Gary and Gloria Baumgartner
From the moment they first met, Gary ('72, Finance) and Gloria Baumgartner were completely certain about one thing: Sports would play a huge part in their life together. Today, Gary cheers for the White Sox. Gloria is a devoted Cubs fan. However, there is one team both Gloria and Gary agree on wholeheartedly: The Huskies!
These days, Gary and Gloria are regulars at Huskie games. That was not always the case. "When I was a student here," explains Gary, "We couldn't get into a basketball game (Chick Evans Arena was almost always sold out), and being a typical fair weather fan (literally) we'd watch football games from our dorm lounge at Grant South. Now we really enjoy reconnecting with friends and fellow alumni on game days."
Gary and Gloria spend their time cheering on the Huskies as football and basketball season ticket holders as well as providing Huskie student-athletes with generous financial support. "Athletics play an important role in building a university," the couple agrees.
Gary and Gloria say they are excited to help move Huskie athletics forward, which they certainly did when they made a significant gift to the Jeffrey and Kimberly Yordon Academic and Athletic Performance Center.
Recently, in another show of support, Gary and Gloria named NIU as a beneficiary of an IRA. "We realized that giving the IRA to our children would be a significant ‘taxable event' to them, so they will be receiving other assets from us. Northern will receive my IRA tax-free, which is a win-win situation for everyone," says Gary.
Gary smiles as he remembers his days at Northern, "I had a great experience in college — I never went home." Gary says he paid his way through college, with the exception of a "talented student scholarship" he received his senior year based on his work with the Inter-fraternity Council. He also laughs as he tells the story of an economics class where he got an ‘A', but got the nickname "Mr. Best Guesser" from his professor.
THE CHANGING FACE OF NIU
Gary credits the dynamic leadership of President Peters, and some very generous donors, for Northern's academic and athletic success. "These alumni and friends have given their time, talent and wealth to make a difference," Gary says.
The Baumgartners are proud to be part of the NIU family. "If you get to know quality people and feel good about something," Gary says, "you feel like family and want to support them." Gary and Gloria are making a brighter future for NIU and leaving a strong legacy for their children and for future NIU students.