From her student days to working as the executive director of alumni engagement, Doris (Liefer) Groves ’81 has personified the joy of being a Redbird. She will continue as an ISU ambassador during retirement, which began in February.

Her alumni leadership role was one of many at the University, where she studied business administration. Groves made ISU her professional home for more than 17 years.

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In the Office of Admissions, she worked in student recruitment, supervised application processing, and was a Preview coordinator. She became office director in 2010, and two years later took the leadership role in Alumni Relations.

“Having had the opportunity to lead Admissions and Alumni Relations has been the highlight of my professional career,” Groves stated. “I am amazed daily at the talent and dedication that is exemplified by the ISU faculty and staff.”

Groves worked with thousands of prospective students and built lasting relationships with alumni across the country. One favorite moment was traveling to Texas in January 2015 to watch the ISU football team play in the FCS National Championship game.

“The excitement from our Redbird fans gathered at the rally, the festivities and the game were a tremendous experience,” she said. Homecoming is another event she anticipated annually, and will continue to participate in during retirement.

Groves looks forward to volunteering in the Bloomington/Normal community; travelling with husband, Jay ’80, M.S. ’83, who retired as ISU’s chief of staff; and escaping to family property at Lake of the Ozarks.

She will miss engaging with so many of the 210,000 alumni in Illinois and across the country.

“Time and again I have found our ISU alumni and students to value hard work, honesty, compassion and integrity,” she said.  “I, like my fellow alums, feel a great sense of pride in being a member of the Redbird family.”