUSKIE MARCHING BAND ALUMNI COUNCIL The Huskie Marching Band Alumni Council consists of dedicated alumni of the Huskie Marching Band, which includes the color guard, Silverettes, and twirlers. Assembling this group to perform during Homecoming for their annual “Fill the Field” event continues to grow and engage alumni spread across years dating back to the 1950s. This year, the MBAC recognized Sid Anderson, ’58, at a pre-game ceremony with a Member Appreciation Award for his continued dedication to the alumni marching band. Lastly, during a time where social distancing made it hard to connect, over 50 members of the MBAC came together to perform a “Virtual Huskie Fight Song,” which was produced by David Schultz, ‘07, and John Carlson, ’86.
ROCKFORD ALUMNI CLUB The Rockford Alumni Club hosted several successful events this year, including a Huskie Send-Off with over 40 attendees, an evening out at Anderson Gardens where they connected with new alumni, a Lunch and Learn about Advocacy that filled the room, and its third National NIU Football Watch Party. They concluded the year by supportingthe NIU Alumni Association Huskie flag initiative, which helped to raise money for the NIU Student Emergency Fund and support students in need. The NIU Rockford Alumni Club also welcomed a new president, Mark Bonne ’84, in Spring 2020. Throughout the year, members worked on solidifying the club structure, building up club communications through social media, enhancing awareness of the Diane and David Graf Scholarship, and supporting events that will engage alumni in Rockford.
NIUAA AWARD WINNERS The NIU Alumni Association annually recognizes the achievements of outstanding alumni, with award recipients being selected based on outstanding professional and personal successes, as well as involvement in civic, cultural or charitable activities. The seven 2020 award winners represent the best qualities of an NIU Huskie. They have lived and worked with integrity, made positive differences in their professional fields, and have been on the forefront of change.
To read more about their inspiring accomplishments, visit: www.myniu.com/awards.
Ed.D. Educational Administration, ’74
B.A. Political Science, ’87
MICHAEL L. VAZQUEZ
Distinguished Alumnus Award
F.R. Geigle Service Award
Alumni Achievement in Public Service Award
Alumni Achievement in the Sciences Award
B.A. Political Science, ’88
B.S. Chemistry, ’80
B.S. Finance, ’81
B.M. Music Education, ’09
Alumni Achievement in Business & Industry Award
Alumni Achievement in the Arts Award
Outstanding Young Alumnus Award
NIUAA AWARD WINNERS
B.S. Meteorology, ’13
NIU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP In a socially distant world, it has never been more important to stay connected to the things we care about. In FY20, 1,166 dues-paying NIU Alumni Association members enjoyed all kinds of benefits, discounts and opportunities that improved their quality of life—from discounted insurance rates, dining and retail purchases, car rental and hotel room rates to our alumni magazine Northern Now and more. The association constantly reviews and enhances its benefits offering, connecting members to a huge network of professional contacts. Last year, members networked and enhanced relationships at alumni events throughout the year, in person and virtually. The newest addition to our member benefits is our NIU Career Services and Career Vision services, including the “Huskies Get Hired” platform, which provides career guidance specific to COVID-19 and assists in the overall job search process. Most importantly, membership dues directly contribute $10 toward the the NIU Alumni Association’s merit scholarships, which help continuing full-time undergraduate students fund their studies.
For information about member benefits, visit www.myniu.com/membership.
CARDINAL & BLACK
CARDINAL & BLACK (JOINT)
NIU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP
MISSION PROGRAM Mission continued to bring his human Huskie friends smiles in the last year, at Athletics matches, alumni events, new-student open houses, and even community events. A true influencer, Mission posts often on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, updating his followers and fans about his busy schedule. Even though he is of the canine species, it is well known that Mission is a “people person,” always looking to make new friends. In FY20, Mission’s new bestie was announced to the world! In September, the University and the NIU Alumni Association announced the arrival of Mission II—Mission’s successor and NIU’s “Mascot in Training” to the Huskie Nation, lovingly nicknamed “Mini Mish.” Mission will retire from his mascot duties in 2021 at the age of 10 years old. During the last year, the alumni association has begun a transition period for Mission and Mini Mish, wherein the puppy will accompany Mission to all eligible events for experiential learning and proofing. “We have long been searching for the heir apparent to Mission, and there is no question that we have found the right Huskie,” NIU Alumni Association Executive Director Reggie Bustinza said. “Mission has set very high expectations, but there is no doubt in my mind that Mission II cannot only meet those demands but surpass them.” Like his predecessor, Mini Mish is trained by Head Trainer and Program Consultant Lisa Boland each day and attends puppy training classes. “Mission has set a very high bar in mascotting, and Mini Mish will be working very hard to follow in his footsteps,” Boland said. “I am so proud of Mission and the work that he’s done as the official NIU mascot.”
MISSION I & MISSION II
DAWGMA Sometimes, hard-working Huskies need a break and an ice-cold beer. In the last year, Huskies enjoyed more of Dawgma, the NIUAA and Pollyanna Brewing Company’s collaborative Kölsch beer, than stores could stock. By all accounts, the brew is a winner.
“It was exciting to see the overwhelming interest in Dawgma in cans last fall and, frankly, it far exceeded our expectations,” said Pollyanna co-founder Ryan Weidner, ’98, M.B.A. ’12. “It typically takes a few seasonal sales cycles to establish a new beer brand and Dawgma was strong right out of the gate. “Clearly there is pent-up demand for Dawgma.”
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2019-20 GRADUATING STATS
TOTAL NUMBER OF GRADUATES IN 2019-20
PERCENTAGE OF GRADUATES WHO WERE FROM ILLINOIS
(UNDERGRAD, GRAD, AND LAW COMBINED)
TOP 10 UNDERGRADUATE DEGREES PSYCHOLOGY ACCOUNTANCY NURSING MARKETING BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES COMPUTER SCIENCE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT OPERATIONS & INFORMATION MANAGEMENT FINANCE MECHANICAL ENGINEERING COMMUNICATION ORGANIZATIONAL – CORPORATE
182 166 163 154 110 105 97 94 90 85
1,452 (31.6%) COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS & SCIENCES
752 (16.4%) COLLEGE OF HEALTH & HUMAN SCIENCES
437 (9.4%) (9.5%) COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING & ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY
(UNDERGRAD AND GRADUATE COMBINED)
COLLEGE OF VISUAL & PREFORMING ARTS
79 (1.7%) (1.72) COLLEGE OF LAW
625 (13.6%) (13.64) COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
1,044 (22.7%) (22.78) COLLEGE OF BUSINESS