All Redbirds share the common bond of enjoying their collegiate years on the University campus. For some, the tie is made stronger by a family connection between a current student and relatives who graduated years earlier.

Legacy Families are celebrated at Illinois State in many ways, including with a new financial benefit announced this fall and set to begin in 2019.

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Students joining Illinois State for the fall 2019 semester, and whose parent or grandparent graduated from the University, will receive a $2,000 scholarship over four years; $500 awarded each year.

President Larry Dietz revealed the new Alumni Legacy Scholarship during his State of the University address in September.

“Our alumni proudly invest in Illinois State University,” Dietz said. “We want to do even more to re-invest in their loved ones and help keep an ISU education affordable.”

The financial assistance is just one more way the University honors families with an Illinois State connection that spans generations. Alumni Engagement celebrates this loyalty with an annual brunch for legacy families held each Family Weekend. Participants meet the University’s leadership, with a pinning ceremony included as part of the event.

In addition, the Alumni Association offers its own financial support to legacy families. Several renewable affinity and legacy scholarships are available. They are explained at The deadline to apply for these scholarships is November 15.

The fact more support for legacy students will be provided through the University pleases Alumni Engagement Executive Director Kris (Meseth) Harding, M.S. ’94.

“Illinois State prides itself on its many traditions, one being Redbird legacies. To be able to instill that pride and continue a tradition for a Redbird family is wonderful,” Harding said. “We hope to see many more alumni encouraging their students to pursue Illinois State and many more legacies built.”

Legacy families are featured in each issue of Illinois State. Past stories can be found by going to For more information on the Alumni Legacy Scholarship visit