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Introducing Mission's Grove, a New Tailgating Experience From the NIUAA 

A key component in the mission of the NIU Alumni Association is to create opportunities to connect and interact with the University community.

The NIUAA will unveil its newest opportunity for its alumni, family and friends on Thursday, Sept. 1, as the “Mission’s Grove” alumni tailgating area will open at 4 p.m., prior to the NIU/Eastern Illinois football home opener at Huskie Stadium.

Mission’s Grove is located in Oderkirk Field, which is adjacent to the Barsema Alumni & Visitors Center, located at 231 N. Annie Glidden Rd. in DeKalb, Illinois, 60115. Parking will be available at the Chick Evans Field House. This event is free of charge.

“Mission’s Grove will give alumni and friends of the University a chance to reconnect and celebrate the Huskie community together,” said Executive Director of Operations and Alumni Relations Reggie Bustinza. “I am so excited to see what this designated space will do for Huskie fans and their families, and I hope it brings us together in a meaningful way, as we celebrate our defending Mid-American Conference champions.”

This area will feature alumni-owned Pollyanna Brewing & Distilling and Waterman Winery & Vineyards, along with a variety of unique and eclectic food trucks that will appeal to all ages.

Mission’s Grove will be enclosed by a 40’ x 60’ tent, which will include four 20 ‘ x 20’ tents that are available for group rental. For tent pricing and availability, please contact NIU Foundation Director of Events Dana King, ’05, at dking1@niu.edu or 815-753-5421.

The event will also feature everyone’s favorite mascot, Mission II. The undisputed highlight will be the “Mission's March,” as the NIU Huskie Marching Band will accompany Mission to Huskie Stadium, 45 minutes prior to kickoff.

This area will also be open for the Vanderbilt (Sept. 17) and Toledo (Oct. 8) games, from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

The NIU Foundation follows the protocols and guidelines established by NIU regarding how to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, which is based on the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local public health organizations. NIU’s protocols and guidelines are located at: www.niu.edu/protecting-the-pack.

The NIU Foundation and NIU Alumni Association recognize that the pandemic is, and will continue to be, a fluid situation and will abide by whatever mandates and guidelines that have been established at the local and state level.

We deeply respect and greatly appreciate our donors, alumni, community and friends. As we move forward – together – the NIU Foundation and NIU Alumni Association are committed to following the above guidance and making every effort to reduce any threat to everyone’s safety, health and well-being.

We hope that you will decide to join us at an upcoming event and we look forward to seeing you.

Hand sanitizer and disposable masks will be available at our events. We encourage you to consider your health and personal well-being when deciding whether to attend.

Be well, and stay safe.