Andy Manno and Aaron Von Qualen ’12 know what it means to pursue their dreams as Illinois State students.

A senior completing a degree in political science and English studies, Manno is the Student Government Association president. Von Qualen is serving as the student representative on the Board of Trustees while working toward a master’s degree in college student personnel administration.

Both are grateful for the leadership and mentoring of President Al Bowman.

“He’s done so many great things for this university, and positioned us in a way that no other university is right now,” said Manno, who partnered with Von Qualen to organize a farewell for Bowman.

“We felt we needed to give back to him in some way,” Von Qualen said, explaining why the two used social media to invite students, faculty and staff to the Quad days after Bowman’s retirement announcement in December. More than 1,000 attended.

The response inspired Manno and Von Qualen to work throughout the spring semester on a plan to further engage students in campus life. Their passion is to increase student pride and spirit, bolstering campus traditions by working with registered student organizations. Together, they are demonstrating what it means to STATE Your Passion.

Will you join with the students of Illinois State and take action to STATE Your Passion today? Support the people and programs of your university by making a gift. Use the enclosed envelope, call (800) 366-4478, or give online at