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Thursday is for turkey, Tuesday is for giving

November 23, 2015

Victor E. Huskies says “Giving Tuesday Rocks!”Real-world experiences, the reputation of an academic program, top-notch professors – these are some reasons why alumna Alexandria Wozny and others give back to NIU programs.

Wozny (B.S. marketing, ’14), who works as a social media coordinator for Resolution Media in Chicago, says she is so grateful that the Department of Marketing provided her with unparalleled opportunities, including multiple scholarships, an internship, mentoring, outstanding professors and live action role playing.

To pay it forward, she plans to make a Dec. 1 donation to the marketing program through Giving Tuesday, just like she did last year.

“The Professional Sales Program, interactive marketing and the Experiential Learning Center were all very valuable to me because they helped shape me into a professional that my fellow coworkers and my bosses are very impressed by,” Wozny says.

The interaction with professionals, from practicing sales calls to working with real clients on consulting projects, was a key reason why Wozny feels that she gained real-world experience through the NIU College of Business.

Mary Pritchard (M.A. English, ’15), a digital content specialist for the Chicago-based American Medical Association, also believes that it’s important to give back to a place that helped her move forward in her career.

“NIU helped me get my master’s degree, find lifelong friends and get started on my career,” Pritchard says. “I’m so grateful for these opportunities and it’s the least I can do to give back in return.”

Giving TuesdayShe chose to get a master’s degree from NIU’s Department of English because the program was so specialized. With a technical writing specialization, she was able to land a job in web writing and digital content creation.

“The individual attention from the professors in this program was invaluable in helping me succeed in my classes, with my thesis and even in finding a position after I completed my degree,” says Pritchard, who was a first-time donor during last year’s Giving Tuesday.

Peggy Simonds (B.S. accountancy, ’00), a business/administrative associate for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at NIU, sees the benefits of the connection between NIU and the community and donates periodically to the Department of Accountancy, the College of Business (Rockford Club), NIU Athletics and the College of Visual and Performing Arts to foster the NIU-community relationship.

For instance, Simonds enjoys attending the performances of the dance department, so she makes a donation to ensure visiting artists continue to work with students in the School of Theatre and Dance.

NIU Fall Dance Concert 2015“Faculty, administration and staff are genuinely vested in helping students get the most out of their time at NIU,” the Sycamore resident says. “The community provides students with opportunities to put their learning into practice and the community benefits by having cultural, athletic and continuing education events close by.”

NIU’s goal is to raise $225,000 on Giving Tuesday, which is celebrated globally as a day to give back. Through the generosity of donors, the NIU Foundation will use the gifts for student scholarships and support for faculty and programs.

“Giving Tuesday is about the power of community, the ability of people to come together for causes they are passionate about to make a lasting difference,” says Sandra Yandle, director of the Northern Fund and coordinator of NIU’s Giving Tuesday celebration.

Because Giving Tuesday is a community effort, several college deans and senior administrators have pledged $1,000 or more to encourage others to follow suit.

In addition, a former NIU men’s soccer player (who prefers anonymity) has doubled his gift this year and will match the first $10,000 in Giving Tuesday gifts. His gift will support the NIU men’s soccer program and is meant to inspire other soccer fans to give back.

Every level of contribution adds up to make a big difference at NIU. Give back to your favorite program or scholarship and consider sharing your NIU story.

Follow the progress toward the #GivingTuesdayNIU goal on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.