Traci Carte, director of the School of Information Technology, became the 1,857th Illinois State employee donor to help the campus community rise to the challenge issued by President Larry Dietz on Founders Day 2019.

Dietz challenged the Redbird family to join together to achieve unprecedented employee and retiree philanthropic participation. In honor of Illinois State’s founding year, he challenged 1,857 faculty, staff, or retirees to make a gift before the conclusion of Redbirds Rising: The Campaign for Illinois State. Carte’s gift, along with those of 1,919 donors within our campus community, has helped the University celebrate yet another Redbirds Rising success.

Carte is a new employee at Illinois State, beginning her employment in July 2019. Coming in with 20 years of work experience in higher education, she was drawn to the University by her desire to make an impact at an institution dedicated to balancing a commitment to personalized, high-quality student experiences with a responsibility to research and publishing that adds to students’ academic knowledge. Carte has quickly immersed herself in the campus community by participating in traditions like Festival ISU and now, by giving back.

“It is clear that with declining state contributions to university budgets, private giving allows us to continue delivering high-quality experiences to students,” explained Carte. “For my department, Information Technology, this comes in the form of up-to-date hardware and software, opportunities to send faculty to training to keep their skills fresh, and sometimes hosting social events that bring students and faculty together to learn more about each other.”

Carte chose to invest in her passion for technology and student success by supporting her department, Information Technology. She was also inspired by the stories of students facing unexpected obstacles along their journey to commencement. She decided to invest in Redbird persistence by supporting the Red and White Scholarship. “I am excited to support the Red and White Scholarship Fund to make sure students don’t leave school when a financial crisis happens in their lives,” Carte said.

Redbirds Rising has raised more than $167 million to elevate levels of scholarship, leadership, and innovation throughout Illinois State. The strong participation of faculty, staff, and retirees supports Illinois State’s goal of 15,000 Redbirds Strong: 15,000 donors to the campaign during fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019–June 30, 2020).

“Of the many successes we’ve celebrated during the Redbirds Rising campaign, this one is especially rewarding,” said Vice President for University Advancement Pat Vickerman. “As we ask alumni, parents, friends, foundations, and corporations to invest in Illinois State, it is particularly inspiring to be able to share with them that over 1,857 of our own employees have recently cast their vote of confidence in Illinois State by giving back to this place we call home.”

To learn more about employee giving visit To make your gift and help us finish the campaign 15,000 Redbirds Strong, visit