Choose a chapter below to explore.
Chapter 1: The Beginning
Chapter 2: Growth, Development – and War
Chapter 3: Growth in Challenging Times
Chapter 4: Birth of a University
Chapter 5: Entering the Modern Era
Chapter 6: Charting a New Course
Chapter 7: Courage and Confrontation
Chapter 8: The Expanding Mission
Chapter 9: Celebrating Excellence and Self-Determination
Chapter 10: Independence, Milestones and Expansion
Chapter 11: Philanthropy, Prestige and the Darkest Hour
Chapter 12: Challenge, Achievement and Resilience

Members of our university community submitted ideas, and a committee of long-time NIU employees and supporters chose those they thought best represented the most significant turning points in our history.

See the selection criteria.

Each month during our 125th year we will release a new set of these key moments. While they will appear chronologically, they are neither ranked nor inclusive of every year. Yet taken together, they tell a story of a remarkable institution and the people who made it so.