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New names to adorn NIU campus buildings

The buildings will be named after NIU's first African American graduate and John Peters, NIU’s 11th president

Northern Illinois University's New Residence Hall isn’t so “new” anymore but ten years after it was built, campus officials have finally chosen a name for the student residence complex. It will be known as Fanny Ruth Patterson Complex, housing students in Patterson Hall East and Patterson Hall West.

Patterson was the university’s first African American graduate. She completed her two-year degree in 1915, after enrolling in NIU’s predecessor, Northern Illinois State Normal School.

The proposal was approved by the NIU Board of Trustees on June 16 of this year.

The trustees also voted to rename the Campus Life Building as the Peters Campus Life Building. The building is currently home to student support services.

Peters arrived in the spring of 2000 and served in the university's top role for 13 years.

In addition to campus transformation and fundraising efforts during his tenure, Peters also navigated the campus community through the aftermath of the shooting of five students in Cole Hall on Feb. 14, 2008.

NIU will formally celebrate the naming of Fanny Ruth Patterson Complex and Peters Campus Life Building in October during the university’s Homecoming celebration.