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Freeman gift kicks off Giving Tuesday campaign

November 15, 2017

Acting President Lisa Freeman and Dr. Doug Rose

Northern Illinois University’s Giving Tuesday campaign will get a big boost from NIU Acting President Lisa Freeman and her husband, Dr. Doug Rose.

The two have chosen that day, Nov. 28, to make the $25,000 gift that Freeman pledged during her State of the University speech in September. The unrestricted gift to the NIU Foundation will be used for student scholarships.

“We would be excited to make this gift any day of the year, but we hope that by doing so on Giving Tuesday that we can encourage and inspire others to give,” Freeman says. “We view this as a demonstration of how much we believe in our students and this institution.”

That belief stems from the personal interactions that both Freeman and Rose have had with students.

For her part, Freeman says that when the pressures of being president start to mount, she seeks out opportunities to talk with students. Doing so inevitably restores her spirit. “I hear about their work, their aspirations and the things they are doing, inside the classroom and out, and it gives me great optimism.”

Rose, who is a physician and hospital administrator in Chicago, doesn’t get those types of opportunities as often, but when he does, he walks away impressed. A trip to the Involvement Fair in August particularly stands out in his mind. “There were hundreds and hundreds of students there talking to representatives from 300 student organizations looking for new experiences and opportunities to volunteer. It reminded me why we love it here: because young people are looking forward, achieving and leading.”

As past scholarship recipients, both Rose and Freeman know firsthand how important financial support with tuition can be.

“When we were first married, I was in grad school and Doug was in his residency training. We remember what it feels like to wonder if you will have enough money to cover rent, food and gas,” she says. “That is something we don’t think any student should have to deal with. Now, thanks to our educations, the hard work we have put in and the good luck we’ve had in life, we are delighted that we can make a gift that will lighten that burden for others.”

This year marks the fourth time that NIU has participated in Giving Tuesday. In 2016, 260 generous donors came together to raise more than $124,000 to support NIU. This year the NIU Foundation has set a goal of 400 donors, with a focus on raising support for student scholarships.

Freeman hopes that all Huskie alumni and friends of the university take advantage of this opportunity to make what she views as an outstanding investment.

“Not many investments will pay dividends for a lifetime, but I can guarantee that investing in our students and our university will have that sort of payback,” she says. “Our students hold our futures, our children’s futures and our grandchildren’s’ futures in their hands. Helping them achieve their dreams will help take care of all of us.”