Sometimes the money comes from their tax refund, other times it’s from his work bonus. Finding a little extra in a young family’s budget isn’t easy, but Amy and Randy Roser have supported Redbird Athletics for more than a decade. The alums met on a blind date at an Illinois State-Bradley University basketball game.

“It’s just something we make happen,” said Randy Roser ’86. “We were doing it even before we had kids. I like what the University stands for.”

Randy was a first-generation college student who lost his father at a young age. Financial aid helped with the tuition bills while he worked his way through college.  Amy (Mersinger) ’95, M.S. ’02, was also a first-generation college student. Her father didn’t graduate from high school, but believed so strongly in education that he put all six children through college.

The Rosers are loyal supporters of Athletics. So loyal that Amy couldn’t break herself away from a game even when her contractions started with their first child, Paige, 3, seen above with Redbird student-athlete Katie Broadway.

“I kept asking if she wanted to leave and she said she wanted to watch the end of the game,” Randy said. Their second child, Miranda, 1, also arrived after a game. Her parents were back in their seats a week later.

The couple donate to the Weisbecker Scholarship Fund, which rewards a Redbird student athlete who has a commitment to academics and competition.

“It’s good to teach our kids the value of giving, education and loyalty,” Amy said. “Our commitment to the University demonstrates that. We’re so lucky to be a part of Illinois State. It’s a university that cares so much about its students.”

As associate director for Illinois State’s University College, she sees students struggling financially. Some even have trouble finding a few dollars to print documents for class.

“Every gift makes such a difference,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be a huge amount to name a building. It can be enough to buy a student a textbook. It may not seem like a lot, but it means a lot to the students.”