Submissions sought for 125 Key NIU Moments

In every life, there are turning points — moments big and small — that change direction for individuals and/or institutions. As NIU prepares to celebrate its 125th anniversary, members of the NIU community are invited to submit nominations for the 125 Key NIU Moments collection.

Entries can be made directly on the 125th-anniversary website through the end of the current semester. Over the summer, a group of distinguished emeritus faculty, staff, alumni and community representatives appointed by President Freeman will select the most representative entries. The final selections will be showcased throughout calendar year 2020 in various media, and will reside for future generations in a digital repository illustrated with photos and artwork from the NIU Regional History Center archives.

The 125 Key NIU Moments web page lists potential categories to stir ideas, ranging from athletics and governance to research and student life. The entirety of the NIU experience, from 1895 to present, is eligible for consideration. 

The following criteria will be used to judge each entry. Key moments submitted for consideration should meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Enhanced NIU’s reputation.
  •  Had a lasting effect.
  • Set direction for some significant period.
  • Been a cause for celebration.
  • Been a cause for deep reflection.
  • Represent either a joyous or difficult time.
  • Had a significant impact on students.
  • Had a significant impact on the university community.
  • Built institutional pride.

Examples might include moments such as:

  • DeKalb chosen as the site for Northern Illinois State Normal School, July 15, 1895.
  • General Assembly gives normal schools power to confer baccalaureate degrees, May 1907.
  • First national social sorority installed (Delta Sigma Epsilon), April 1944; first national social fraternity installed (Phi Sigma Epsilon), May 19, 1947.
  • Students protesting the Vietnam War shut down Lincoln Highway; NIU President Rhoten Smith averts violence by calmly sitting with them (May 1970). 
  • Huskies triumph over perennial football powerhouse Alabama, Sept. 20, 2003.

Entries should include as many details as the submitter knows or can easily find, but there is no minimum or maximum amount of specificity required. 125th anniversary committee members will fact-check and help fill in details for selected submissions.  

It would be helpful to include a sentence or two about why each entry was significant, but this is not required. Multiple submissions are welcome.

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