Magazine Feature / People

University of Denver professor named among top Northern Illinois alumni

University of Denver Professor and Dean Emeritus Jim Griesemer is being honored by his alma mater, Northern Illinois University (NIU), as one of 50 Golden Anniversary Alumni award recipients from NIU’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Selected from more than 70,000 graduates, Griesemer is recognized for his service to community and for professional achievement. A gala honoring the chosen alumni will be Sept. 25.

A native of Park Ridge, Ill., Griesemer attended Main East High School before graduating with a bachelor’s in political science and then a master’s degree in public affairs at NIU.

He went on to earn a doctorate in public administration from the University of Colorado. He served as city manager for several municipalities, including the city of Aurora, Colo., from 1984–1990. He was named Outstanding Public Administrator in Colorado by the University of Colorado’s School of Public Affairs.

Griesemer served as chief financial officer at DU before serving as dean of DU’s Daniels College of Business from 1994 to 2004. He currently serves as director of the University’s Strategic Issues Program, a panel of experts and civic leaders who study complex issues in depth for a year then deliver findings to leaders in government and industry. The panel is currently developing recommendations on dealing with the issues presented by immigration, both in Colorado and across the country.

“For me, NIU was a place where you could meet and learn from lots of different people, a place to grow,” Griesemer says. “I got to know not only my fellow students, but also my professors, a number of whom are still close friends. I remember my time there fondly and still depend on many of the lessons I learned at NIU.”

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