Thousands Strong is an opportunity for alumni and friends to engage with NIU in an exciting, virtual initiative that will increase and expand alumni pride and engagement, and celebrate the impact of philanthropy at Northern Illinois University. This year, this day of giving virtual initiative will start the evening of Nov. 10 and run through Nov. 11, with a variety of opportunities to help students and the University.

The phrase Thousands Strong comes from a line in the University’s alma mater, “Hail, NIU.” Written by NIU professors Wilbur Smith and Orville Baker, these words are as powerful now as when they were crafted nearly 60 years ago. NIU alumni, faculty, staff, parents and friends show up when there are students in need, and that has been especially true during the challenging past year and a half of the pandemic.

You can support the initiatives of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, which include putting the crowdfunding campaign over the top for three amazing Steelpan Studies graduate students from Trinidad and Tobago.

Last November, during the inaugural Thousands Strong day of giving initiative, donors provided more than 2,000 gifts to the NIU Foundation for a total of more than $2 million. This year, Thousands Strong will include a special kickoff presentation, where you will be able to see philanthropy in action and how the generosity of donors changes and transforms lives. The NIU Foundation hopes to build on last year’s successful event and provide even more support to NIU students and University programs.

In addition to donors, the event will rely on volunteers in the form of Thousands Strong ambassadors who help promote Thousands Strong to their family, friends and colleagues. Last year, 111 Thousands Strong ambassadors helped spread the word and their work helped generate 217 gifts of more than $30,000 in donations. You can sign up to be a Thousands Strong ambassador by clicking here.

As the event nears, stay tuned to the Thousands Strong day of giving website and to NIU social media accounts for more information.