Alumni Honorees

Lyndon D. PerkinsLyndon D. Perkins

M.A. Public Administration, 1987


With 25 years of graduate administrative experience, Lyndon Perkins has played a pivotal role in the development of graduate programs at NIU.  He is especially responsible for opening the College’s graduate programs to minority students.

Currently Director of Graduate School Recruitment and Student Support Services, he has traveled the world and over one million miles promoting NIU graduate programs.  The results are impressive.

During his tenure, minority graduate enrollment increased from 185 to 1,145, bringing NIU’s minority student enrollment to 18 percent of total enrollments.  NIU moved from last to first place among Illinois’ public doctoral degree granting universities based on the percentage of graduate students from minority backgrounds.  NIU also moved into the top 10 doctoral granting non-minority public universities in the nation based on minority percentage of graduate student enrollment and graduation rates.

To identify potential graduate students early in their careers, Perkins established a Program to Encourage Graduate School and a Peer Recruitment Program.  The programs currently have over 1,500 participants.

Today, the Graduate School at NIU is often cited as a model for ethnic diversity by the Council of Graduate Schools and New Directions for Student Services thanks to Perkins’ sustained leadership.  Perkins himself is a role model to persons from minority backgrounds about the opportunities that a graduate education can provide.  He has received several awards and prides himself for his work in Africa.