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Illinois State's winter commencement ceremonies are December 17, 2016.

10 things every new Illinois State grad should know

Congratulations! You’re about to join the proud ranks of Illinois State University alumni—205,000 strong and growing after the December 17 commencement ceremonies.

But before you leave campus, the Alumni Association wants to leave you with some quick tips on how to fully take advantage of your new status as a Redbird alum.

So without further ado and in no particular order, here are the 10 things every new Illinois State grad should know. (Also make sure to check out all things graduates need to know for commencement day itself.)


Be a part of the tradition and leave your legacy at Illinois State. Support the area of campus you are passionate about by making a gift of $20.16 in honor of your graduation.

Pay it forward so future Redbirds can have the same great experiences you did.

Central Illinois Young Alumni

Central Illinois Young Alumni at a summer kickoff event.


Were you involved in a bunch of student groups on campus? Then stay involved as an alum too.

Illinois State alums have organized a long and growing list of affinity-based alumni networks, such as the young alumni networks in both Chicago and Central Illinois, Latin@ Alumni Network, Black Colleagues Association, LGBTQA, and many college and department-based networks.

And if life takes you beyond Chicago and Bloomington-Normal, we have regional networks located all across the country! These alumni groups get together for Redbird Athletics games and watch parties, host special events, and raise money for student scholarships.


Illinois State’s Career Center isn’t just for students. The Career Center offers various services to alumni to provide you with additional job-hunting help.


Many employers will ask to see an official transcript before hiring. To order your transcript online or in person, visit the Office of the University Registrar. Fall grades will be available on the transcripts beginning December 22. Choose the “Hold for Degree” option if you are earning a degree this semester and want your degree to appear on your transcript.


Insured graduating students who will not be enrolled in classes during the following term may continue coverage for one additional term. Insured full-time students graduating in December are eligible to purchase spring coverage by applying through until January 31, 2017. For more information on extending student insurance, contact Student Health Insurance.

Homecoming logo with the words Illinois State Homecoming: Building a Legacy, October 16-22, 2017


Don’t let Homecoming be the only time you visit campus each year. (Homecoming 2017 is October 16-22, by the way.) Come back to visit anytime, and stop at the Alumni Center first to meet the Alumni Relations staff and get the latest info on campus events.

Moving back to Chicago? Then swing by Illinois State’s Chicago Office downtown on North Michigan Avenue. Rent a room, host an event, or just use it as a drop-in spot.

The cover of the current issue of Illinois State's alumni magazine

The cover of Illinois State’s recent alumni magazine.


Good news: As an alum, you’re officially a subscriber to the award-winning quarterly alumni magazine, Illinois State. Next issue comes out in February, but we can’t mail it unless we have your new address. Update your contact information today and we’ll get you on the magazine mailing list.


Did you know your university email account will be discontinued six months after your graduation date? Illinois State offers an alumni email forwarding service that still allows you to have an Illinois State email address (for those promotions/discounts that require an education account) after leaving the University. This also allows you to keep the same, non-ISU email address, no matter how often you may change providers. Here’s how to set it up.  Just remember, you cannot send your student Illinois State account as a forwarding email. That will again be discontinued.


This one’s easy. Stay plugged in to Illinois State campus life by following us on social media:

Check out the full list (and find your college or department) on our Social Media Directory.


By now, you probably have no shortage of Illinois State T-shirts in your dresser. But as you join the working world, it’s time to spiff up your collection of Redbird gear and get some stuff you can actually wear to the office. Here are just some of the places where you can buy Redbird gear:

Ryan Denham can be reached at

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I enjoyed studying at Illinois State University. As a Graduate student , majoring in Information Systems and Technology, I liked the reading hours at Milner Library, the Computer Labs for research and projects and the walks through the Quad..