A third named space within Illinois State University’s Multicultural Center has been announced following action by the Board of Trustees on October 16. The Mr. Stan L. and Dr. René R. Shingles Black Student Union Office is named in recognition of gifts from Stan ’82, M.S. ’88, and René Revis Shingles, M.S. ’86. Two other named spaces were approved by the governing board in July. The Multicultural Center is scheduled to open summer 2021 at 301 N. Main St., where the Instructional Technology and Development Center is currently located.

Multicultural Center Director Dr. Christa Platt, M.S. ’09, said the named spaces honor contributing donors while showing students there are people invested in their success. “We are grateful for the support of private donors that provides additional funding in order for us to achieve the comprehensive mission of the center,” said Platt. “It’s important that students see themselves represented in the donors of these important spaces. This further supports the center’s mission of providing a space that intentionally values our students’ intersecting identities.”

Mr. Stan L. and Dr. René R. Shingles Black Student Union Office:

Mr. Stan Shingles ’82, M.S. ’88, and Dr. René Shingles, M.S. ’86, are proponents of providing physical space for underrepresented students. They acknowledge a sense of community is vital to every student’s academic success and emotional well-being. Stan is currently the interim Vice President/Chief Diversity Officer at Central Michigan University, where he has served 31 years. Dr. René Shingles is a professor, internship coordinator, and former program director for Athletic Training in the School of Rehabilitation and Medical Sciences at Central Michigan University, now in her 29th year. Stan and René credit their success to the guidance they received while students at Illinois State.

Michael D. Schermer Conference Room:

Michael Schermer ’73, M.S. ’78, served as director of the Office of Student Life and student government advisor from 1978 to 1998. He took on a variety of roles in Student Affairs until his retirement in 2010. In 2002, he was named acting director of the Multicultural Center, then housed on School Street. Schermer has been a longtime supporter of LGBTQ+ students. He co-founded the Safe Zone Program to educate faculty and staff about being an ally to LGBTQ+ students. Schermer is also cofounder of the LGBTQ+ Student Support Fund, which provides emergency financial assistance to students who have lost the financial support of their family due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

The Dr. Frank Naeymi-Rad and Dr. Theresa A. Kepic Rehearsal Room, and the Charles J. “Jack” and GeJuan Cardwell Rehearsal Room:

Dr. Fariborz (Frank) Naeymi-Rad ’75, an international student to Illinois State from Iran, is chair and founder of Intelligent Medical Objects Inc. Frank earned a master’s in computer science from Southern Illinois University, and later completed a Ph.D. in computer science from Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). Dr. Theresa A. Kepic ’73, a resident of ISU’s first international house in the fall of 1970, earned her medical degree in 1985 from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in 1985 and later practiced as an obstetrics and gynecology physician in Chicago before retiring. The couple’s gift honors Frank’s host family, Jack and GeJuan Cardwell, who were assigned by ISU in 1970. The Cardwells have guided Frank and Theresa throughout their growth and were instrumental as role models in their appreciation of diversity and inclusion.

Renovations are underway at Illinois State University’s Multicultural Center, and additional naming opportunities exist within the space. To discuss naming opportunities, contact Adam Ruble at apruble@ilstu.edu or (309) 438-1271 in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.