Displays will become available for other events in 2014
Nine panels of old photographs depicting NIUâs rich history greeted visitors to the Carl Sandburg Auditorium for the inauguration of President Doug Baker.
Called âMade by History,â the photo exhibition covers topics such as the physical campus, colleges, student life, athletics, prominent visitors, âcommuniversityâ and, of course, NIU presidents.
Wade Duerkes, a photographer for NIU Media Services, chose the images with guidance from university archivist Cindy Ditzler of the Regional History Center. Sophia Varcados, a graphic design supervisor in Media Services, designed the panels.
âI had worked with the Regional History Center before on other projects in the pastÂ so knew a little about some of the itemsÂ and photographs they had in the archives,â Duerkes said.
âThere is a wealth of knowledge about the university there so it was hard trying to decide what to include,â he added. âWhen selecting images, I wanted to include things that were part of our tradition here that people may not realize.â
For example, Duerkes said, NIU welcomed its first international students in 1904Â â only five years after the university opened in 1899 as the Northern Illinois State Normal School.
Duerkes hopes that visitors not only gain a deeper knowledge of NIUâs traditions but leave inspired to learn more.
âThe title of the exhibition comes from a quote by Martin Luther King Jr.: âWe are not makers of history. We are made by history.â I think that sums up the reason behind the exhibition,â Duerkes said.
âWe have been made by the history before us. Just as future generations of Huskies will be made by the history we make today,â he added. âWe are here in part thanks to those before us who looked forward to their âBold Future.â This is a celebration to that as we create our own.â
Members of the the Inauguration Planning Committee wanted to add some historical perspective as we prepare for NIUâs future, said Abby Dean, associate director of University Marketing.
âWe thought it would be aÂ fun addition to the festivities.Â Itâs always nice to look back atÂ where we have been as an institution, to see the changes weâve made,â Dean said.
âItâs hard to accomplish on just a few panels. I know Iâve learned a lot about our history through this process,â she added. âWhat has been most excitingÂ is seeing that educational concepts such as internships, experiential learning and student career success have truly been a part of NIU from the beginning.â
The photos will remain available for viewing outside the Sandburg Auditorium through the rest of the semester.
Afterward, the photo displays will be made available for other campus events. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.