A Worthy Calling: 125+ Years of Teaching Teachers

The DeKalb County Historical and Genealogical Society is proud to present “A Worthy Calling: 125+ Years of Teaching Teachers.”

In the 1901 Norther yearbook, John Williston Cook, the only president the young Northern Illinois State Normal School had yet known, contributed an essay titled “The Normal School in Retrospect and Prospect.” Cook concluded his essay with these words: “And so with high hopes and buoyant spirits, and abundant enthusiasm, we are looking out toward the new years that are hurrying this way. May we be worthy of our great calling.” A hundred and twenty years have since passed. How has NIU measured up to Cook’s challenge?

This presentation shares highlights from the Blackwell History of Education Museum’s new exhibit, “A Worthy Calling: 125+ Years of Teaching Teachers.” Artifacts, books, and images that chart NIU’s remarkable growth from a small, rural normal school to a leader in teacher educator will be shared.

Patrick Roberts is an Associate Professor in the Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology, and Foundations at NIU and Faculty Director of the Blackwell History of American Education Museum. He is the former Education Director at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, and he teaches Museum Education in NIU’s Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies program.

In person Attendance – Eventbrite Registration


Virtual Attendance – Eventbrite Registration



Nov 10 2021


7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


DeKalb County History Center