Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

Rusty Anglin
Rusty Anglin

Chuck Berman
Chuck Berman

Mary Dieter
Mary Dieter

Al Erisman
Al Erisman

Claudia Luther
Claudia Luther

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News Release

Contact: Mark McGowan, NIU Office of Public Affairs
(815) 753-9472

March 3, 2009

Student newspaper adds five members
to Northern Star Hall of Fame

DeKalb, Ill. — Membership in the Northern Star Hall of Fame grew to 63 over the weekend with the induction of four new alums and a friend of the student-run newspaper at Northern Illinois University.

The 2009 class includes a photographer and a sales manager for the Chicago Tribune, the director of an institute for business technology and ethics, a senior media relations officer for a university and a communications director for a nonprofit organization.

The Northern Star Hall of Fame honors former students, advisers and friends of the Northern Star who significantly affected the Northern Star, journalism or related fields, or who have otherwise received acclaim based in part on experience gained at the Northern Star.

Created in 2000, the Hall of Fame serves as a means to keep alumni actively involved in support of the Northern Star and to encourage Northern Star students toward excellence in their chosen career paths.

Inductees are chosen by an alumni board. A new class is indcuted every two years.

“These five people have been longtime leaders in their respective fields,” said Jim Killam, Northern Star adviser. “Four of them got their starts at the Star. We’re honored by how quick they are to tell people that. And the fifth has been a constant source of help to our students.”

The induction ceremony was held Saturday, Feb. 28, in downtown DeKalb. More information is available online at

This year’s inductees are:

  • Rusty Anglin (a “Friend of the Star”) is a Purdue University graduate who joined the Star’s Publication Board in 2004 and now serves as its chair. Anglin, a retail sales manager at the Chicago Tribune, mentors Star students in the advertising department as he shares his experiences and knowledge. He also coordinates yearly sales seminars at the Tribune Freedom Center for college newspapers. A former reporter and photographer, Anglin joined the Tribune in 1986.
  • Chuck Berman, class of 1974, began his photography career with the Chicago Tribune in 1978. Among his classic images: Chicago Ald. Richard Mell, standing on a desk, gesturing and shouting, around 4 a.m. on the chaotic day after Mayor Harold Washington died. It still hangs near the Council Chambers. Berman also snapped iconic photos of Tiger Woods on the 18th fairway of the Western Open, throngs of humanity swarming behind the golf legend.
  • Mary Dieter, class of 1976, was communications director and press secretary for Indiana Gov. Frank O’Bannon when he suffered a massive stroke and died five days later in 2003. For two weeks afterward, Dieter became the face of the O’Bannon administration. Dieter spent nearly 20 years at the Louisville Courier-Journal and was the first full-time female employee on the regional desk. She is now communications director for, which advocates reform of Indiana local government.
  • Al Erisman, class of 1962, left journalism behind after two summers at the Elburn Herald to pursue a Ph.D. in applied mathematics. It took Erisman to a 32-year career at Boeing, where he led as many as 300 scientists, mathematicians, statisticians and engineers in research and development. Erisman now teaches at Seattle Pacific University, where he also is director of the Institute for Business and Technology Ethics. He also is editor of Ethix magazine.
  • Claudia Luther, class of 1965, is a senior media relations officer at University of California-Los Angeles. Thirty-three years of her journalism career were spent at the Los Angeles Times as a reporter and later as special projects editors. Luther helped to launch the LA Times Festival of books, now one of the nation’s most prestigious. Despite taking a buyout in 2006, her stockpile of pre-written celebrity obituaries still carry her byline when eventually published.

Jeremy Norman, a 2004 alum and senior Web designer at the Washington Post, received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

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