Musician Elton John. (Photo used under Creative Commons license, Flickr user david_shankbone)

Every week, we use STATEside to take a look back at the recent and not-so recent past, using the archives at the Vidette.

If you recall any of the campus happenings referenced in our This Week in Illinois State History feature, feel free to post in the Comments below.

Previous weeks: August 27 | September 4 | September 13 | September 19


The Center for Hope Ministries and Normal Church of God announce a new partnership, bringing together a predominantly white church with a predominantly black church. It’s a short-term partnership, planned for about nine months, while Center for Hope completes its new property. The two pastors, Dan Rogers and Larry Taylor, plan to split Sundays every month during this period, with special guest speakers brought in for fifth Sundays. “I want more than just a black and white church,” said Rogers. “I want black, white, Hispanic and many other cultures. Everybody needs to come together and minister as a family.”


President Thomas Wallace is irked by an Illinois Board of Higher Education recommendation to cut Illinois State’s agriculture program. That program, in 1992, was producing 45 percent of the agriculture degrees statewide. Wallace opposes Illinois State losing its ag program, in part because it’s located in an agricultural hub — McLean County. “The IBHE has made a mockery of education and reform and has insulted the university,” Wallace said. These days, the Department of Agriculture enrolled almost 400 undergraduate students for the 2012-13 school year, a more than 10 percent increase over last year.


A United Way of McLean County event at the Bone Student Center caused a little stir when attendees were duped into thinking a Reagan administration official, Edwin Meese, will be the guest speaker. After the United Way breakfast was served, attendees were told that Meese couldn’t make it, but President Ronald Reagan himself would be there. That ended up being a comedian named Bill Melberg. Meese, it turns out, was never scheduled to appear, nor was he invited. An organizer says his intention was not to “dupe anyone but to make the breakfast fun.”


The front-page story today is headlined, “Havoc, confusion, card games reign as students wait for ‘Rocket Man.'” Musician Elton John is coming to play a show at Illinois State, and about 2,000 students (and probably some faculty and staff) camped out overnight to get tickets. The huge crowd required sales to move to 308 Union from Red Door cafeteria. But students are upset about the University Union’s failure to set up a good line policy and to clarify how many tickets could be bought with each ID. The Entertainment Committee says it needs more staffing help. “Nine unpaid students just cant do it,” the committee chairman says.

Ryan Denham can be reached at