8 Totally Random (But Awesome) Stories From Northwestern Magazine

One of the best things I did in college was intern at Northwestern’s alumni magazine. They taught me about magazine production from start to finish. They let me write full length feature stories. They sent me out to write about International students and Third Culture Kids, which planted the seed for creating DenizenMag.com. And most importantly, for a kid who moved to the U.S. by herself, they were an incredibly kind staff who went out of their way to support me as I figured out what the heck to do with my life after college.

Since graduation, I’ve been a member of the magazine’s editorial advisory board, and we return to campus every fall to help critique the magazine. It’s actually a really amazing experience, where I get to listen in and learn from the insights of smart Northwestern alum.

This year, the magazine has published a ton of great stories that my friends don’t know about. So without further ado, I present them to you in the bite-sized format you’ve all grown so accustomed to (thank you RedEye and Buzzfeed!).

8 Totally Random (But Awesome) Stories From Northwestern Magazine

Penguin Bootie_SMALL1. Penguin booties
A collaboration between Northwestern University and Shedd Aquarium have led the school’s engineering design students to help create adorable “booties” for penguins who have sore feet. And yes, they were on the TODAY show. Read the story.

2. From recreational cyclist to world champion
After finding out that she had an unusually high unusually high lactate threshold — a key indicator for successful cyclists – Kellogg professor Leigh Thompson started training for competitive cycling at age 47. In 2010, she won a world championship. Read the story. 

3. Northwestern’s Sandwich Man
From the 1940s to the 1980s, Weinberg alum William Froehlig wheeled around a 100-pound cart, delivering late night sandwiches to dorms and announcing his arrival with his trademark whistle. Read the story.


4. Ball pit at 1835 Hinman
So, two freshmen built a ball pit in their dorm room. Cue the obligatory million views on Reddit. Amazing. Read their post.

5. World’s fastest human 
In 1950, a fleet-footed freshman caught the attention of his classmates when he ran in Delta Tau Delta fraternity’s annual pajama race. He went on to run the 100-yard dash in 9.3 seconds. Read the story, and see the story of the 10 Greatest Northwestern Athletes.

ArcadeFireFuneralCover6. Poetry alum rocks Arcade Fire
One day, Will Butler came to class and asked his professor if he could skip the next session. “I’m in a band, and we’re gonna be on Conan,” he said. You might know the band, it’s called Arcade FireRead the story.

7. Violin + Psy = 2.5 million views on YouTube
Nineteen-year-old Jun Sung Ahn posted a cover of Psy’s “Gangnam Style” on YouTube, and the video won first place in a competition Psy hosted. “There is actually a video clip of Psy saying my name and congratulations,” he said. Read the story or watch the video.

8. She runs Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Alum Jill Leiderman is the executive producer of Jimmy Kimmel Live! On her watch, Kimmel has not only become a favorite of the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, but the team has also accumulated half a billion views on YouTube. Read the story, and she’s so amazing that she was also profiled in Marie Claire.