- Kenneth C. Chessick Civil Justice Endowed Scholarship Program
- NIU Law $25,000 Challenge
- Francis X. Riley Courtroom Renovation
- Chessick Center
- NIU College of Law receives $50,000 memorial gift from the family of Marla Rene Dickerson
There is no doubt that the Francis X. Riley Courtroom is the heart of the NIU College of Law. Professor Emeritus Riley, who taught at the COL from 1975-1987, touched the lives of everyone he encountered before, during, and even after his tenure with the law school.
The courtroom, renamed in Riley's honor on January 14, 1993, was only a small gesture for a man who gave so much to the College of Law. Serving as the primary location for classes and major events, the courtroom needs to meet the requirements of the 21st century. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that our next major project would be renovating the Riley Courtroom.
Major renovation plans will focus on the classroom side. Plans are to replace the tables and chairs in order to provide electric power for technology access, improve seating comfort, maintain or improve seating capacity, and maintain handicap accessibility.
Technical upgrades will include chalkboard replacement, accoustical panel replacement, "smart" presentation station, electronics upgrade, large screen projector, and tele-conferencing capability. In addition, there will be carpet replacement and damage repair to existing walls, ceiling, woodwork, etc.
Your donations to this project are vital. In order to begin renovations, the Campaign must raise $210,000. In addition to making general donations to the Campaign, alumni and friends will have the opportunity to purchase seats and to have an engraved name plate mounted on the back of the seat. There will also be recognition for larger donations.
Many alumni who were students of or were mentored by Professor Riley have expressed that his contributions to their careers, to the COL, and to the legal profession are immeasurable. And, although you may not have been in his class, you have all probably been in the classroom that bears his name.
According to Cheryl Niro ('80), The Riley Campaign Co-Chair, "Because of Frank's long and highly successful career, and because of the mentoring he has always performed, he has shown that he is a true servant of the law and an example for other lawyers to follow."
With all things considered, we must honor Professor Frank Riley with a successful Riley Campaign. When you receive your Campaign materials by mail, carefully consider what kind of example you will set. Know that much like Professor Frank Riley, your contributions will have a significant impact on the future of your law school. In other words, "Pay it Forward."
Please mail the pledge card to:
Northern Illinois Univeristy
College of Law
Francis X. Riley Courtroom Renovation
DeKalb, Il 60115-9913
Francis X. Riley Courtroom Renovation Brochure
In 1999, Dr. Kenneth Chessick, a 1984 graduate, pledged a gift of $250,000 to the College of Law. This gift was to be used for the development, implementation, and continuation of a Technology Center in the law school. Such a Center ensures that the College of Law has a state-of-the-art courtroom/smart classroom.
Dr. Chessick believes that current students should have a facility that will equip them in the latest uses of technology in litigation. This technology skills center also allows faculty to take advantage of the rapid technological developments in teaching and research.
Dickerson, a first-semester second-year law student at the time of her death, was killed in the crash of USAIR 427 in September of 1994. Her Juris Doctorate Degree was awarded posthumously in 1996. The College of Law's annual Public Affairs Law Award was also named in her honor.
"The College of Law is tremendously grateful to the Dickerson family for their generosity and we are humbled that they continue to hold us in their hearts and thoughts. This gift will continue Marla's legacy to both the College of Law and the future of students," former Dean Leroy Pernell said.