Top 25 of 2013: Economic engine

NIU wins national award for innovation, economic development

Logo of the Association of Public and Land-Grant UniversitiesAs 2013 draws to a close, NIU Today offers a look back at 25 of the top stories from the year.

No. 4

Just weeks after receiving formal designation as an “Innovation and Economic Prosperity University,” NIU in November received one of the nation’s top awards for regional economic development.

The Association for Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) announced NIU as the winner of APLU’s inaugural “Place” award for “excelling in community, social, and cultural development work.”

Speaking at the association’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., APLU President Peter McPherson called NIU’s work in broadband development, school-university partnerships and manufacturing revival “a great example of a public university giving back to its community and state in ways that strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life for residents of that state.”

“Engagement with our communities and regions has always been the defining characteristic of America’s top public universities,” said NIU President Doug Baker. “This defines a level of excellence in how we serve our community and our region. It also affirms to students and their families that NIU is on the cutting edge of real-world education.”

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