About the Author: JOHN E. LA TOURETTE

La Tourette is President and Professor Emeritus of Northern Illinois University. He is a native of New Jersey, where his ancestors moved to Readington, Hunterdon County from Staten Island in the middle of the 18th Century. He holds his academic degrees from Rutgers University, including a Ph. D. in Economics awarded in 1962.

After active duty in the US Air Force as a navigator in the Strategic Air Command, he completed his doctoral degree and spent 40 years in Higher Education as a faculty member and administrator at the State University of New York (Binghamton University), Bowling Green State University (Ohio) and Northern Illinois University.

La Tourette arrived at Northern Illinois University in 1979 as Provost and Academic Vice President and served for a year as acting president before becoming president in 1986. In his 14 years as president, the university doubled its landholdings and embarked on more than $200 million in capital improvements. He led the university in establishing three major off-campus centers at Hoffman Estates, Naperville and Rockford, developing two new colleges (engineering and law) and more than a dozen major academic programs, including four new Ph.D. programs in geology and environmental geosciences, biological sciences, mathematical sciences and physics.


John and Lili La Tourette at Naming Ceremony, Northern Illinois University, April 13, 2010

In 2010 his service to the university was recognized by the designation of a major science building as the John E. La Tourette Hall. The 115,000 square-foot-structure houses state-of-the art physics and chemistry laboratories, lecture halls, classrooms and offices. The day was capped off by the State of Illinois officially proclaiming April 13, 2010 as "John E. La Tourette Day" by legislation in honor of him as Northern Illinois University’s 10th president.

Since his retirement from Northern Illinois University, La Tourette has lived with his spouse Lili in Prescott, AZ. In addition to his on-going research about the Latourrette family of Osse, Bearn (now Osse-en-Aspe, France), he has continued his interest in Higher Education by serving for 3 years as the chair of the board of directors of Northcentral University and more recently as vice-president of the Yavapai College Foundation.

The La Tourettes have two children, Marc of New Orleans and Panama City Beach, FL and Yanique Thorman of Lake Hopatcong, NJ, and one grandson, Jeremy Thorman of Lake Hopatcong, NJ.