Mission was born on Dec. 11, 2011, and is a purebred Siberian Husky from Marengo, IL. He assumed his role as the official live mascot of Northern Illinois University in late 2013, thanks to the philanthropic support of proud alumni and donors John, '75, and Cassandra McKearn, '75.
“Mission brings a great attitude, tenacity and his own gentle style to everything he does. He is a champion Siberian Husky and he makes us all proud to be a part of NIU!” - John McKearn.
Mission is regularly seen on and off campus, supporting the NIU Huskie community in as many ways as possible. He spends #MissionMondays on campus visiting various buildings and colleges, connecting with students, faculty and staff to start the week on a bright note. Mission keeps a busy schedule with NIU Athletics, supporting as many NIU teams as possible, including traveling with the football team to the MAC Championship and bowl games. Around test times and other impactful days on campus, you can find Mission in the library offering comfort and support to the students.
In addition to his campus duties, Mission is a certified therapy dog and a member of Helping Paws at Kishwaukee Hospital. “Mission is a very empathetic and intuitive dog. He can always tell who needs him in a hospital or therapy setting,” said Lisa Boland, Mission’s trainer.
Mission also shows competitively in rally obedience, conformation, obedience and has attained his CGC and SPOT titles. “I love seeing Mission train and compete in such a wide variety of sports. His versatility showcases what it means to be a Huskie, and his hard work has been so well received by the NIU community”, Boland said.
When Mission was introduced on campus in December 2013, people noticed the intensity and fierce look in his blue eyes. “He’s a wonderful balance of fierce and approachable,” said Boland. “His looks are tough enough to make a strong impact at game time, but he is such a fluffy gentleman underneath his intense exterior. There are so many facets to Mission, and nothing makes me more proud than seeing the connections he’s built with the NIU community.”