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Events celebrate excellence at NIU

Published: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT
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(Danielle Guerra - dguerra@shawmedia.com)
Northern Illinois University student Crystal Perez, part of Kappa Omicron NU, rolls up sod to expose dirt for the laying of a walkway that would allow accessibility to the new garden on the side of the Sycamore Public Library Saturday morning. Perez was one of over 1,200 volunteers from NIU that worked on over twenty different sites throughout the community for the annual NIU Cares Day.

DeKALB — Northern Illinois University’s second annual Celebrating Excellence event has more than tripled in terms of the number of functions highlighting the many accomplishments and contributions of NIU students, faculty and staff. Last year’s event included 16 activities.

“We invite the community to join us in celebrating the many students, faculty, staff and alumni who provide excellent examples of what can be accomplished when we embrace the concept of student career success in fulfilling our mission,” said NIU President Doug Baker. Most events are free and open to the public.

The event officially kicked off April 12 with NIU Cares Day and presentations from Nancy Lublin, the founder of Dress for Success and CEO of DoSomething.org. It continues through May 1.

“We are pleased with the expansion upon our first-year efforts to make Celebrating Excellence at NIU more inclusive of university-wide events in various disciplines,” said Julia Spears, director of the NIU Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning. “We believe that by integrating all of these previously unrelated events under one umbrella, we can enhance the recognition of those honored.”

Events will include presentation of the university’s most prestigious faculty awards, presentations of outstanding research by graduate and undergraduate students, recognition of outstanding alumni and lectures by top faculty and visitors.

Additional highlights include Undergraduate Research & Artistry Day and Outstanding Graduate Student Recognition Reception on Wednesday, April 22; the April 24 Annual Faculty Awards Ceremony and reception; the Alumni Awards Banquet on Friday, April 25; the Kevin D. Knight Leadership Awards Ceremony, Tuesday, April 27; and The Victors, an ESPN-style program celebrating the athletic, academic and community successes of NIU’s student-athletes, Monday, April 28, at the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St. in DeKalb.

To be included as a Celebrating Excellence activity, an event must reward, honor or recognize excellence in research, artistry or service on campus; highlight a university-wide or multi-disciplinary activity or award; and/or honor contributions to the academic excellence of the institution.

“It is important to recognize the achievements of NIU’s students, faculty and staff, and generating greater awareness for the wonderful things happening here at NIU,” said Bradley Bond, dean of the NIU Graduate School and associate vice president for graduate studies.

A comprehensive schedule of events is available online at www.niu.edu/excellence.

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