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Historical Highlights

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Ojibwe Birchbark Wiigwaasi-Jiimann (Canoe)
2021: CNAIR's artist in residence, Wayne Valiere, crafted a birchbark canoe to house on Northwestern University Evanston campus.
Land Acknowledgement during Northwestern Commencement
2018: During the 2018 commencement an official land acknowledgement was made during the University Commencement stating that the Evanston campus sits on traditional Native American homelands.
Center for Native American and Indigeneous Research is formed
2017: The Center for Native American and Indigenous Research (CNAIR) is Northwestern University’s primary institutional space dedicated to advancing scholarship, teaching, learning, and artistic or cultural practices related to Native American and Indigenous communities, priorities, histories, and lifeways
Veterans Day Recognition Established
2017: Northwestern coordinated its first annual Veterans Day Recognition of a Northwestern-connected service member. This annual event established as part of the broader work of the Veterans Support Workgroup.
Gender and Sexuality Resource Center
2014: Recognizing the growing awareness of the fluidity of gender and sexual orientation identities, the LGBT Resource Center officially changes its name to the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. Along with this name change, the Center expanded its space at the Norris University Center, allowing it to serve even greater numbers through its mission to encourage student learning, community engagement and cultural inclusion.
Student Enrichment Services (SES) Established
2014: Over the course of two years, Northwestern partnered with students, faculty, and staff to develop a proposal for the development of an office that would support the 14% of these low-income students at Northwestern. That office, Student Enrichment Services, opened its doors as part of Campus Inclusion & Community in October 2014.
Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion Appointed
2012: Northwestern appoints Dona Cordero as its first Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion.
Gender and Sexuality Studies Program Established
2012: The Gender Studies Program officially became the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, challenging students to ask questions around gender and sexuality studies, and their deep implications with experiences of race, ethnicity, class, and globalism. Students can also now graduate with an exclusive major in Gender and Sexuality Studies.
University Strategic Plan Released, Emphasizes Diversity and Inclusion
2011: The new Strategic Plan, We Will, stresses that we will "close the gap between intentions and outcomes to connect individuals from widely diverse backgrounds and life experiences to a truly inclusive community."
Northwestern Appoints First Muslim Chaplin
2010: Tahera Ahmed is appointed Associate University Chaplain and Director of Interfaith Engagement. A leader in the Chicago-area Muslim community and a teacher of the Quran, Arabic and Islamic Studies, Ahmed will help to represent the Muslim community at Northwestern.
Northwestern University in Qatar Opens
2009: The official opening ceremony of Northwestern University in Qatar takes place on March 23, 2009. At Northwestern's first overseas campus, students can earn a bachelor of science in journalism or communication, a certificate in Middle East studies, and a minor in media and politics.
LGBT Resource Center Opens
2004: The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center (now called the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center), a department of the Center for Student Involvement, was created "in order to sustain and strengthen an open, safe, just and inclusive campus community for people of all sexualities and gender identities by eliminating heterosexism, homophobia and gender identity oppression."
University Accommodation Council Formed
2002: Consisting of faculty, staff and students from around the University, this Committee provides recommendations on campus accessibility improvements.
Wheels of Change
2002: A group of four NU students in wheelchairs worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the need for campus accessibility improvements. The efforts of their group, Wheels of Change, contributed greatly to the formation of the University Accessibility Committee, and resulted in them being awarded "Outstanding New Student Organization" for 2002-2003.
Testing Center Established
2000: Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) opened its testing center, in which to proctor accommodated exams.  
Women's Studies Recognized as Major
1993: Recognizing the strengths of scholarship and teaching related to gender, feminism, and sexuality at Northwestern, a major in Women's Studies was officially recognized by the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences in 1993.
Student Handbook Recognizes Disability
1992: The Student Handbook was updated to change the terminology from "handicapped" to "disabled," employed person-first language, and began to more widely advertise the rights of and services available to students with disabilities.  
African American Student Union (AASU) Founded
1967: The NU student organization was founded by graduate student James Turner with a mission toward civil rights activism. Its membership notably raised funds to assist Black student activists in the South, offered legal assistance, and provided bail bonds, hospital and funeral expenses.
First Black Homecoming Queen
1967: Daphne Maxwell was voted the first African American homecoming queen at Northwestern University.  
For Members Only (FMO) Founded
1967: For Members Only (FMO) serves as Northwestern University's premier Black Student Alliance. FMO serves to encourage political, social, cultural and intellectual unity and growth first and foremost within Northwestern University's Black community, but also within the broader Northwestern community as well. FMO is the representative and political voice of Northwestern University's Black undergraduate student body.
First Black Women to Earn a Bachelor's Degree
1901: Naomi Willie Pollard is believed to be the first black woman to earn a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern, according to University archives. Pollard entered Northwestern in 1901 and likely commuted to campus from home – at the time students’ access to campus housing was restricted on the basis of race.
First Woman to Graduate from Northwestern
1874: In 1874, Sarah Rebecca Roland became the first woman to graduate from Northwestern with a bachelor of philosophy, or Ph.B.