Contact: Tom Parisi, NIU Office of Public Affairs
August 24, 2009
DeKalb, Ill. — Commemorating its golden anniversary this academic year, the NIU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences today officially launched an interactive Web site that highlights the college’s achievements and allows faculty and alumni to reconnect and share favorite memories.
The golden anniversary Web site can be found at www.niu.edu/clas50. It features a brief history of the college, a listing of “points of pride,” a calendar of anniversary-related events throughout the year and a directory of alumni allowing former students to reconnect. Visitors also can share stories, photos and video with former faculty and classmates.
In coming weeks, the site will display photographs and profiles of the 50 inaugural recipients of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Golden Alumni Award. The award honors individuals who have distinguished themselves either in professional fields or through involvement in civic, cultural or charitable service.
“The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences boasts more than 70,000 alumni, including tens of thousands who live and work in the northern Illinois region,” says Christopher McCord, dean of the college. “Many are leaders in their professions and communities. And this Web site serves as a virtual gathering place, where alumni can reconnect with the college, reflect upon their days at NIU and rekindle friendships with former classmates and faculty members.”
With 17 departments, two divisions, 33 degree programs and more than 6,000 students, Liberal Arts & Sciences is the largest of the university’s six undergraduate colleges. It boasts numerous graduate programs, including 10 at the doctoral level, as well as 10 research centers, ranging from the Center for Southeast Asian Studies to the Public Opinion Laboratory to the Institute for Nanoscience, Engineering, and Technology.
Virtually all NIU students, regardless of their career choices, benefit from the college’s general education and service courses. Foundational training in a variety of subjects—be it communication, computer science, philosophy, mathematics, physics, chemistry or biology—is an essential part of professional development even in areas outside the college, such as accounting, engineering, nursing, education and law.
“In a university with a multipronged mission of education, research, outreach and engagement, liberal arts provides the foundation for everyone’s success,” McCord says. “The college also gives students the tools needed to adapt in an ever-changing world, where professions and technologies evolve rapidly. It's no coincidence that our tagline is ‘learning for a lifetime.’
“A liberal education empowers students to become lifelong learners, which is necessary in most careers nowadays,” he adds. “It’s also vital because we are more than just our careers. We hope for more out of our lives than our jobs, and a liberal education strives to produce well-rounded individuals who better understand and engage the world they live in.”
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