Nothing matches the excitement of filling Hancock Stadium or a packed Redbird Arena. Distance unfortunately makes attendance impossible for Redbirds across the country, which is why regional and affinity alumni networks are growing in popularity.
There are more than 40 available, including a Seattle group with members shown above. Each links alumni to the University, providing opportunities for Redbirds to remain active no matter where they may live.
Nikki Kuniej ’10 sought that when she and husband, Andrew Maron ’10, moved to South Carolina.
“We were looking for an easy way to make new friends in the area. The first thing we thought of was the Alumni Association. We were surprised to find out Charleston did not have a network,” Kuniej said. The couple hosted three alumni events within the past year, with attendance growing.
Other networks have been established for several years with much success thanks to leaders like Denver’s Jenna Anderson ’07.
“My college experience was a great one. I wanted to get involved with my alumni network because I wanted to hear about everyone else’s experiences, while meeting new people in Denver.”
Both networks, along with several others within and outside of Illinois, have strong watch party attendance. Even alumni who are not huge sports fans enjoy the events.
Affinity-based alumni groups provide other options for alumni to stay connected to Illinois State. These range from interest in a specific profession to campus involvement through the Student Affair Alumni Network or the Alumni Band Network. Several have started scholarship programs.
Find out more about alumni networks, network events and how to get involved at Alumni.IllinoisState.edu/Networks.