When Donald Adkins ’48, a high school teacher I admired, heard I wanted to become a teacher, he advised me to go to Illinois State.

I enrolled in September 1957, the year of the University’s centennial. Full summer school programs allowed me and my Fell Hall roommate, Linda Webster Bean, to graduate a year early in 1960 in business education.

One fond memory is in the attempts by my Walker Hall-One North Corridor mates, including Linda, to hop-scotch over the dropped and incredibly stinky fruit from the Gingko tree in front of Cook Hall on our way to classes at Schroeder Hall. Another memory is Professor Helen Cavanagh’s requirement for us to subscribe to Time or Newsweek in her history course. She integrated the study of history with current events. I chose Time, and I carry that same subscription today.

After graduate school and 18 years at the Illinois State Board of Education, I had the privilege of returning to ISU in 1990 as Educational Administration and Foundations chair before serving as the College of Education dean. I retired in 2001, and my husband and I remained in Bloomington-Normal. For several years I consulted with Illinois education groups, including a policy study on educational leadership conducted at ISU.

I have seen my younger son hired in the College of Arts and Sciences as Spanish faculty and three granddaughters graduate from U-High. One of whom, like her father, chose ISU for undergraduate education. I wrote a memoir, An American Orphan, and now spend time enjoying family, friends, traveling, water aerobics, reading and ISU fine arts events. With three generations of my family calling ISU home, Adkins’ advice more than 60 years ago proved auspicious in shaping my career and destiny.

Reach me at 29 Pembrook Circle, Bloomington, IL 61704; sallypancrazio@frontier.com; or friend on Facebook.