How do we ensure that today’s business students are prepared to thrive in an ever-changing global environment where new careers and fields are continuously emerging?

At the College of Business, we believe the answer begins by developing students who can move the world forward with an innovative mindset, entrepreneurial approach, and creative solutions to our most complex problems. The work to date has been exemplary, as proven by the College’s stellar alumni, firm standing in national rankings, and exceptional accreditations.

But in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world of business, we must do more to ensure our students’ future success. This requires overcoming limited financial resources, increased competition for the best students and faculty, and the growing cost of a college education.

“We continue to fulfill our mission of educating high-achieving, motivated students who seek an individualized experience,” said Dr. Ajay Samant, Dean, College of Business. “This would not be possible without the support of our loyal College of Business alumni and friends. We have positive momentum, and now is the time for the college to rise to a new level. Our actions today can and will build an even stronger Illinois State tomorrow.”

Through Redbirds Rising: The Campaign for Illinois State, we will further empower our community of scholars and business professionals, while simultaneously blazing a path of even greater distinction and discovery.

There are multiple ways to support the College of Business within key funding categories:
Expanding student support: Privately funded scholarships and other resources will enable the College to attract and retain high-performing students, many of whom need financial support to not only attend Illinois State but expand their learning beyond campus, such as in study abroad programs.
Attracting and developing top faculty: Endowed professorships and visiting professorships provide the University with the resources to attract and retain top faculty who pursue excellence in teaching and mentoring, inspiring and motivating students to reach their full potential. These faculty create and lead world-class academic programs, engage in research and scholarly activities, and seek solutions for society’s pressing problems.
Paving a professional path: Gift support for a new Center for Career and Professional Development will allow the College to coordinate internships and industry connections, mentoring opportunities, business professionalism resources, and career counseling. All will allow students to refine their professionalism, skill development, and career strategies to graduate with an even greater competitive advantage.
Sustaining excellence: To make the most of changing times, the College must be able to respond quickly to opportunities that can benefit our students and faculty and enhance our reputation for excellence. Generous, ongoing support for the College’s annual fund and other unrestricted resources can provide the flexibility needed to enhance the value and pride of an Illinois State business degree.
Collaboration across disciplines: To better serve the needs of employers, advance knowledge and expand our students’ career paths, we seek philanthropic partners to help centers and institutes within the College of Business attain a heightened level of excellence. Two critical areas of opportunity include promoting financial literacy and harnessing data to more quickly spot trends, develop marketing strategies, and enhance business decisions.

Illinois State is a university on the rise and the College of Business is proud of our many recent accomplishments. Even more exciting are the opportunities ahead. Join fellow COB alumni and friends in supporting the College of Business through Redbirds Rising. Your generosity will keep the College of Business on a path to continuous improvement.

Contact College of Business senior director of development Liz Adams to learn more about Redbirds Rising and discuss how you can support your passion in the College of Business. You may reach Liz at or (309) 438-2903.