First-year student is the 23rd member of her family to become a Redbird
New Redbird Katie Vickrey has a big legacy of Redbirds who are rooting for her to succeed as she joins the Illinois State community. Twenty-two of them, as a matter of fact.
Vickrey is the 23rd member of her family to attend Illinois State University. Her great-great-aunt Arvilla Nordstrom Danielson is the first member of the family to attend, graduating in 1940 with a two-year degree from Illinois State Normal University. All five of her children went on to graduate from Illinois State. One of those graduates, Dorris Lou Danielson Bergles ’78, currently sees her daughter Jaci Bergles attend the University.
Her parents, Doug ’94 and Jennifer Vickrey ’94 were high school sweethearts and attended Illinois State together and got married shortly thereafter. Doug studied criminal justice and works as an adult probation officer for Henry County. Jennifer Vickrey was an education major and currently teaches fourth grade in Kewanee, Illinois. Katie’s older brother Cole Vickrey is currently a junior at Illinois State studying finance and works as a student manager for Redbird Football.
“People in our hometown know we are an Illinois State family,” Jennifer Vickrey said. “If you are a Vickrey, you go to Illinois State. We are proud of that association with the University.”
Jennifer Vickrey says her family comes back to campus as much as possible to reconnect to a place she calls home. She loved her time at Illinois State and fondly remembers afternoons spent on the Quad and going on dates after class with her now husband.
“I felt very comfortable sending both Cole and Katie here because I have such a good feeling every time I am back on campus,” she said. “I have so many great memories here, and I am excited they have the opportunity to create their own.”
Katie Vickrey says she is proud to join her family members as an Illinois State student and future graduate. She is studying marketing with an emphasis on sports communication. She is most excited for the opportunity to meet new people, which lines up well with her mother’s advice to put herself out there and take advantage of everything Illinois State has to offer. She has already started this process at Preview.
“Meeting people makes my transition to college life more comfortable,” she said. “I have already met a couple of girls and we can start doing things together on day one.”
Even with her extensive family ties, Katie said she felt no pressure from her family to come to Illinois State. She did visit other schools when trying to decide where to go to college, but none made her feel the way Illinois State does.
“Every school I visited I found myself comparing to Illinois State,” Katie Vickrey said. “It just felt like home here. Campus was comfortable for me. Every time I was somewhere else, I realized I actually wanted to be at ISU.”