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Honoring the student experience in Redbirds Rising

Vice President for Student Affairs Levester Johnson enjoys a concert on the quad with a group of students

Every day at Illinois State, members of the Student Affairs staff who serve as advisors, supervisors, and mentors are helping students find their wings and learn to soar. One of the most reassuring aspects of this statement is that it is true regardless of the year a student is on campus; Student Affairs staff have always kept students at the center of their work and mission. Students feel the presence of supportive and caring staff throughout their college experience, from fall orientation to crossing the stage at commencement. Student Affairs keeps its promise to students.

Student Affairs promises to create an engaging, inclusive, and active campus environment that prepares a pipeline of leaders – one student at a time – to improve communities, industry, and the world.

The term “individualized attention” became a part of the Illinois State University vernacular in the launching of the first iteration of Educating Illinois, the University’s strategic plan, but it simply named something that students already experienced. The fact that students now use the term to describe why they love and appreciate their Redbird experience is telling. For students to believe they matter and others are contributing to their learning and success is our shared success.

In the comprehensive campaign, Redbirds Rising, Student Affairs is capitalizing its work to ensure students continue to feel they have access to excellent leadership experiences that prepare them for a life of meaning after college, as well as get the most of their time as a student.

As alumni who benefited from Student Affairs experiences that shaped your college journey and defined who you are today, your financial support of the following priorities is a wonderful way to honor that foundation. Additional funding in these areas will increase quantity and quality of programs and services provided for current Redbirds.

  • Leadership development programs and opportunities: Student Affairs creates immersive learning opportunities, enriching the Illinois State experience for every student. Private support allows us to grow and expand the quality and quantity of offerings.
  • Cocurricular engagement scholarships: Access to distinctive experiences help set Illinois State students apart. Scholarships make it possible for students to afford experiences that prepare them for a life of impact and success.
  • Professional and career development: Gifts supporting our four-year professional and career development plan give students greater access to programs, services, staff, and employers. Your financial support strengthens the Redbird advantage.
  • Inclusive practice and community: With additional private support, the division can provide new and innovative programs that aid in the persistence and success of all students.
  • Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning: Civic engagement is a core Illinois State value. Funding will support a center that will solidify the University’s commitment to preparing the next generation for service to others and building stronger communities.

The gifts we receive that support these priorities will directly affect the Redbird experience and put students on a trajectory of success. Learn more about Redbirds Rising: The Campaign for Illinois State and contact Erin Thomas, director of assessment and engagement initiatives, with questions about the Student Affairs priorities or to discuss how you can share your time, talent, and treasure.

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