Redbird Legacy—An Illinois State University legacy is a student or alumnus/a who has a parent, guardian, grandparent, or sibling who is an Illinois State graduate.

Before the fall semester started, many Redbird legacy families had the chance to return to campus over move-in week to get their new Redbirds settled in before the first day of classes. Coming back to campus as an alum and moving into a residence hall for the first time as a new student had many families smiling and hugging as they shared memories, advice, and what to expect as a Redbird.

Meghan Kelly, a biochemistry major, came to Illinois State wanting to follow in her father’s footsteps. “My dad has had a successful life and he gives a lot of credit back to Illinois State,” Kelly said as she waited in line to move into Watterson Towers. “I’m excited to find that same success and meet new people during my time here.” Her father, Dan Kelly ’90, expressed the same excitement for her. “I’m excited for her to have this opportunity to pursue her career and passion. Illinois State will also allow her to learn about diversity and find out about experiences from all walks of life.”

Kelly ended with this piece of advice for his Redbird legacy that many others may share. “I hope Meghan focuses on her academics, but also builds a network of friends and connections. Illinois State will help her stay committed, balance her activities, and focus on her future.”

Krista Partilla ’89 gave similar advice to her Redbird legacy, Drake, as he moved into his hall. “He needs to get involved and participate in all that Illinois State can offer him. Illinois State is a great school with a nice community that will help him thrive.”

Redbird Legacy Brunch

Illinois State wants to recognize all legacy families for their continued generational support with a special brunch over this year’s Family Weekend. The brunch will spotlight Redbird families and help legacies stay connected to the University. The event will include brunch, a program featuring President Larry Dietz, and a legacy pinning ceremony exclusive for current families.

When: 9-11 a.m., Sunday, October 4
Where: Illinois State University Alumni Center, room 118
1101 North Main Street, Normal

Cost is $10 per person. Register here by September 28 at or contact Alumni Relations at (800) 366-4478.