Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

News Release

Contact: Mark Pietrowski, NIU Liberal Arts and Sciences External Programming
(815) 753-5200

November 12, 2007

NIU will hold ‘Muggle Ball’ and winter academy for Harry Potter fans

Potter-themed New Ideas Conference will also be held for teachers

DeKalb, Ill. — Attention Harry Potter fans of all ages: Get ready to dance the night away, and feel free to dress up as your favorite character from the book and movie series.

The public is invited to attend a Muggle (Yule) Ball from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, in the auditorium of Altgeld Hall at Northern Illinois University.

Musical entertainment will be provided by the Remus Lupins and Sound Force VDJs. Light refreshments will be served, and a fog machine will add to the ambiance of the event.

Activities will include a Harry Potter raffle, silent auction to benefit the NIU Friends of the Library and drive to collect new and gently used books for children and young adults in DeKalb County. People attending the event will receive one raffle ticket for each book they donate.

To purchase tickets for the Muggle Ball at $5 each, call (815) 753-5200 or email Mark Pietrowski, external programming coordinator for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, at

That same day, NIU will host a Winter Muggle Academy for students from noon to 5:30 p.m., and a New Ideas Conference from noon to 5 p.m. for teachers wanting to incorporate the J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series into their classrooms. Visit online for cost and registration information on both events.

The Winter Muggle Academy is modeled after Hogwarts, the fictional school of witchcraft and wizardry where Harry Potter comes of age, and is geared for students in grades 4 through 12 who have a passion for Potter.

As at Hogwarts, students will be sorted into houses. They’ll participate in book discussions, analyze the movie adaptations and take part in several imaginative hands-on activities.

All academy participants will have free entry to the Muggle Ball that evening.

“More and more people are recognizing the literary value of the Harry Potter series,” says Karley Adney, who is directing the Winter Muggle Academy.

Adney is assistant professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. She regularly teaches a Harry Potter-themed writing class and has presented and published on both the series itself and ways in which it can be used in the classroom. She co-directed NIU’s celebrated inaugural summer Muggle Academy in 2006, and repeated her success this past summer.

“I am very excited to have Karley bring this great learning experience to students and teachers once again this year and to have a great holiday event for the community,” Pietrowski says.

Adney will lead the New Ideas Conference, where educators will discuss the literary importance of Harry Potter, learn how to introduce the series in their classrooms and develop interdisciplinary lessons. Participants will earn five continuing professional development units and also gain free entry to the Muggle Ball.

For more information, call the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences External Programming at (815) 753-5200 or e-mail

The NIU events are not endorsed, sanctioned or in any other way supported, directly or indirectly, by Warner Bros. Entertainment, the Harry Potter® book publishers, or J.K. Rowling and her representatives.