The Division of Student Affairs’ alumni and friends enjoyed time reminiscing, catching up, and yielding new friendships with others who share their passion for Illinois State at this year’s Legacy of Leadership event at The Library in downtown Chicago.
Age was no barrier for networking at this event, as a handful of young alumni were present and eager to learn about what engagement opportunities await them. Ashley Dusa ’19 shared what she found valuable as a recent graduate. “The Legacy event allowed for me to become comfortable with talking to other ISU alumni. I was able to meet alumni who have remained passionate about ISU and continue to support the institution even when they are miles away.”
Toni Wells ’16 explained why she has attended back to back years. “Both years I have left with a sense of pride, pride that I attended Illinois State, and to be surrounded by such prestigious, diverse, and talented alum and staff.”
Greg Mason ‘86, had a similar takeaway message. “I was happy to hear about all the career paths alumni have taken and the many contributions they have made in their respective fields. It became clear to me that this is how the University continues to maintain its strong legacy.”
Illinois State University Alumni Association board of director, Dave Horstein ’08, also expressed how impactful it is to see Redbirds of all eras in one room. “At one point, I noticed the amount of people at the event I did not know. At that moment, I realized the vast number of leaders who have graduated or will graduate from ISU. It puts into perspective how much of an impact our alumni have on their communities, workplaces, and society.”
Student Affairs alumni ambassador, Paula Dejmek-Woods ‘83 has attended the Legacy of Leadership event dating back to 2011, and she went so far as to describe it “epic, welcoming and insightful, [and] all that you’d want in an alumni reception.”
In his remarks at the event, President Larry Dietz gave credit to alumni leaders. “The institution’s success is the product of a great faculty and support staff, a committed administrative team and Board of Trustees. But it is also the result of sound student leadership, so I am grateful for what you have done, and for the legacy you have left for our new student leaders.” Dietz also shared goal-breaking news regarding the Redbirds Rising campaign. “We have already eclipsed our original goal of $150 million, and we will continue to raise the bar even higher throughout this coming year.”
Vice President for Student Affairs, Levester Johnson highlighted a few plans in 2019-2020 for Student Affairs, including anniversaries for Alternative Breaks and Club Rugby. He also announced the Division’s inaugural Involvement to Industry Conference on Saturday, September 28. The conference is designed for alumni and students to continue to engage in meaningful interactions with one another, and to aid in their professional growth and development.
Attendees left the event full of pride and feeling nostalgic. Much like the 50,000 books that lined The Library’s walls, our alumni are full of notable stories and reports. The Division of Student Affairs hopes you will seize the opportunity to share your career story and network with others in similar industries this fall at our Involvement to Industry Conference.