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Calling all NLU alumni: Find out how you can get involved with your alma mater

Education Conversation

NLU alumna Lois Zoller ’62 hosted a conversation series on education at her home last fall.

One of the best parts of my job is the chance to harness the energy and enthusiasm of alumni who want to give back the NLU Community. It is a special honor to mobilize individuals and groups, and to create programs that continually prove our University’s power to the world.

Last fall, Gerie Kay (NCE, Class of ’62) and Arline Doblin (NCE, Class of ‘68) worked with me to chair a powerful group of 30 alumni, staff, students and friends that helped staff the day care center for the children of PGA golfers at the BMW Golf Championship tournament in Lake Forest, IL. A New York Times article published around that time talked about how important it is for the golfers’ focus to keep their families close while they are on tour. This was such an excellent representation of NLU’s reputation as a premiere teaching institution as we extended our work with children to these outstanding individuals.

I also partnered with alumna Lois Zoller, (NCE, Class of ’62) to innovate an extension of “Chicago: Beyond These Times,” a large-scale series of events we hold in partnership with the Golden Apple Foundation and Chicago Shakespeare Theater to address issues on the future of education. An audience of education leaders from the Chicagoland area gathered in Lois’ home to hear a Chicago School Board member, a leader from a local parent group, and a director of a not-for-profit organization talk about education. The power of this conversation motivated people to take action in their own communities as two of the attendees were inspired to host similar events.

In an effort to promote our Masters of Business Administration degree, three alumni spoke on behalf of NLU’s M.B.A. program at an event headlined by Dean Christopher Cassirer. Keith Plummer (CMB, Class  of ‘04), Ben Todd (CMB, Class of ’99) and Gustavo Espinosa (CMB, Class of ’12) spoke about why they chose NLU for their M.B.A. They also talked about how the degree helped them in their career achievements. Their pride was evident and multiple new students enrolled at NLU as a result.


From left to right: Ben Todd ’04, Gustavo Espinosa ’12, Kimberly Michaelson, and Keith Plummer ’04

Finally, the power of individual willingness deserves special recognition. So many of the calls I field are from alumni seeking a helping hand from other alumni. JoAnn Fisher, (CAS, Class of ’90) has mentored several alumni in the D.C. area. Sheila Gross (CMB, Class of ’00) is just one of our alumni working with our Career Development Office to place interns at her employer. Janice Pratt (CMB, Class of ’93) wrote and distributed a press release to help encourage attendance at an alumni event recently.

These stories represent just a fraction of the interested parties in the NLU alumni community. What can you do to join the ranks and give back to students and alumni to show off your NLU pride? If you’re interested in volunteering, I can be reached at or 312.261.3159.