News and Announcements

Save the Dates--October 10 & 11

Posted by Kevin Sheldon, Thursday, July 17th, 2014 @ 3:41pm

  • Save the Dates—October 10th and 11th!

    Save the dates for the first event of its kind--a new award program we're launching to recognize Northern Star alumni. If you're familiar with the past Hall of Fame event, this will be even better. We're expanding the program to include folks from young up-and-comers to those making a difference in the lives of others. 

    The Alumni Awards Banquet will be held during homecoming weekend with the Awards Banquet on Friday evening (October 10th) and a Star Tour on Saturday morning (October 11th).  We are also planning to reserve a tailgating spot for Saturday's game.

    Stay tuned for details on the festivities. For now, hold the dates!

    Hope to see you in October!

Telescope 2013

E-mail sent by Kevin Sheldon, Monday, December 9th, 2013 @ 5:45pm

Dear fellow Star Alums and friends of the Star,

I hope you are doing well and your 2013 has been a good one.

Attached you will find the latest Telescope issue for your reading enjoyment. In it you'll find good information about the Star including an excellent Q&A with new NIU President, Doug Baker.  Special thanks to Star Adviser and Alumni Board member Shelley Hendricks for putting it together.

The Telescope is published in the fall of each year. If you have any updates about yourself that you'd like to include in the next issue (Fall 2014), it's never too early to get them in.  Just send them to me by email at:

Please make it a point to go to our Northern Star Alumni website periodically for alumni news, events and even to view previous editions of the Telescope:  And don't forget to include the Star in any last minute charitable donations for 2013.  A form can be found in the attached Telescope. 

Best regards,

Kevin Sheldon
VP Northern Star Alumni

Former Star Editor and Past Star Alumni President, Barry Schrader, feels renewed optimism under new NIU President, Douglas Baker

Posted by Kevin Sheldon, Thursday, October 31st, 2013 @ 2:46pm

  • NIU image gets needed first aid

    Daily Chronicle: Tuesday, October 22, 2013



    By Barry Schrader, columnist

    Northern Illinois University defensive end Joe Windsor was wearing a T-shirt that said “Believe the Hype” when I met him during an exercise program for seniors last week. He explained that the shirt and slogan were from Nike, but I think it represents what is happening with a new leader today at Northern Illinois University.

    The campus has experienced corruption, shootings, administrative turmoil and a loss of morale in recent years, plus an enrollment downturn that affects the bottom line. But with the arrival of a new president, there seems to be an air of optimism around the institution. I have spent more time on campus the past three months in meetings, Lifelong Learning Institute classes, at rallies and even Homecoming than any time over the past five years. While there, one picks up a lot of scuttlebutt about the atmosphere and “communiversity” attitude.

    President Douglas Baker has jumped into his new position with a fervor and enthusiasm not seen in many years, but since he has just passed his first 100 days, it remains to be seen if he can make a lasting course change on the “Titanic,” as some called the university headed for the proverbial iceberg a year ago.

    The newspapers are reporting “sweeping changes” underway, with some new appointments and shifts in the upper echelon. When I was a student there 50 years ago, we had a very paternalistic administration of “suits” that ran things its way with little “shared governance” with faculty or student groups. I hope that has changed over the years.

    The community is mostly interested in three things when it comes to town and gown:Primary in people’s minds is the economic impact of this major employer, which has a total operating budget of $446 million and personnel costs of $225 million. The university employs about 3,800 people, not including students. Of course, the income for retail businesses, service providers and rental housing also is an outcome.

    Probably second is the safety and security of the surrounding neighborhoods. The hiring of a new police chief, who actually cooperates with other law enforcement agencies, is a big step. But the incidence of crime, including drug dealing and random shootings, still haunts the area.

    Then in third place, but equally significant, are the educational opportunities, cultural events and prestige of a first-class football program.

    How much of this can be placed on the back of a college president is hard to measure, but the buck stops at his desk, and his leadership during his first year will set the tone. The entrenched fiefdoms, political nepotism and “good old boys” network will be challenges that haven’t been tackled successfully by recent administrations.

    I see some positive signs that should help Baker succeed. One of the newest vice presidents, Bill Nicklas, comes from our surrounding municipalities with a thorough background in community relations. DeKalb’s new Mayor John Rey wants very much to be a partner with the university and not have an adversarial relationship. Over the years other mayors may have only seen the NIU president a scant few times a year, but Rey and Baker are in touch on almost a weekly basis so far.

    So the megaship is slowly turning a few degrees. Being an alumnus of NIU, I can only stand on the sidelines and hope for a win-win in the coming months.

    • Barry Schrader can be reached via email at or at P.O. Box 851, DeKalb, IL. 60115. His column appears every other Tuesday on this page.

Hall of Fame/Schmoozefest 3

  • Saturday, March 2nd, 2013 (all day)
    Location: DeKalb Illinois



    • 12 people attended

Latest Telecope Edition

Posted by Kevin Sheldon, Saturday, December 1st, 2012 @ 11:18am

  • Check out the latest telescope edition for interesting articles about the Star and news about fellow alums.

Alumni Board Meeting

  • Friday, September 14th, 2012 at 3pm - 5pm
    Location: Northern Star Office

    Regular Meeting

Meet Shelley Hendricks, the New Northern Star Adviser!

Posted by Kevin Sheldon, Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 @ 11:29am

  • Shelley Hendricks is thrilled and honored to be adviser to the Northern Star. She spent most of her career in various editing positions at the Rockford Register Star, where she started as a copy editor and went on to hold editor positions on the features and business desks before being promoted to metro editor. She also was the editor of several niche publications produced by the newspaper including Rockford Woman magazine.

    It was Shelley's experience holding editor positions at The Spectator, the student-run newspaper at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, that provided her the solid foundation for a career in journalism. As someone whose collegiate life revolved around the newsroom, she takes seriously the charge of guiding the next generation of journalists. She has a bachelor of arts degree in political science with a minor in English from UW-Eau Claire.

    Shelley is eager to work with Northern Star alumni. It became clear in her first days on the job how vital alumni group is because it came up in almost every early conversation and alumni were among the first to drop in and welcome her to the university and the Northern Star.

    She lives with her family in Sycamore. Her husband, Jeramie Hendricks, is an NIU alum and owns 4289, a marketing agency in Rockford. They have two daughters -- Morgan, 4, and Genevieve, 2 -- and a Yorkshire terrier named Sadie.

    Shelley Hendricks

    Adviser, The Northern Star


Northern Star Legacy Fund

Posted by Kevin Sheldon, Friday, April 13th, 2012 @ 8:24am

  • As you may know, the newspaper business has become quite tough and the advertising revenue "pie" is being shared by a host of new venues that didn't exist years ago.    The Northern Star has been affected by this phenomenon as well and needs your help.  Equipment is in desperate need of updating and the funds are limited so for the first time, the Star is asking for donations which can be made by clicking on the following link: . Just click on the "Northern Star Legacy Fund" logo and you will be directed to the NIU Foundation website where a tax deductible contribution can be made on behalf of the Star.

Northern Star Alumni

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