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Celebrate Founders’ Day, 160 Years Later

Community encouraged to wear purple, light virtual candle to mark anniversary

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January 27, 2011 | by Matt Paolelli
Need a refresher on the famous people, places and events of Northwestern's history? Watch the video to see 160 years in six minutes. Produced by Matt Paolelli

On Jan. 28, 1851, the Illinois legislature approved the Act of Incorporation for Northwestern University. For many years, the Northwestern community around the world would honor this anniversary – known as Founders’ Day – by lighting a candle.

In an effort to update this tradition and mark the 160th anniversary of the University’s founding, the Northwestern Alumni Association is encouraging the worldwide Northwestern community to wear purple and light a virtual candle on their website Friday, Jan. 28.

Click here to light your candle, and be sure to wear purple to show the world your Northwestern pride.

Watch the video above for a crash course on the people and events that have shaped Northwestern’s 160-year history.



Topics: People, Campus Life