The University Resources for Latinos (URL), now known as the Latino Resource Center (LRC) at Northern Illinois University, traces its origins to 1978. The original Latino house was destroyed to make room for a parking structure. Several years later, upon student insistence, the URL received a new location. In 1992, the URL shared its physical space with the International Student & Faculty Office at the Knetsch House. As the number of Latino student organizations increased, Dr. George Gutierrez, director of the URL at the time, requested more space to accommodate the student groups. His persistence resulted in the removal of the International Student & Faculty Office leaving the URL with the entire Knetsch House for its Latino students in 1996.
The Knetsch House, however, required immediate repairs. Also, the goal was to combine the URL and Center for Latino and Latin American Studies offices together under one building to provide more centralized services to Latinos at NIU. Thus, NIU administration proposed remodeling and expanding the house but NIU Latino students and URL staff were eager to have a new facility built. In addition, NIU administration realized the cost of building a new facility was slightly similar to the cost of remodeling the existing structure. After proposals for remodeling were rejected and with student insistence and persuasion by the URL director, the NIU administration decided to demolish the old Knetsch House and build a new facility in 1997. In the summer of 1999, the new Latino center building was completed.
Today, the LRC serves as a central resource for Latinos on campus and in the community to assist and encourage them to persist at NIU. The LRC offers students opportunities to participa te in cultural, social and academic programs that enhance their classroom experiences. Furthermore, in an effort to create learning opportunities beyond the classroom that inspire intellectual, personal and civic growth for leadership, the LRC provides community outreach/service opportunities.