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Nancy Lublin to kick off Celebrating Excellence

February 19, 2014
Nancy Lublin

Nancy Lublin

Nancy Lublin enjoys building things out of ideas and people.

That’s why she’s coming Saturday, April 12, to Northern Illinois University on NIU Cares Day, to kick off the university’s annual Celebrating Excellence event with two separate presentations: “Do Something to Change the World” and “Finding Your Inner Entrepreneur.”

Lublin is the CEO of, one of the largest not-for-profits for young people and social change.

At the age of 23, she turned a $5,000 inheritance into Dress for Success, a global entity that provides interview suits and career development training to women in need. Today, Dress for Success helps women reclaim their destinies in more than 125 cities in 15 countries.

In 2003, Lublin came to Do Something to rescue it from a downward spiral. She converted the local chapter of the organization to an online based social movement transforming it to The organization now utilizes technology such as Facebook, texting and Twitter to reach its audience.

Lublin’s scheduled activities for Saturday, April 12, are as follows:

  • NIU Cares Day Welcome: 7:45 a.m., Duke Ellington Ballroom
  • Honors breakfast: 8 to 9:30 a.m. (Q&A format, by invitation only)
  • NIU Cares Day Luncheon: 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. (“Do Something to Change the World,” for volunteers only), Duke Ellington Ballroom
  • Keynote Speech: 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. (“Finding Your Inner Entrepreneur”), Sandburg Auditorium
  • Student Reception: 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Gallery Lounge

All NIU Cares Day volunteers are invited to the free lunch and “Do Something to Change the World” presentation in the Duke Ellington Ballroom at the Holmes Student Center. Every year, more than 1,000 students go out into the DeKalb community and assist with various projects for non-for-profit organizations, community agencies and DeKalb county residents on NIU Cares Day.

“We have a very passionate group of students here at NIU who are always looking for ways to give back to the community,” says Destiny McDonald, chair of NIU Cares Day and assistant director for community service at the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

Celebrating Excellence LogoCelebrating Excellence at NIU, scheduled from April 12 to May 1, highlights the accomplishments and contributions of NIU students, faculty, staff and alumni to the university’s mission of promoting excellence and engagement in teaching and learning, research and scholarship, creativity and artistry and outreach and service during the academic year.

“Nancy Lublin embodies several components of the university’s mission, vision and values,” says Julia Spears, associate vice president for engaged learning. “Her academic and business background and leadership experience in the areas of service and outreach – particularly with young people – will allow her to relate to our students, faculty and community members alike.”

Lublin has a BA from Brown University, an M.Litt. from Oxford University (as a Marshall Scholar), and a law degree from New York University. The World Economic Forum (WEF) selected her as a Young Global Leader in 2007, welcoming her participation in Davos for the last five years. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, Lublin was named one of the Nonprofit Times’ 50 Most Powerful Leaders.