Ann (Bastian) White ’63, M.S. ’69, came to Illinois State University to become a teacher. Surprisingly, it’s the lessons learned outside her major that continue to shape her life now as a retiree.

White is thankful for the well-rounded education she received at Illinois State, including classes and activities in the sciences and the arts that broadened her experience and perspective of the world. White took advantage of theatre opportunities as a student, with one of her many performances being the first play produced in Westhoff Theater.

After teaching for more than 27 years, White spends her retirement active in the Bloomington-Normal theatre community serving as a program director for the Young at Heartland Senior Acting Workshop. Heartland Theater allows her to continue her passion for acting, performing more than 12 shows a year.

White supports Illinois State’s College of Education with annual gifts. Here’s Why My Gift Matters, in her own words:

What motivated you to give to Illinois State?

I am thankful for the strong foundation and preparation the University provided. I give back to make those same opportunities available to current and future students.

What impact has Illinois State had on your life?

My experience at Illinois State enriched my life above and beyond my career. An important aspect of college is to prepare you as a citizen. My time at Illinois State strengthened me as an individual, helped me to understand priorities, and allowed me to take on leadership roles.

What would you say to today’s Illinois State students?

Take advantage of the many offerings the University provides beyond the classroom including international speakers and extracurricular activities. Give yourself opportunities for diversity in your experiences. Don’t just focus on the narrow scope of classes but add depth to your experience to become a better citizen and enriched individual. A broader experience prepares you to be flexible in your career and life choices.

Read more stories about the impact of Annual Giving on our students.