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Local

'Huskie Pride' sculpture unveiling set for Thursday at NIU

Sculpture commissioned with a donation from Dennis and Stacey Barsema

Northern Illinois University President Lisa Freeman talks Monday at Kishwaukee College. Freeman will unveil the university's new 'Huskie Pride' sculpture on the MLK Commons in a ceremony at noon Thursday.
Northern Illinois University President Lisa Freeman talks Monday at Kishwaukee College. Freeman will unveil the university's new 'Huskie Pride' sculpture on the MLK Commons in a ceremony at noon Thursday.

DEKALB —The newest landmark on the Northern Illinois University campus, the Huskie Pride sculpture, will be unveiled in a ceremony set for Thursday at noon on the MLK Commons.

University officials are keeping the design and dimensions of the new sculpture a secret until the big reveal, Joe King, associate director of NIU institutional communications, said.

"We've got it under wraps," he said.

The sculpture was finished earlier this month and has been installed, but it's under cover. Soon enough, officials expect it will be the backdrop for countless selfies.

King said Dennis Barsema, an NIU alum and current board chairman, and his wife, Stacey Barsema, of the NIU Foundation board of directors, made a $25,000 donation to commission the sculpture. The Barsemas will be on hand to help university President Lisa Freeman with the unveiling.

Freeman and the Barsemas will give short speeches to commemorate the event.

The NIU Huskie marching band will perform, and both the university's mascot, Victor E. Huskie and the Husky animal mascot "Mission," will be at the reveal.

The idea for the sculpture was floated earlier this year, King said, and it struck a chord with Stacey Barsema.

"The sculpture is going to create a location on campus so people can take photographs and share them on social media," he said. "It provides people a way to share their Huskie pride."

For those planning to attend, complimentary parking will be provided in the NIU visitors lot upon request, the release states.

"We're hoping for a big turnout," King said.

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