Illinois State alum Julie (Wittich) Scholl ’85 grew up in North Dakota, and her dad attended North Dakota State. So did her cousins, her uncles, and other family members. They’re all Bison.

So is she conflicted about who to root for during Saturday’s big game? Not a bit. She’s a Redbird.

Her husband, Bruce Scholl ’83, and two sons, Matt and Scott, are all Redbirds too. Last summer, her cousins gave her a North Dakota State championship T-shirt from the 2014 game, just to mess with her.

“I told them, ‘We’ll be happy to return the favor and get you some ISU gear when they win it all,’” said Scholl, a criminal justice sciences grad.

The split family all agreed to try and travel to the FCS championship game in Frisco if both teams made it—and they did. Scholl and her sons are staying at the official ISU fan hotel in Richardson, Texas, while her NDSU relatives are staying in Bison country in Allen, Texas.

Julie Scholl with her relatives

Illinois State alum Julie Scholl, left, with her relatives from North Dakota at the FCS championship game on January 10, 2015.

They plan to tailgate together Saturday morning, but they won’t be sitting together inside Toyota Stadium. She expects to see a lot of other Bison there too, since NDSU fans have some experience in Frisco; North Dakota State has won the past three FCS national championship games.

“They call Frisco ‘North Dakota South,’” Scholl said. “Growing up in North Dakota, they don’t have professional sports teams, so it’s all about the colleges. So there’s tons of people here.”

Scholl and her Bison relatives have been poking fun at each other on Facebook as both teams moved closer and closer to the FCS title game. Scholl, her husband, and sons even made a bet with her Uncle Frank up in North Dakota. If ISU wins, they’ll send him an ISU hat. Vice versa if NDSU wins.

“We’re all having fun with this,” Scholl said.

Scholl’s son, Matt, graduated in 2013 with a degree in agribusiness. Her other son, Scott, is currently a student at Illinois State, majoring in math education. The family lives in Polo, in northwestern Illinois.

Ryan Denham can be reached at

2 thoughts on “ISU alum from North Dakota caught in family feud

  1. Lynne Cosmano says:

    This could be ME!! My husband and I and some relatives attended ISU but we live in Alexandria, MN now and 2 sons grad from NDSU and another started his educ. there. No bets but will be meeting another Redbird couple to watch the game…I’ll be wearing RED but will bring my NDSU Mom shirt along!! Good luck to both teams and I look forward to the next game ISU plays up in Fargo!!! Lynne (Seline) Cosmano Class of Dec ’78

  2. Sandy Wittich says:

    I just posted the family photo on ISU’s Facebook page in the same post of this article. Great article Ryan – but I’m a bit prejudiced since this is about my family!!!