Number of students attending NIU
Contact: Tom Parisi, NIU Office of Public Affairs
September 12, 2007
DeKalb, Ill. — More than 500 local fifth graders will carry the international flags of more than 80 nations represented at Northern Illinois University during the eighth annual Parade of Flags, set to step off at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 21, from the east side of Huskie Stadium.
Participants will march along Lucinda Avenue to the Martin Luther King Commons, where Lemuel Watson, NIU’s new Dean of the College of Education, and Paul Beilfuss, superintendent of DeKalb School District 428, will address the audience.
“A main goal of the parade is to help fifth graders in DeKalb understand how much fun it is to learn about other nations and cultures,” said Deborah Pierce, executive director of the Division of International Programs at NIU. “Through our partnership with District 428 and area private schools, I think we’re accomplishing that.”
Sally Stevens, who served as secretary to six university presidents over a span of 32 years before retiring from NIU, is again sponsoring a pre-parade luncheon for students, teachers, chaperones and other parade participants. Also prior to the parade, students from DeKalb-area public and private schools will have an opportunity to meet with NIU international students and study-abroad participants.
Students from 82 countries are attending NIU this semester, including substantial student contingents from India and China. NIU also enrolls students from such countries as Aruba, Burma, Iran, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Moldova, Slovakia, Rwanda, Tonga and Zimbabwe.
“NIU’s entire student body realizes tremendous benefits from the diversity that our international students bring to campus,” Pierce said. “Students from Illinois have the chance to learn about other countries and cultures without ever leaving DeKalb.
“We value diversity on our campus and are continuing to raise our promotional activities to attract international undergraduate students from even more countries,” Pierce added.