Last May, Anna Riederer became the third generation in her family to graduate from Illinois State, where she pursued a bachelor of science in medical lab sciences. While she chose to attend the school because the University had the program she was looking for, she also knew that her mother and grandmother were proud to have another Redbird in the family.

Anna’s mother, Diana (Schutt) Riederer ’73, graduated from ISU with a degree in elementary education. Her grandmother, Maxine Schutt ’49, who held a degree in kinesiology from ISU, experienced the most joy watching Anna walk across the stage.

“My grandma was a very proud alum. She watched all the basketball games and cheered for her Redbirds,” Anna said. The family unfortunately lost Maxine in August, which made it even more meaningful to Anna that she was able to attend the commencement ceremony.

“I was very excited for my mother and grandmother to see how campus and school have changed. After the ceremony, my mom and I took my grandma around, and she told us how much it had changed since 1949,” Anna explained.

Diana added, “Mom was surprised by how many things had changed but also by how things hadn’t. There were 1,500 students total when she attended ISU, and now that’s the size of just one school here. She had some wonderful memories of ISU. She always told me, ‘I didn’t have a choice but to go to ISU. I was the first in the family to go to college, but I’m not going to be the last.’”