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President Peters speaks at community gathering

October 27, 2010

President Peters speaks at the Oct. 26 community gatheringNIU President John Peters offered these remarks Tuesday, Oct. 26, during the Community Gathering in Honor of Toni Keller. 

Thank you all for joining with us this evening to honor one of our own, Antinette “Toni” Keller.

For those who got to know Toni during her short time at NIU, she was a dear friend, a joy to be around, a talented artist, and as we have heard tonight, she may be best remembered by her own favorite personal image … a sunflower.

In the spirit of Northern Illinois University, you rallied at the first indication that she was missing. In dozens of ways, thousands of you spread the word through every conceivable medium. One Huskie goes missing, we all join together to find them. We remain united.

Our search for Toni has not brought her back to us. Our own search for understanding … and a sense of peace … will continue.

Tonight is another step in that search and in our journey together. We have learned to rely on the strong bond that unites our NIU family. We find comfort tonight in each other’s presence with our thoughts, with our love, and with our prayers focused on Toni, her family and friends.

My message to you tonight is take care of each other. To look out for one another. To be kind to one another and to have confidence in one another. In those ways, we can honor Toni and we can be true to the tradition of NIU.

Let us now join together in a silent moment of reflection.

God bless you all, God bless the Keller family and God bless NIU.