An influential professor. A lifelong friend. An academic passion that turns into a career.
Illinois State University impacts its students in all different ways. To help celebrate the Alumni Association’s 150th anniversary in 2013, we’re collecting your stories, starting with this question: What about Illinois State has changed your life?
Here are some of the responses from our Illinois State Alumni Association Board of Directors:
Lynda Lane ’66
“Illinois State Normal University (when I started in the fall of 1962) provided an education that led to a lifelong career as a teacher. I am passionate about education and ISU! When education presented new opportunities, ISU was at the ready to help me further my education to prepare for the next steps.
“Because I live in the Bloomington-Normal area, ISU has been a place for social activities as well—football and basketball games; theatre, dance and musical performances; summer concerts on the Quad; Shakespeare at Ewing Manor; lectures; and many hours of volunteering. The best part of my 51-year relationship with ISU is all the friends I’ve made—old friends from my days on campus and new friends from each decade of my engagement with the University. ISU has had an enormous impact and influence on my life.”
Michele (Pfeilschifter) Guadalupe MPH ’01
Arthritis Foundation, Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy
“In the fall of 1997, I began my journey at Illinois State University. The first semester at college was the hardest. My mother, who had been battling breast cancer, passed away in September. My dad was adamant that I continue with my degree, so I continued. It was a very hard year. Her death is what led me to the field of health education (and the importance of educating others about prevention/early detection). Entering into the health education program was the best decision. I met wonderful and attentive professors—many of whom I am still in touch with to this day. I had field opportunities during the program and also had the best internship experience at a local health department (my supervisor was an alum of the program!) I also took my experience at ISU and applied it to a master’s degree in public health (which I finished in Chicago in 2003).
“On a more personal level, fast forward to 2011, when I reconnected with an old boyfriend (we met Spanish class in 1997 at ISU). We rekindled our relationship and just married in August 2012! We moved back to campus where he is finishing his undergraduate degree at ISU.”
Gary Tiffany ’74
Pekin Life Insurance Company, Life Specialist
“My time at Illinois State was a time of growth for me. I met a lot of incredible people and made a lot of friends. I got involved in dorm government and other activities, and learned a lot of interpersonal skills that would help make me successful in my sales career. I learned how to develop project ideas and involve others to make things happen by working together. I also had a lot of fun while I was there. The friendships have lasted through the years.
“It’s funny how certain songs take you back to days long ago. For me, it’s Boston’s “More than a Feeling.” Hearing those songs always takes me back to the Watterson “Quad” in the spring, when people would put their speakers in the windows and blast the song on the first warm days. The energy that was ISU back then keeps me coming back today to Homecoming and other activities.”
Donald L. Shafer ’76
Executive Vice President, Heartland Bank and Trust Co.
“I met my wife of 35 years (and counting!) at ISU–an obvious life changer! In addition, I formed lifelong friendships with fellow students and professors. Two of those professors, Tony Ostrosky and Jim Koch, were my first mentors, providing me direction and guidance and helping me shape my career. They remain contacts and friends to this day.
“By remaining in contact with the University, I had the opportunity to serve on the Alumni Association Board of Directors for several years, and learn from a series of great University presidents, culminating with Dr. Bowman. It also provided me a chance to stay in touch with current faculty and students, including speaking at graduation ceremonies, and be a part of the University’s growth and renovation.”
Kathy (Coyle) Murdoch ’86
“As a graduate of University High School, I wanted to go to college somewhere outside of Normal. But to my chagrin, the best school in my chosen field of study was right here in my own backyard. The education that I received at Illinois State University for my career in clinical laboratory science was excellent! In my 50-week clinical internship at a medical center, I was far more prepared than other students who selected other universities. I am grateful that I elected to stay in Normal and attend ISU.”
Linda (Collins) Yap ’74
Retired from State Farm Insurance Cos.
“I was the first member of my family to graduate from college. My younger brother and sister followed and also graduated from ISU. As a result of the education we received we have been productive members of society.”
And here are some more responses from other alumni, via Facebook: