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NACUA's Life Membership Award

Norden S. Gilbert - 2012

Norden S. Gilbert retired from Northern Illinois University earlier this year after providing legal and administrative services for 35 years, most recently as University Counsel. In addition, he has also held the position of Acting Director of Purchases.

Norden received his A.B. from Trinity College in Connecticut in 1971 and his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 1974.

In the Office of General Counsel, Norden’s primary responsibilities included contract administration, intellectual property and technology commercialization and real property. He also served on the University Council, the Supportive Professional Staff Council, the Judicial Advisory Board and the Northern Star Publication Board. Recognized as a campus leader on LGBT issues, he served as chair of the university’s Presidential Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity from its inception in 1994 until his retirement. The university recognized Norden’s service with the Presidential Award for Excellence and the Eychaner Award for service of the LGBT community.

An active member of NACUA since 1977, he has served on the Committee on Strategic Planning, the Subcommittee on Diversity and Exclusivity, the Editorial Board of the Journal of College and University Law and two local arrangements committees.

Norden was one of the initial convenors of NACUA’s LGBT affinity group, QUA, and has taken responsibility for the annual gatherings of the group since the Annual Conference in Chicago in 1992, mentoring LGBT NACUA members.

Norden is quite active in his local community. Serving as chair of the De Kalb Human Relations Commission, he shepherded inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes under the city ordinances. He is Regional Commissioner of the De Kalb American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), which he has been involved with since 1978, and has received a number of state and local awards for his work with youth soccer including the Illinois Park Districts Community Service Award. He sings with the De Kalb Festival Chorus and has appeared at Lincoln Center and Chicago’s Symphony Center. He also serves on the Illinois State Bar Association Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

Norden and his partner Ben Thomas will celebrate 20 years together this summer.