By Lauren Huffman

(October 16, 2010) On the 90th Illinois State University Homecoming celebration, the College of Education held an induction ceremony for the 16th group of alumni Hall of Fame honorees. Dean Deborah Curtis welcomed the group of students, faculty, staff, faculty emeriti, and friends of the college to the ceremony. She then introduced the 17th president of Illinois State University, Dr. Al Bowman.

Bowman congratulated and welcomed the honorees, and said that he was impressed while reading their biographies. “For those of us who have toiled in the trenches as faculty and staff, it is deeply gratifying to see what you’ve done with your professional careers,” he remarked.

Despite the financial struggles in the State of Illinois, Bowman stated that he is confident that Illinois State University remains a strong and secure institution. “I think the story on our campus is one of transformation and progress. The College [of Education] is a good example of what can happen on a campus when faculty, staff, and students work hard and accomplish great things.”

Bowman pointed out some important benchmarks that Illinois State University and the College of Education have achieved. Among them, the College of Education is ranked in the top 100 in U.S. News and World Report. The university has been ranked in Kiplinger as a top 100 Public University for six consecutive years.

“We’ve been bragging an awful lot about the quality of the student body, and we’ve certainly seen a change in the percentage of students who graduate in that top ten percent of their high school classes coming to Illinois State—that number is going up every year. We are now one of the two most selective public universities in the state. And we actually have higher admission standards than half of the schools in the Big Ten,” he explained.

Bowman is confident that Illinois State University as a whole is moving in a very promising direction with a bright future ahead. Of the College of Education, Bowman said he “couldn’t be happier with what’s going on in this College.”

In 1857, Illinois State Normal University began with the purpose of training teachers for Illinois Schools. The University started with education as its goal, and over 153 years later, the teacher and administrator preparation programs are as vital and progressive as they have always been. The College of Education has nearly 38,000 living alumni, and almost 24,000 graduates are currently teaching in classrooms nationwide, making Illinois State one of the largest teacher preparers in the nation. Currently, one in eight teachers in Illinois is an ISU graduate. The College of Education is very proud of the many contributions to the education field by alumni.

Dean Curtis introduced the honorees, Cathy Flannery, Patti Hodges, Keith Jepsen, Ngozi Onuora, Deanna Perkins, Linda Tomlinson, and Sharon Weiss. “Today, a new group of seven is recognized for their contributions and achievements in education. These honored individuals have served the education community in many roles throughout their careers.”

Each of the honorees received a commemorative plaque, and had his or her name inscribed on a College of Education Hall of Fame plaque that is displayed in the College for perpetuity. After breakfast, the alumni headed over to the College of Education hospitality tent at the parade, to reunite with fellow Redbirds and to soak up the sunny day and festivities.

Learn more about the 7 inductees to the College of Education Hall of Fame.