Category: Northeastern Illinois University



In September I was a freshman college student at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) starting the Fall semester of the year 1977. My Father, Mr. Roberto Hung Juris Doctor wanted me to attend NEIU because he worked at Felt-Products Inc. nearby at McCormick Boulevard and Touhy in Skokie, Illinois. The Felt-Pro Corporation included the college children of employees in the Mecklenburger Scholarship benefits.

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Felt Products was originally a parts supplier for the Ford Model T, Felt Products Manufacturing Co. was founded on the North Side in 1918 by Hugo Herz and his son-in-law Albert Mecklenburger. Later renamed Fel-Pro, the company remained family-owned until it was sold in 1998 to Federal-Mogul Corp. of Southfield, Mich., which subsequently went into bankruptcy reorganization. (All three families who ran Fel-Pro at the time of the Federal-Mogul deal are descended by blood or by marriage from Mr. Herz.)

Fel-Pro, which had 2,700 employees and 11 plants making gaskets for internal combustion engines, sold for $720 million.

Softer side: Fel-Pro regularly headed lists of companies offering generous employee benefits. There were fitness and day care centers at the Skokie plant, as well as a children’s summer camp and recreation area spanning 250 acres near Cary. Fel-Pro paid for tutors for employees’ children and sponsored scholarships. There were company-paid lawyers and psychologists on site to counsel employees, and even an artist-in-residence program.

The company contended the extras weren’t expensive. “At Fel-Pro, 93 cents of every benefit dollar went to standard things like pensions and profit-sharing and health care and vacation. That’s what automakers are struggling to fund today,” says Ken Lehman.

“All the other things cost just 7 cents out of every benefit dollar.” Even so, many of the old perks have been dismantled since the sale”.

Nowadays: Kenneth Lehman is managing partner of a family investment concern, KKP Group LLC in Evanston, and is on the board of the family’s charitable organization, the New Prospect Foundation, which has assets of about $20 million. He is also chairman of Winning Workplaces, a non-profit that consults on workplace issues. He’s on the boards of both Care USA, an international relief organization, and Public Radio International. Public station WBEZ-FM in Chicago named its studios the Lehman Family Public Radio Center.

David Weinberg promotes charter schools in Chicago. Paul Lehman heads Austin Lehman Adventures, which sponsors off-the-beaten-path vacations.

Dennis Kessler is a principal in Family Business Innovations, which assists private firms with succession planning, and Kessler Management Consulting LLC, both in Northbrook, Illinois.

My Father, Mr. Roberto Hung was a full-time employee at the Felt-Products Corporation until 1996, for twenty-two (22) years in Skokie, Illinois USA.

I was referred to the NEIU Financial Aid Department for Work Study as an Assistant Student Aide for the Veterans Administration GI Scholarship managed by Mrs. Annette Cohn, Shirley Levin.

In addition, I was to help the Computer Analyst Marie Liszewski Ruiz with NEIU Student Financial Aid Reports, provide student aide support to Marilyn Kuhn, and also assist Angie Pappas at the Reception Desk, Kathy Crane, George A. West and Frank Solano, David Hefland at the Career Counseling Center and other Civil Service staff who worked at Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N. St. Louis, B Wing, Chicago, Illinois 60625 USA.

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The Dance

During the 1970s, Roberto Hung worked at a theatrical dance performance company on the Northwest side of Chicago supplying apparel costumes, ballerina slippers, dance stockings, and leotards for ballet dancers, actors and actresses for theatre performances around the world. My Father also worked for Marshall Field’s and Montgomery Wards, among other corporate employers in Chicago, Illinois USA.

While I was growing up in Cuba, I met the famous Cuban ballerina Alicia Alonso, who was a colleague of my Father at the Universidad de La Habana.

Later on, when I began my college years at Northeastern Illinois University, I became fascinated by the Dance Program sponsored by Libby Komeiko Fleming who taught Ballet, Jazz, Folkloric Dance and Flamenco on campus. So, I enrolled in the Dance Program as a freshman at NEIU. In order to participate in the Dance curriculum, I purchased leotards for Ballet I to practice at the Dance Studio which used to be by the A-Wing, near the Theatre. I also enrolled in the Spanish Flamenco class and Master Classes taught by Libby Komeiko Fleming. Spanish Flamenco dancing requires special black shoes with heels, Spanish “castañuelas”, and dance stockings which I purchased myself in order to practice for Libby’s flamenco gitano at NEIU on campus. The Dance Program at NEIU provided extracurricular courses for me which added up to a minor in Dance and Performing Arts to include Voice, Guitar, and Music training.

Thirty-one (31) years after NEIU college life, I can look back to remember that I lost my Spanish Flamenco shoes and “castañuelas” in 1982, after I returned from Summer French Immersion at Laval University in the Ville de Québec, Canada. When I returned from Canada, some of my personal clothing, Flamenco shoes and “castañuelas” were gone from my closet where I shared an apartment with my Mother and family on the Northwest side of Chicago, Illinois USA. While I was away in Canada, studying at Laval University for a French Immersion from May-August in 1982, my Mother and her friends took my black Flamenco shoes, “castañuelas” and other personal clothing from me to give away to her friends without my consent or authorization.

For the last thirty-two (32) years, since I graduated from Northeastern Illinois University, I have been losing personal belonging, fashion garments, academic books involving Ethnographic Psychiatry, Japanese I and II books, silk scarves, souvenirs and mementos from my Canadian travels and other trips across the United States of America. These personal belongings are removed from my possession to be archived and listed in reports by the State of Illinois courts and the U.S. Department of Justice without notifying me as the rightful owner when I have paid taxes and purchased the lost items with receipts for the record. “Why I am targeted as an Illinois Victim of Heinous Hate Crimes?” Since my Mother has been a psychiatric patient in Illinois, the psychiatrists who treat her target me as a Victim of Hate Crimes by psychopaths surrounding their psychiatric practice and my Mother who is under psychiatric therapy.

After I moved to the Village of Lombard on September 2, 1993 when my Father purchased Lombard real estate property and also provided the $10,000 deposit for my Brother and Mother to buy a Lombard home on Harrison Street near Finley Road, I began to lose household electronics, personal clothing, garments, business resources, kitchen tools, etc. To date in 2013, twenty (20) years after I moved to the Village of Lombard, the County of DuPage has not compensated me nor provided restitution for me as Victim of Heinous Hate Crimes in Illinois, United States of America.

As a Victim of Heinous Hate Crimes in the State of Illinois, I am entitled to Victim’s Compensation and Restitution under the Constitution of the United States of America enforced by the Department of Justice.


When I graduated from Madonna High School in May 1977, I received High Honors and Advanced Placement for Honors classes in the upper 10 percent of the Class of 1977.  Both my parents and family attended the graduation ceremony where I graduated with cap and gown.

The summer of the year 1977 I was rewarded with a vacation from my parents who were very happy that I had completed four years of high education in a Catholic school.  My Father who was working for Felt-Products Corporation in Skokie, Illinois received $1,000 for having a high school graduate in the family.  Felt-Products Corporation invited me and my Father to visit the headquarters in Skokie for the occasion where I received my high school graduation gift to help me with savings toward college tuition.  In addition, I started working at Samuel R. Lewis and Associates Inc. with the late Mr. Joseph Pelletier, Engineer and President of the Consulting Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Contractors on Wells Street across the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, Illinois, upon referral from Sr. Rosemarie, my counselor from Madonna High School which was located on the northwest of Chicago.  My family was living on Waveland near Lori and Mary Schulte who were high school neighbors and we used to take the bus together when my Father could not drive us to Madonna High School in the new white Ford Gran Torino.

Thirty-five years ago, I was sent to Northeastern Illinois University by my Father, Mr. Roberto Hung J.D. who insisted that I should become a teacher at the Illinois State College which was a member of the Board of Governors of State Colleges and Universities. Since my Father worked in Skokie at the Felt-Products Corporation known for manufacturing gaskets in the automobile industry, his co-workers and friends highly recommended Northeastern Illinois University as a good choice for an Illinois State University in 1977. Felt-Pro Corporation rewarded employees like my father who had a high school graduate with High Honors in the family with $1,000 for college tuition at the Illinois State institution of higher education. In addition, Felt-Products supported employees educational goals for their children with the Mecklenburger Scholarship which subsidized tuition for one semester during the university’s academic year. I only received the Mecklenburger Scholarship in 1977 and 1980 from the Felt-Products Corporation in Skokie, Illinois while my Father was an employee there. The fifth year of college at NEIU, I was granted an Illinois Guaranteed Loan to complete my college studies. The Illinois Guaranteed Loan for college tuition was paid in full during 1983 while I worked for Holy Cross High School for Boys, a Christian Brothers School in River Grove, Illinois USA.

I attended Northeastern Illinois University in the Fall of 1977 and continued my college studies there for the next five (5) years, until I completed the Student Teaching curriculum at NEIU in December 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, French, Spanish, and English. I am a graduate NEIU Alumni from the Class of 1982.

While I worked for Samuel R. Lewis & Associates Inc. during the summer, I started saving for college expenses at Northeastern Illinois University where I had been accepted with Advanced Placement to start in the Fall 1977.

In September 1977, Dr. Bruno Galassi from Chairperson of the Foreign Languages Department accepted my Advanced Placement in French and introduced me to Mrs. Dorette Klein, the French Professor from Strasbourg, France.

At the same time, NEIU place me at the Financial Aid Office as a student aide on campus in the College Work and Study Program where I worked for the next five (5) years at Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N. St. Louis Avenue, B-Wing where there used to be an office instead of the classrooms there today.

While I was studying as a college student at Northeastern Illinois University, my Mother became sick after she worked at Felt-Pro and was studying at Loyola University for a Master’s Degree in Spanish Literature at the Lewis Campus, Downtown in Chicago with Dr. Martinez, Dr. Carol Holdsworth, and other faculty who worked for the Jesuits there.  My Mother’s mental stress disorder has caused stress and financial hardship for me and my family since my Mother was not able to work at all.  My Father who worked at Felt-Products in Skokie, promised to help me with college expenses. I was working different jobs to save for college and family expenses since I lived at home to help my Mother who became sick during the five years I was studying as a college student at Northeastern Illinois University.  While my Father worked for Felt-Pro, he was enrolled in a family healthcare plan which included the North Shore Clinic in Rogers Park and St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, Illinois USA.  After my parents became divorced, my Mother was hospitalized at Illinois Masonic Advocate and Mercy Hospital in care of Dr. Eduardo Machado M.D. in Aurora, in addition to Chicago Read Mental Health Center in Illinois, USA.

My Father, Mr. Roberto Hung J.D. visited the North Shore Clinic in Rogers Park for eye glasses and check-ups and also made appointments at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, near Felt-Pro in Skokie, Illinois.

Four years later, in the Fall of 1981, I was involved in the French Honor Society and elected as an officer the French Club where Dorette Klein was managing French cultural events on campus from her office in the basement of the Classroom Building known today as the Lech Walesa Center.  There is where Dorette Klein introduced me to Benjamin Wolf who was referred to her office by a friend of the Yeshiva High School where Ben Wolf had graduated.  Ben Wolf is the son of Arthur Wolf, a corporate executive from Leo Burnett, the Chicago advertising agency located downtown.  Ben Wolf invited me to Rogers Park for deep dish pizza along Sheridan Road at My Pie  for the mathematical equation .  When Ben Wolf used to drive around in his station wagon through Uptown and Edgewater, he told me that his friends lived in the area for more than thirty years.  Now in 2013, Ben Wolf is no longer living in the same area nor is  My Pie   the pizza place along Sheridan Road near Loyola University Lake Shore Campus in Rogers Park, Illinois.

©2013 Gardenia C. Hung.  All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 


In 1867, the first experimental Teacher Training School was established in Blue Island, Illinois by the Cook County Commissioners who appropriated the money for 32 students.

Three years later, on September 21, 1870, the Normal School opened its new building in Englewood, Illinois.

The City of Chicago sponsored the Normal School which became the Chicago Normal School.

In 1938, the Normal School was renamed the Chicago Teachers College, the only tuition-free, four-year degree-granting institution in the city, conferring the Bachelor of Education degree at the time.

Two years later, the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools fully accredited the Chicago Teachers College in 1940.

The Board of Education expanded its services by establishing two branches of the Chicago Teachers College on the north side, in order to accommodate overcrowding in the schools in 1949.

“What happened to the Chicago Teachers College in 1952?” In sixty-one years, they have come a long way from the two north side branches at Foreman High School and Sabin which were closed after a new facility was built at the existing NEIU Campus on St. Louis Avenue. The Chicago Teachers College Alumni are now retired octogenarians and nonagenarians from the schools around the world.

In the year 2013, Northeastern Illinois University welcomes Alumni to the NEIU Reunion and a special “Welcome Home Luncheon” for the Chicago Teachers College Alumni on Friday, October 18th. The 2013 NEIU Alumni Reunion includes a Medallion Ceremony for the Diamond Alumni of the Class of 1952 and Golden Alumni of the Class of 1962 during the afternoon on campus. On Saturday, October 19, NEIU Alumni and Friends will be welcomed for a brunch and a general meeting. “Tour Your New Campus” is arranged for all guests, visitors, and friends at Northeastern Illinois University. The NEIU Alumni Association encourages everyone to learn more about the University’s great achievements and its progress throughout the years to grow and enhance its programs for the benefit of all students.

Thirty-five years ago, I was sent to Northeastern Illinois University by my Father, Mr. Roberto Hung J.D. who insisted that I should become a teacher at the Illinois State College which was a member of the Board of Governors of State Colleges and Universities. Since my Father worked in Skokie at the Felt-Products Corporation known for manufacturing gaskets in the automobile industry, his co-workers and friends highly recommended Northeastern Illinois University as a good choice for an Illinois State University in 1977. Felt-Pro Corporation rewarded employees like my father who had a high school graduate with High Honors in the family with $1,000 for college tuition at the Illinois State institution of higher education. In addition, Felt-Products supported employees educational goals for their children with the Mecklenburger Scholarship which subsidized tuition for one semester during the university’s academic year. I only received the Mecklenburger Scholarship in 1977 and 1980 from the Felt-Products Corporation in Skokie, Illinois while my Father was an employee there. The fifth year of college at NEIU, I was granted an Illinois Guaranteed Loan to complete my college studies. The Illinois Guaranteed Loan for college tuition was paid in full during 1983 while I worked for Holy Cross High School for Boys, a Christian Brothers School in River Grove, Illinois USA.

I attended Northeastern Illinois University in the Fall of 1977 and continued my college studies there for the next five (5) years, until I completed the Student Teaching curriculum at NEIU in December 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, French, Spanish, and English. I am a graduate NEIU Alumni from the Class of 1982.

Since NEIU changed control and management to an independent Board of Trustees from the Board of Governors of State Colleges and Universities in 1996, Northeastern Illinois University has developed the campus facility and expanded its services as an Illinois institution of higher learning locally, nationwide and around the world for the 21st century.

Photo: Angelina Pedroso Diversity Center, B Wing at Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, Illinois USA


During Memorial Day weekend, I always remember the Veterans that I have helped throughout the years… since September 1977, when I was a freshman at Northeastern Illinois University, in Chicago, Illinois, I used to work as a student aide at the Financial Aid Office, for the Veterans Administration Scholarship department and the UNI Scholarship department, when I was not in class, and I also helped the front desk accepting student financial aid forms and advising students about registration procedures.

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