‘Thousands Strong’ Event Promises Incredible Stories, Celebrity Guests 
Nov. 18-20, 2020



Huskies help Huskies, but we also help neighbors and friends. We are innovators, artists, problem-solvers and changemakers. We are “thousands strong” and shaping the world together.

In celebration of our impact, Huskies the world over are invited to participate in the NIU Foundation Thousands Strong virtual events, Nov. 18-20. 

Wednesday, Nov. 18 – “Chicago Fire” Star to be Featured on Free Opening Night 
From the comfort of your home, please join us from 7-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18, as we commemorate all that makes NIU extraordinary. Don’t miss this opportunity to make history together with thousands of your fellow Huskies. Opening Night festivities will include an inspirational and entertaining lineup on YouTube Live, with NIU President Lisa Freeman and special celebrity guest Joe Minoso, M.F.A. '04, who plays firefighter Joe Cruz on the NBC drama “Chicago Fire.” Minoso’s unique NIU story and post-graduate experience in theater and television make him an ideal as star for this tribute to Huskies’ success.

This event, which borrows its name from a famous line of “Hail NIU,” the University’s alma mater, will honor the outstanding alumni and donors who help make NIU an engine for innovation, creativity and social mobility and include an “all-star” line-up of NIU scholarship recipients. Opening night will provide hope and support for current and future NIU students who are facing barriers to education at such an uncertain time, while also kicking off our Day of Giving.  

Nov. 18-19 – Generosity Sets Us Apart

Beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18, and going through Thursday, Nov. 19, the Huskie community will come together for an online Day of Giving, supporting the NIU Foundation’s incredible scholarship and fundraising opportunities.

We are asking our alumni and friends to dig deep and pull together to show that we are truly "Thousands Strong" by making a donation or being a champion for this important day of philanthropy. Gifts of all sizes will go a long way to helping ensure the next classes of Huskies have what they need to make the most of their time on campus.

You can also support our "Thousands Strong" Day of Giving as an ambassador who shares our important message via email, phone, text, and social media to create excitement before and during the event. Your help spreading awareness within your network will be invaluable. Sign up today!

In addition, over these three days, alumni and friends of the University will also have the opportunity to upload videos of themselves describing why they are proud to be among the “Thousands Strong” who represent NIU. This can be accessed via www.thousandsstrong.com.

On Nov. 20, the NIU Alumni Association will select video submissions to include in a special “Thousands Strong” highlight reel on its social media pages, which will also include some exciting celebrity messages.

‘Steadfast, Devoted, True,’ Huskies Are Here for One Another
In our 125th year, more than ever, we want to remember who we are. As Huskies, we are proud to blaze trails and pave the roads less travelled for those who will come next. 

It is who we are. Huskies help Huskies.

Just ask senior Morgan Cunningham, who is looking forward to getting a job in special education after she earns her degree. A grateful NIU Foundation scholarship recipient, Cunningham was touched last semester when an NIU instructor went so far as to lend her some professional clothes for an impromptu and much-needed work wardrobe.

“I didn’t even ask. She just did it,” Cunningham said. “She’s one of the most understanding, wonderful people I think I ever could have had the gift to meet.”

Similarly, after working in public health for the better part of a decade, Catherine Andrews returned to NIU to pursue her nursing degree. A recipient of an NIU Foundation’s scholarship, Andrews said going back to college after years in the workforce was a bit intimidating, but the experience she been able to garner in the college’s state-of-the-art facilities has made her confident in her decision.

“NIU’s nursing program is highly respected and competitive,” Andrews said. “The resources and equipment here are really impressive. Donors have contributed really great tools. There are state-of-the-art mannequins that talk and respire. You can run IVs on them; one mannequin gives birth to another mannequin. You get real hands-on experience.”

Our students could share thousands of stories of collaboration and assistance, and the impact these acts of kindness have had on their success. Our Opening Night festivities will feature more examples like these, from actual students who have benefitted from scholarship support. Don’t miss the chance to learn more about incredible student and alumni successes and the very real ways we are changing the world, one bright, determined student at a time.

To learn more about how you can take part in this special one-time event and change NIU history for the better from your favorite spot on the couch, visit www.thousandsstrong.com.


Event Information

Opening Night Festivities
Wednesday, Nov. 18

7-7:30 p.m.
YouTube Live (Virtual Event)  

Day of Giving
Kicks off Wednesday, Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m.

Continues through Thursday, Nov. 19 

"Thousands Strong" Highlight Reel
Friday, Nov. 20