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 Illinois State alumni 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 how Illinois State will create a stronger bond within a legacy family.
One bond is that between proud Redbird Leah Walton ’88, M.S. ’92, and her son Aidan Walton. “I never pushed Aidan to choose Illinois State,” Leah Walton said. “I let him come to the decision on his own. Although after we went to an open house and he told me this is where I want to go, I did exclaim a huge YES! I was so overjoyed.”
Aidan, a freshman agribusiness major, feels that Redbird bond because he was involved with Illinois State for many years. “I’m comfortable here because of my mom. She took me to a lot of alumni events and introduced me to several Illinois State employees that I already have a connection others may not have.”
Leah stressed the importance of connections as she shared advice with Aidan that he should get to know his professors right away and realize that Illinois State is a family that will help him succeed. She also hopes he gets involved. He followed that advice quickly as he would head to practice with the Big Red Marching Machine (BRMM) where he will play trumpet. “Along with BRMM, I want to find other ways to be involved because there are so many groups around campus.”
So what is Leah looking forward to the most sharing this legacy? “It’s going to be amazing, after attending so many football games together as a family, that he will be out their performing with BRMM. This is our time to share in traditions and make new ones, and I look forward to that during his time here.”
Redbird Legacy Brunch
Illinois State wants to recognize all legacy families for their continued generational support with a special brunch over Family Weekend 2016. 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, September 18
Where: Brown Ballroom, Bone Student Center
Cost is $10 per person. Register by September 12 online or by calling Alumni Relations at (800) 366-4478.
Current students will have the opportunity to purchase a specially designed legacy stole during the event to wear during commencement. Those that cannot attend may purchase the stole anytime during the year through Alumni Relations.