Cindy and I are both graduates of NIU. She got her MFA from the university, while I earned an M.A. and Ph.D. during our stay in DeKalb. Ten years ago today I had successfully defended my dissertation and was awaiting a May graduation, still lecturing as a TA in one of the mass lecture sections of the sort where the gunman opened fired. I've walked by Cole Hall many times.
This sort of tangential connection to a place in the news is of course in no way comparable to what the people who undergo the actual tragedy experience, but it does bring it home in a way that is quite real.
My prayers and thoughts go out to the NIU community and the city of DeKalb.