Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown spotlights NIU’s Ally Lehman

NIU’s Ally Lehman has had an eventful week. On Friday she met U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth after being commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Infantry; on Saturday she was recognized by President Doug Baker during graduation; and today she was featured in a Chicago Sun-Times column written by NIU alumnus Mark Brown.

Ally LehmanBrown’s column, NIU ‘Hoosier’ trades basketball uniform for combat fatigues, noted Lehman’s many accomplishments.

She was one of just 10 women selected nationally from the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) for the infantry this year. Such combat jobs were made available to females for the first time last year.

Lehman also starred on the NIU women’s basketball team while earning her degree in general studies, making her a student-athlete-soldier—“a rare triple-double for any campus,” Brown said.

“Part of what interested me about Lehman’s story was having had an NIU roommate myself many years ago who was in ROTC, and seeing the type of commitment required to perform at a high level in both the classroom and the military,” Brown said in his column. “The idea of adding a major college sport on top of that is mind-boggling . . .”

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