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NIU Remembers 10th Anniversary of Campus Shooting

Northern Illinois University

A decade has passed since five Northern Illinois University students were killed by a gunman in a lecture hall. 

Every year on February 14th, the bell tower on NIU’s DeKalb campus tolls five times at 3:06 p.m. to remember the lives lost on that day in 2008. This year, a few more events in addition to the annual wreath-laying at the memorial outside of Cole Hall are planned to observe the tenth anniversary of the shooting. 

Kelly Wesener (WEZ-ner) Michael is NIU dean of students and associate vice president of student affairs. She says the university is still grateful ten years later for the outpouring of support that came from around the world after the tragedy. Wesener-Michael says NIU officials wanted to give the community multiple opportunities to reflect on the time passed.

“Folks came together in amazing ways, and it’s important that we understand the strength and resiliency and hope that came from a really, really difficult time and how that’s become part of the fabric of our community.”

An exhibit of archival materials and items sent to the university following that day will be displayed in Holmes Student Center. That will run until February 14th. Other events include a 2.14 mile reflection walk, a music concert, and first responders’ night during NIU basketball games on Saturday.

Jenna Dooley has spent her professional career in public radio. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois - Springfield. She returned to Northern Public Radio in DeKalb after several years hosting Morning Edition at WUIS-FM in Springfield. She is a former "Newsfinder of the Year" fromthe Illinois Associated Press andrecipient of NIU's Donald R. Grubb Journalism Alumni Award. She is an active member of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association and an adjunct instructor at NIU.