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Huskies United: Why Larry Lurio gives back

May 31, 2021

“This is a place where even a small donation can make a big impact.”

Dr. Larry Lurio has called NIU his home for 20  years.  “I’m almost at the point where I know how to get around campus as well as the upperclassmen,” he shares, jokingly.

Lurio served for many years as the chair of NIU’s Physics department. However, in 2019 he made the transition back to full-time faculty.

“I’ve enjoyed getting back to teaching and research full time,” Lurio said. “I’m also part of a university committee trying to enhance STEM outcomes for underrepresented students. I’m hoping to make an impact that will enable more students to learn and use science.”

For Lurio, the NIU community holds a special place in his heart.

“Being able to work in a center of culture and learning, and to interact on a daily basis with enthusiastic students eager to make their mark on the world has been a privilege,” he said. “My experience meeting all the students coming from such a broad range of backgrounds has shaped my perceptions of who people are.  Everyone is a surprise, and you can learn something from talking with them. I’ve also made many friends among members of my department and the university.”

Lurio’s appreciation of and commitment to the NIU community led him to make a contribution to the Student Emergency Fund.

“I’ve come across so many students who really wanted to finish their degrees but have been stopped by financial problems,” Lurio said.  “I wanted to help them out during this especially tough time.”

Since its launch in April 2020, the Student Emergency Fund has been awarded to over 3,600 students and helped meet needs such as rent, medical expenses, food, utilities, and technology. It is one of four priorities being highlighted during the NIU Foundation’s Huskies United taking place June 23-24. In addition to the Student Emergency Fund, donations can be directed to student scholarships and experience; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and unrestricted support.

As an event, Huskies United is meant to rally together the NIU family to provide support and resources that help fill NIU students with a sense of hope.

“I hope NIU students find life to be a mystery, but that they will have a set of tools to help them make sense of it,” Lurio said.  “I want them to go on to do the unexpected and succeed at it.”

You can help NIU students do the unexpected by making a donation during Huskies United. For more information about the event please visit the website.