Nearly 500 local fifth-graders will carry the international flags of more than 100 nations during the 13th annual Parade of Flags, set to step off at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 21, from the east side of Huskie Stadium.
Participants will march along Lucinda Avenue to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commons, where Pamela Rosenberg, business manager in the Division of International Programs, will lead the ceremony.
“This year we’re trying to help the fifth-graders enjoy the NIU experience, so we’ve invited the NIU Marching Band and the NIU cheerleaders to get the schoolchildren inspired about our university,” said Deborah Pierce, associate provost for International Programs at NIU.
“Hosting the DeKalb schoolchildren for this globally focused event emphasizes the strong partnership among NIU, the local community and our global environment.”
The students, their teachers, chaperones and other parade participants will enjoy a pre-parade luncheon on the grass near the stadium (rain location is the Convocation Center).
Also, prior to the parade, participating students from DeKalb-area schools will have an opportunity to meet with NIU international students and Study Abroad participants to learn directly from the NIU students about other countries where they have lived.
“Both the NIU students and the elementary school students really seem to enjoy this part of the parade because they’re learning from each other as they talk about other nations,” Pierce said.
DeKalb Community Unit School District 428 Superintendent James Briscoe will serve as grand marshal of the parade this year, while NIU benefactor Sally Stevens has been named permanent ambassador for the parade.
In the last academic year, NIU enrolled students from nearly 90 nations, with India, China and Korea sending the largest numbers. Other nations sending large numbers of students include Indonesia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Vietnam.
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