The Division of Student Affairs’ Fourth Annual Steve and Sandi Adams Legacy Hall of Fame ceremony was held April 7 in the Bone Student Center. The Hall of Fame was established in honor of Vice President Emeritus Steve Adams and former first lady of the division Sandi Adams for their many years of combined service and commitment to Illinois State University.

“Without the generosity and vision of Steve and Sandi Adams, the Hall of Fame would not be possible,” said Katy Killian, assistant vice president for Student Affairs. “Each year, during the award ceremony, we are reminded of the significant impact that Student Affairs programs and services have on students, as well as how these experiences help to shape our inductees into who they are today. Steve and Sandi Adams recognize the importance of a diverse educational experience and we are grateful that we have the opportunity to celebrate inductees each year because of their commitment to the Illinois State student experience.”

Induction into the Hall of Fame is a prestigious honor bestowed upon alumni who served as student leaders or student employees in the Division of Student Affairs. Recipients are recognized not only for their accomplishments during their time on campus, but also for their commitment to one or more of the following areas:

  • Contributing new knowledge through research and scholarship
  • Providing dedication to individualized attention
  • Promoting teamwork, respect for differences, and goals that celebrate diversity
  • Enhancing the quality of life for communities through collaborative and individual action

The Division of Student Affairs was proud to honor this year’s inductees: Michael Schermer, Michael Donahue, Robinzina “Zina” Bryant, Twanna Hines, and Adam Ghrist.

Michael Schermer, who earned both his B.S. in 1973 and his M.S. in 1978 from Illinois State, served the Division of Student Affairs in a variety of leadership roles through his employment from 1974 to 2010 when he retired. Among his most notable accomplishments were the founding of LeaderShape, Alternative Breaks, and the Safe Zone program, serving as an advisor and in national roles to Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity, and assisting with the recreation of Student Affairs.

Michael Donahue, a 1980 graduate of Illinois State, is a former student body president of the University. Learning about the importance of true democratic leadership through Illinois State’s shared governance system was one of his most enlightening experiences during his time at Illinois State. Donahue is the co-founder and chief brand maverick of Dynamic Growth Mavericks Consulting, where he develops and implements brand management solutions for Fortune 500 corporations, political leaders, and celebrities.

Robinzina “Zina” Bryant received  her B.S. and M.S. from Illinois State University in 1988 and 1990 respectively. She was heavily involved at Illinois State, serving as a resident assistant and Preview guide. She also pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and participated in intramural sports. Bryant worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) for 10 years until she formed her own law practice, having previously completed her Juris Doctorate from Drake University Law School.

Twanna Hines completed her B.S. from Illinois State in 1998. She was active on campus, participating in Student Government, Alternative Breaks, and Study Abroad, and serving as a resident assistant. Hines is now a media personality, having worked for Newsweek and the BBC, appeared on CNN and NPR, and written for New York Press and The Huffington Post. She is currently the director of AndACTION, sparking social change by connecting nonprofits to important issues in film and television.

Adam Ghrist is a 2004 graduate of Illinois State University. During his time at Illinois State, he was involved in student government as well as the Student Code and Enforcement Review Board. These experiences contributed to his career field, as he received his Juris Doctorate from Southern Illinois School of Law and has worked in the McLean County State’s Attorney’s Office since 2007. He currently serves as first assistant state’s attorney, overseeing all felony indictments for McLean County.

The Steve and Sandi Adams Legacy Hall of Fame ceremony evokes powerful emotions from everyone involved each year, as the inductees accept their award and reflect on their time at Illinois State as well as their accomplishments in their careers. The inductees are always very honored and appreciative of such a prestigious recognition, and are accompanied by family members and guests who display great pride in their loved ones’ success. Many staff members and faculty from across the University also attend the event, as they have often had the privilege of working with the inductees during their time at Illinois State.

Current students also have the opportunity to be involved in this ceremony, as each inductee is paired with a student host who visits with them throughout the day and introduces the inductee before receiving their award. The planning committee always pairs the inductee with a student who shares a similar passion, which results in an impactful experience for our students as well.

Those in attendance are not only in awe of the inductees’ accomplishments, but are also moved by their overall sentiments toward the Illinois State University community. “It was really great to be on campus again, and I felt so inspired by (Vice President for Student Affairs) Dr. Levester Johnson, President (Larry) Dietz, and each of the other inductees,” Hines said.

Furthermore, Schermer said he was honored to have been part of this group and that this event and recognition made him even more proud to be part of the Redbird family.

If you know of a deserving alumni who embodies the Steve and Sandi Adams legacy, please consider nominating them for the 2018 induction ceremony.