Northern Illinois University Mourns the Passing of Beloved Mascot, Mission I

mission-inside Altgeld Hall
DeKalb, IL - With a heavy heart, Northern Illinois University (NIU) announced on Thursday, Dec. 21, the passing of its beloved live mascot, Mission I. Mission served as the official live mascot from 2013 to 2021. He passed away peacefully on Dec. 18 after a brief battle with cancer, surrounded by those who loved him dearly.

Mission, who was also a certified therapy dog, was born on Dec. 11, 2011, in Marengo, Illinois. The Siberian husky joined the Huskie Nation in late 2013, thanks to the philanthropic support of proud alumni and donors John and Cassandra McKearn.

"We dedicated this program to honor our fathers’ military service," shared John and Cassandra. "Mission, in name and conduct, set a high standard while establishing a legacy at NIU.”

Mission's legacy as a mascot went beyond representing NIU Athletics. During his time at NIU, Mission spent #MissionMondays on campus visiting various buildings and colleges and connecting with students, faculty and staff to start their weeks on a bright note. 

Mission will forever symbolize the unity, strength and resilience of the Huskie spirit. He will be deeply missed but never forgotten.


Mission in BAVC Library
Mission with ROTC
Mission by CPC