Our nation and our world are facing unprecedented challenges. We may not know what the future holds, but we do know that when our Redbird community comes together, remarkable things happen.

In the Fiscal Year 2020 (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020), 14,429 members of our Redbird community made a gift to support the people and programs at Illinois State University. These gifts combined together to expand the margin of excellence throughout campus. Every gift truly matters.

So, what did 14,429 Redbirds strong make possible? Together, we:

  • Provided assistive technologies to prepare future teachers to make learning accessible to all.
  • Answered the School of Theatre and Dance’s Call to Arms, expanding course offerings to students.
  • Banded together to support new uniforms for the Big Red Marching Machine.
  • Sent members of Gamma Phi Circus to represent ISU in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
  • Provided emergency financial assistance to students who have lost the financial support of their family due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity through the LGBTQ+ Student Support Fund.
  • Enabled Stevenson Center Fellows to attend the 2020 Human Development Conference at the University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies. The conference helped students apply in-class knowledge to broader world issues.
  • Enhanced every aspect of Illinois State University.

In addition to these featured projects, Redbird donors created new endowed scholarship funds, ensuring students receive support now and forever. Donors also funded the future of Illinois State with bequests to address prospective philanthropic goals.

Many donors chose to contribute during Birds Give Back 2020, leading to a record-breaking day of giving. On that day, Redbirds contributed $1,118,734 from 2,188 gifts to advance their passions.

Spring fundraising plans were replaced with a singular focus: to assist Redbirds impacted by the coronavirus. University Advancement created the COVID-19 Redbirds Response Fund and sought donations from the Redbird community for students affected specifically by the pandemic.

These are strange and uncertain times but Illinois State University will emerge even stronger if donors continue to invest in the University and support our Redbirds as they strive to achieve their full potential.