Huskies United Exceeds Expectations, Raises Over $1 Million for Students

By Eva Richards


This year’s Huskies United day of giving proves we should never underestimate what Huskies can do when they come together.

Over the course of 1,895 minutes on June 23-24, the Huskie Nation had the opportunity to unite around the mission, vision and values of Northern Illinois University through the NIU Foundation’s Huskies United event. And, boy, did they respond! 

When all was said and done, the NIU family came together and donated over $1 million through Huskies United. The total exceeded expectations and doubled last year’s Huskies United total, when just over $496,000 was raised. 

Alumni, faculty and staff, and friends of the University came together to make impactful gifts, both big and small. A special thanks goes to Sherry, ’76, and Jason Jow, ’76, who made a $250,000 commitment for scholarships in NIU’s Department of Computer Science. Through the Banks-Erickson Huskies United Participation Challenge, alumnus Ray Banks, M.S. ’86, and his husband, Dr. Eric Erickson, unlocked their challenge gift of $150,000 when Huskies United totaled 1,000 gifts. 

“Huskies United was incredible,” said Michael Adzovic, senior director of operations and annual giving. “We were fueled by the commitment and generosity of so many who love and care about the future of NIU.”  

A part of the that commitment came from a group of 111 committed Huskies who served as ambassadors for the online giving event. Together, this group brought in over 300 gifts—a new record from previous giving days.

Huskies United 2021 was also significant in that it worked with new campus partners, many of whom participated in fundraising for the first time. Included in the efforts were programs, such as the Center for Nonprofit and NGO Students and NIU STEM Fest, who helped raise $11,000 and $12,000, respectively. 

Huskies United centered on key strategic initiatives for NIU. Specifically, student scholarships and experience; diversity, equity and inclusion; the Student Emergency Fund; and areas of greatest need. Clearly, the over $1 million raised will go to further these important programs on campus and make a huge positive impact for the Huskie family.
Thank you to all who gave time and funds to make this day of giving such a remarkable success! For more information on Huskies United, please visit the website: