Photo Cred: Ray Horwath / Flickr / NIU / Canva

We are celebrating 125 years of Northern Illinois University by sharing 125 fun facts about NIU! Keep checking back throughout the year as we release new batches of NIU facts. Also, visit the Key Moments page to learn more about NIU’s history and the NIU Anniversary page for a full list of events celebrating 125 years!


NIU FACTS PT 13

Featured in this FINAL batch of facts: Carl Sagan gave the keynote address at NIU’s Centennial Convocation in 1995; Cary Groth was named NIU’s...
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NIU FACTS PT 12

Featured in this batch of facts: NIU’s lagoon was enlarged thanks to manpower from the CWA (Civil Works Administration) and WPA (Works Progress Administration)...
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NIU FACTS PT 11

Featured in this batch of facts: The Grammy nominated Vermeer Quartet was NIU’s resident string quartet for 38 years, NIU’s first doctoral degree was...
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NIU FACTS PT 10

Featured in this batch of facts: Harlem Globetrotter McKinley “Deacon” Davis helped to create NIU’s CHANCE program which aimed to level the playing field for...
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NIU FACTS PT 9

Featured in this batch of facts: Kansas joined the NIU Philharmonic for a Homecoming concert in 2011, Founders Memorial Library holds more than 2...
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NIU FACTS PT 8

Featured in this batch of facts: Baseball Coach Ralph McKinzie led NIU to back-to-back Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles in 1950-51, jazz legend Duke...
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NIU FACTS PT 7

Featured in this batch of facts: The ‘Freshman Bench’ near the East Lagoon was built in the middle of the night by the Freshmen...
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NIU FACTS PT 6

Featured in this batch of facts: NIU’s first personal computer arrived in 1978: a Commodore PET with a cassette tape drive and 4K of...
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NIU FACTS PT 5

Featured in this batch of fun facts: NIU President Leslie Holmes used to keep a small amount of money in his office to help...
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NIU FACTS PT 4

Featured in this batch of fun facts: The City of DeKalb used the ‘Mighty Kish’ to convince a site selection team to choose DeKalb...
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NIU FACTS PT 3

Featured in this batch of fun facts: Teddy Roosevelt was the first nationally famous figure to appear at NIU, The East Lagoon used to...
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NIU FACTS PT 2

Featured in this batch of fun facts: NIU’s 1st president -President Cook- used to drive students to and from the boarding houses to the...
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NIU FACTS PT 1

Featured in this batch of fun facts: NIU once had a zoo, the original school colors were white and yellow, and it’s the home...
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