Fun Fact Friday: Your Team: Midwest-Educated, Midwest-Driven.
By: Joan Cetera
July 20, 2012 11:06 am CT
When it came to putting together an editorial team for Driving the Midwest, we knew we all had a personal stake in the area because we all currently live in Michigan or Illinois. But little did we realize the majority of the team are actually also products of fine Midwestern universities. So as we inch closer to it being back to school for college students are fun facts about your team’s alma maters:
Northern Illinois University – (Jenny and Ryan are proud Huskie alumni and Fred is currently attending for his Master’s) – Every year, the Department of Communication sponsors the annual Reality Bytes Film Festival, created in 2002 by media studies professor Laura Vazquez to give NIU students the ability to competitively screen their work. The 2011 festival received more than 40 entries from across the country and as far away as Cuba, South Africa and Australia.
Roosevelt University - (Fred is an alumnus) – The school is indeed named after Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The school was chartered as Thomas Jefferson College in 1945. Just two weeks later, Franklin Roosevelt, beloved president and champion of human rights, died in office. In honor of his contributions to equality and democracy, the school was renamed Roosevelt College. Touched by the tribute, first lady Eleanor Roosevelt – also a leading activist for peace and social justice – served as a beacon of encouragement and support for the institution and its vision, dedicating it “to the enlightenment of the human spirit.”
“We can prepare to help the rest of the world and do it without fear, do it with good will; and they will sense that our own strength and our own example can give the rest of the world the hope that will lead us all to peace.” – Eleanor Roosevelt, in her speech dedicating Roosevelt College on November 16, 1945.
Michigan State University – (Dawn is an alumna) – Michigan State University is the nation’s first-ever land-grant university. And while it may be best known as the home to basketball coach Tom Izzo and a men’s basketball team that won the NCAA National Championship in 1979 and 2000 and is currently enjoying a streak of six Final Four appearances over the last 13 seasons, the school’s cross country team is actually its most successful. During the four-decade period spanning roughly 1930–1970, the Spartans won eight NCAA championships and numerous other conference and national titles.
Notre Dame University – (Stephanie is an alumna) – One of Notre Dame University’s long-standing traditions centers around its residence halls. Unlike other universities that have fraternities and sororities, most of Notre Dame’s undergraduates live in one of 29 residence halls that provide not only a tight-knit community and social circle, but also the opportunity to participate in numerous long-standing traditions. Every hall has a mascot and nickname, a color scheme, a favorite charity and a signature event, ranging from concerts to game shows, casino nights and auctions.
The University of Illinois – (Joan is an alumna) – The University of Illinois has a thing for libraries. Not only does it boast the largest public university library in the world, with more than 22 million items in the main library and over 40 departmental libraries and divisions, with more than 1 million patrons from around the world using the online catalog each week, it also has an Undergraduate Library built two stories underground. Why, you ask? Well, according to the Other Guys, Illinois’ premiere men’s a cappella group, “you can’t throw shade on the corn.” Yes, the library was built two stories down so the Morrow Plots, an experimental corn field, the oldest of its kind in the Western hemisphere and second oldest in the world, would not be harmed.