Northern Iowa’s success in the NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament has brought unprecedented attention on the school with 13,000 students in Cedar Falls. The Panthers are one of 16 teams left in the field and will face Michigan State Friday night in Saint Louis. Noreen Hermansen, Vice-President of the U.N.I. Foundation, says she’s hearing from alumni around the world.
“I’ve had phone calls and text messages from people in Germany, Japan and Korea,” Hermansen said. Former U.N.I. Basketball Coach Eldon Miller, who now lives in North Carolina, told Hermansen he “can’t believe” how many calls he’s fielded. It’s doubtful the added exposure will lead to a boost in admissions at U.N.I., but Hermansen says the free national press doesn’t hurt.
“I don’t think there’s any way you can put a dollar amount on it,” Hermansen said. “We could never have the kind of money to get this kind of exposure. It’s just a real positive experience for everybody.” Hermansen spoke with Radio Iowa Wednesday after attending a pep rally for the basketball team. Around 1,200 people attended the rally on the U.N.I. campus.