Gene Jontry ’58 pays attention to details. His meticulous form at the free throw line sealed a 94 percent free throw average—a Redbird record that still stands. As a Central Illinois educator, coach and superintendent for 45 years, he made certain programs ran without a glitch so students could soar.

And yet, Jontry lost count of how long and how much he and his wife, Diane (Curtis) ’66 have invested in the University. Realizing that their first gift was made in 1969 when the two were early in their marriage with their first of five children surprised both loyal alums.

That’s because their focus remains on ISU’s people and programs, which they continue to faithfully support. As a health and physical education graduate and student-athlete, Gene backs Athletics and the School of Kinesiology and Recreation. He also helped establish an endowment to honor his former coach, James Collie. Diane earned a business teacher education degree and gladly gives to the College of Business.

Both so appreciated their campus experience that they also invest their time. From roles in Senior Professionals and Athletics to the Alumni Association and the Foundation board, it’s impossible to miss how the Jontrys have proven their passion for Illinois State.

Will you make a difference by supporting your passion? Make a contribution at or by calling (800) 366-4478.