DeKALB – The Northern Illinois University Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) conducted a commissioning ceremony for its graduating seniors on May 10.
As part of this ceremony, the ROTC unveiled the Huskie Alumni Project, designed to commemorate all of the NIU ROTC graduates dating from the establishment of the program at NIU in 1968. The project is a wooden pyramid, approximately 6 feet high with a flat top. On the top is a bronze sculpture of a husky by local artist Renee Bemis. On the sides of the pyramid is a small plaque for each graduate with their name, date of commission, commissioning number and branch of commission engraved upon it. Those alumni who have passed away have a blue plate; those killed in action have a red plate.
Each graduate has a commissioning number assigned to them. At the ceremony, commissionees 549 through 554 received their commissions as officers in the United States Army. As a special guest for the unveiling, commissionee No. 1, Wes Bjerregaard, was on hand. He commissioned as the first graduate of the program in 1971. As part of a new tradition, graduates saw their own plaques added to the project at the end of the ceremony, joining the honorable ranks of NIU’s contribution to our nation’s military leadership.