Contact: Tom Parisi, NIU Office of Public Affairs
September 8, 2009
DeKalb, Ill. — Nearly 500 local fifth graders will carry the international flags of more than 100 nations during the 10th annual Parade of Flags, set to step off at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 18, from the east side of Huskie Stadium on the Northern Illinois University campus.
Participants will march along Lucinda Avenue to the Martin Luther King Commons, where Emily Prieto, director of NIU’s Latino Resource Center, and Jim Briscoe, superintendent of DeKalb School District 428, will address the audience. DeKalb Mayor Kris Povlsen will also speak to the marchers.
“Displaying all these beautiful flags reminds us all of the wonderful diversity of our campus and in our community,” said Deborah Pierce, associate provost for International Programs at NIU. “Our strong partnership with District 428 and area private schools helps us celebrate these global perspectives, right here in DeKalb.”
The students, teachers, chaperones and other parade participants will enjoy a pre-parade luncheon on the grass near the stadium (with a rain location in the Convocation Center). Prior to the parade, participating students from DeKalb-area public and private schools will have an opportunity to meet with NIU international students and study-abroad participants, to learn directly from the NIU students about other countries where they have lived.
Students from 78 nations are attending NIU this semester, including substantial student contingents from India and China. NIU also enrolls students from such countries as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Burma, Colombia, Indonesia, Iran, Mali, Russia, Rwanda, Trinidad and Uzbekistan.
“In our recently completed strategic planning process, NIU endorsed the imperative to strengthen and extend our regional and global impact,” Pierce said. “Bringing local fifth-graders to campus for this internationally focused event allows us to forward both efforts on one very colorful, very exciting day.
“We value global diversity and perspectives on our campus, so we continue to raise our promotional activities to attract international undergraduate students from even more countries,” Pierce added.
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