After 50 years of service to students on NIU's campus, with more than 15,000 alumni, the McKinley "Deacon" Davis Program stands as one of a few programs of its kind in the state offering access to higher education. Shaped and created from the vision of President Rhoten Smith, a champion of equal opportunity and social justice and McKinley "Deacon" Davis, once a Harlem Globetrotter in 1968.
CHANCE offers the opportunity for students in the state of Illinois to earn a college degree. CHANCE is a campus-wide initiative for new freshmen enrolled at NIU providing service and support for students designed to enhance their college experience.
Today, CHANCE alumni are employed as dentists, teachers, physicians, engineers, artists, entrepreneurs, accountants, athletes and public servants. Many alumni continue to support the program by volunteering to assist currently enrolled students as they pursue their academic goals at NIU.