21,498 Reminders that NIU Employees are Amazing
June 17, 2020

Dear Employees,


There are countless reasons why I’m proud to lead NIU and call myself a Huskie, and at the top of that list would be all of you. This is true under regular circumstances, but especially evident in these past three months. Since the advent of COVID-19, I’ve sent you multiple messages regarding a variety of topics. This one is simply to express my gratitude and pride for the remarkable ways that you care about our students and invest your personal and professional time to be their champions.


There are the unseen moments when you’ve listened to our students who needed to share concerns or seek advice, helped make their learning and living spaces clean and accessible, responded to their texts and emails in the evenings or on weekends, or helped them make connections for resources, internships and future job opportunities. There are impactful conversations between students and faculty members that take only moments but are remembered for years to come. And many times, just by sharing an encouraging word and smile, you provide them with added motivation for getting through a tough day.


Then there are more visible instances such as the way our colleagues across the university deliver on our values and our commitment to student success which may be seen in our initiatives that focus on equity and inclusion, and our many offices devoted to supporting a student’s academic, emotional and social needs. Caring for all students as if they are your own is at the core of being a Huskie.


One very recent example I want to call your attention to is the employee-driven idea about creating an opportunity for members of our faculty and staff to donate their parking refunds to NIU’s Student Emergency Fund. Monday was the deadline to indicate if the refund should be directed to the fund, and the day ended with 535 employees donating an impressive total of $21,498. Due to the overwhelming response, we’re extending the deadline until Thursday, June 18, and we’ll make certain that every one of those dollars directly supports students in need. To donate, please simply respond to the email you received from Parking Refund at the beginning of June.


Not everyone is in a financial position or has additional time and resources to give back – that’s OK. Contributing to student success through doing your job in ways that reflect our mission, vision and values is important and impactful. It’s also incredibly inspiring. Thank you for all that you do as individuals and teams to support our students. You put your heart into your work, and it shows.


Together Forward,


Lisa C. Freeman


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