Dennis & Stacey Barsema


Dennis and Stacey Barsema 


Dennis: "Faithful to a cause, ideal, custom or institution. Unswerving in allegiance."


These dictionary definitions of the word loyalty describe my family's relationship with NIU pretty well. Loyalty doesn't develop in a day or week or even in a month or two. It takes time. And I am sure my story is not unlike most alumni in that respect. I graduated from NIU, thankful for the education I received, the friends I made, and the life and leadership experiences that were an important part of my college years.


Then I got busy with life. But the seeds of loyalty had been planted. I would always remember the part NIU played in my formative years and I hoped that one day I would be able to express my thanks in a way that would not be forgotten.


During this past decade Stacey and I have met thousands of students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of NIU. Through each of these encounters we learned a little more about what NIU means to those whose lives it touches so deeply. For us, the letters "NIU" have come to stand for "Now I Understand." It's been said that we should "Build one step in our lifetime, so that those who come after us can climb one step higher." Our wish for the world - and for NIU in particular - is that we all work together to build those steps.   




“We should build one step in our lifetime so that those who come after us can climb one step higher.” Dennis and Stacey

© 2010 - 2014 Northern Illinois University Foundation. All rights reserved.