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by Richard C. Lindberg

A History of Northeastern Illinois University

Rich is at work at the first-ever published history of his alma mater, Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), located at Bryn Mawr & St. Louis Avenues in Chicago. The book project has been officially sanctioned by the President’s office of the University and was inspired by Rich’s academic mentor, Dr. Bernard Brommel, Professor Emeritus of Speech & Communications.

Dr. Brommel is Northeastern’s first million-dollar donor. As a result of Bernie’s incredible generosity, in 2010, the Science Building was renamed Brommel Hall in his honor.

Bernie approached Rich some years back, urging him to consider doing this project. The forthcoming volume commenced in 2011 following publication of Whiskey Breakfast: My Swedish Family, My American Life. Upon completion it will cover the complete history of the institution from its founding in September 1867 as the Cook County Normal School up through its evolutionary years as Chicago Teacher’s College (South and North), the building of the Bryn Mawr campus in 1960-1961, continuing to the modern era. 

Rich graduated from Northeastern in August 1974 and obtained his Master’s Degree there in 1987.


At the same time Rich is writing the NEIU history, he is also focused on his next book, a return to Chicago crime history that will encompass a scholarly examination of the history and evolution of the city’s street gangs from the time of the Civil War through current times. The publisher will be Rowman & Littlefield of Lanham, MD.

Rowman & Littlefield reached out to Rich in September 2013 with a request to develop a chapter outline and proposal for a study of gangs that pays particular attention to the youthful criminal organizations of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and how they speak to the epidemic of gang violence in Chicago experienced in the present day. Apart from Frederic Milton Thrasher’s important 1927 sociological study, The Gang, there has never been a published volume of this kind that approached this subject in a “timeline” format. 

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