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Baker Report: Congratulations, graduates!

May 15, 2015

NIU grads at May 9, 2015, commencementCommencement is among my favorite times of the year: This past weekend, NIU graduated nearly 2,800 students to the rank of alumni.

When students come to NIU, they have the opportunity to build their future while they’re here, creating the foundation for achieving career success when they graduate. Commencement represents the culmination of years of work by our students, and we recognize and salute all those who helped them along the way, including faculty and staff, mentors and the families of our students.

We are grateful to our alumni for offering our students a variety of real world experiences that help them by providing internships, externships and mentoring. Alumni involvement is critical to the success of our university and our students, and it is our hope that our new graduates continue that tradition and “pay it forward” for a new generation of Huskies. In fact, we are counting on them – and all of our alumni – to further enhance the value of their NIU degree by sharing their time, talents and success with our current students.

The value of our alumni network is present in our efforts to communicate about the university. Our redesigned website hosts a section called “Alumni Perspectives,” containing short videos of alums providing advice to current Huskies on how to make the most of their NIU education. The “Your Future, Our Network” campaign features alumni reminiscing about their experiences at NIU and how their time here positioned them for career success. The campaign – running on television, bus signage and billboards – makes it clear that our network of engaged alums are part of our university’s value proposition.

With the summer approaching, this is a great time to rediscover your inner Huskie and think about ways that you can engage on campus or through some of the many scheduled events such as the Summer Circuit and the NIU Night with the White Sox. These are great ways to stay involved with NIU as well as connect or reconnect with other Huskies. As several in the marketing campaign point out, there is an affinity that NIU people have with one another when they make a connection, and it’s something we’d like to see happen more often.

Congratulations, graduates!