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Peters given award recognizing his leadership after 2008 tragedy

Published: Tuesday, March 9, 2010 11:22 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO – Northern Illinois University President John Peters was honored Tuesday with an award from a national association for his leadership after the 2008 campus shooting.

He was given the NASPA President’s Award at a Tuesday luncheon held during the 2010 NASPA Annual Conference in Chicago. NASPA, or Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, is an organization for those in student affairs administration.

The NASPA President’s Award is given to a college or university president who has, over a sustained period of time, advanced the quality of student life on campus by supporting student affairs staff and programs, according to a news release from NIU.

Letters from campus and student leaders in support of Peters’ nomination highlighted his leadership of the DeKalb campus in the aftermath of the February 2008 shooting incident in which a gunman fatally shot five students and wounded 19 before turning the gun on himself, according to the news release. The university’s comprehensive report on the shooting is expected to be released next week.

“He has set himself as a model of understanding, compassion and hope and has sought and endorsed multiple healing initiatives to move the entire NIU and local community forward,”  Brian O. Hemphill, NIU vice president of student affairs, wrote in a letter nominating Peters for the award.

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