Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) is a public state university located in Chicago, Illinois
Northeastern Illinois University main campus is located in the community area of North Park with three additional campuses in the metropolitan area. Tracing its founding to 1867, it was first established as a separate branch of a public college in 1949. NEIU serves 12,000 students in the region and is a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution.
NEIU has one of the longest running free form community radio stations, WZRD Chicago 88.3 FM.
Northeastern Illinois competed in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for 20 years until joining the more high-profile National Collegiate Athletic Association in 1988. After a transitional season at the Division II level, NEIU moved its athletic program to Division I.
The Golden Eagles played as independents until finding a place in the short-lived East Coast Conference for the 1993-94 campaign. Northeastern Illinois were then invited to join the Mid-Continent Conference, now known as the Summit League, where it would play for the next four years.
Chief among the highlights of this era was the baseball team’s 1996 Mid-Continent Conference championship and NCAA Tournament bid. Men’s basketball player Andrell Hoard won the ESPN National Slam Dunk Competition, women’s basketball coach Denise Taylor was chosen to lead the Utah Starzz of the WNBA in 1997 and women’s basketball player Delores Jones was a participant in the 1998 WNBA draft.
Whether the University should really be investing in such an expensive venture as intercollegiate athletics was a constant question among administrators and faculty members for the better part of a decade. Northeastern Illinois chose to discontinue its sports programs after the 1997-98 season.
Many years ago, the school’s football team was a charter member of the Division III Illini-Badger Football Conference, where it won five conference titles before dropping the sport in 1988.