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April 05, 2010

State proclaims April 13 as ‘John La Tourette Day’

NIU’s 10th president will return for naming ceremony

DeKalb, Ill. — The State of Illinois has officially proclaimed Tuesday, April 13, as “John La Tourette Day,” in honor of Northern Illinois University’s 10th president.

John E. La Tourette

La Tourette will be on campus that day for a 10 a.m. naming ceremony at the newly designated John E. La Tourette Hall, formerly known as the Faraday Hall West building.

The public is invited to attend the ceremony, which will be held in the building’s foyer with overflow accommodations in Room 200. Speakers will include La Tourette; NIU President John Peters; Marc Strauss, chair of the NIU Board of Trustees; Eddie Williams, NIU’s executive vice president for business and finance and chief of operations; and Christopher McCord, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Refreshments will be served after the ceremony in a tent to be located north of the building along Normal Road.

The NIU Board of Trustees voted unanimously late last year to rename Faraday Hall West in honor of La Tourette. Located in the heart of campus, the building first opened in 1995, in the midst of La Tourette’s tenure as university president. The 115,000-square-foot structure houses state-of-the-art physics and chemistry laboratories, lecture halls, classrooms and offices.

La Tourette came to NIU in 1979 as provost and served as president from 1986 to 2000. Under his leadership, the university doubled its landholdings and embarked on more than $200 million in capital improvements. He also led NIU in establishing and developing two new colleges (engineering and law) and more than a dozen major academic programs, including four new Ph.D. programs—in geology and environmental geosciences, biological sciences, mathematical sciences and physics.

State Reps. Robert Pritchard (R-Hinckley) and Michael Fortner (R-West Chicago) sponsored the legislation designating a special day in honor of La Tourette’s service to NIU.

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Media Contact: Tom Parisi, NIU Media Relations and Internal Communications
Phone: (815) 753-3635
Email: tparisi@niu.edu