Congratulations to the Class of 2021! You have now joined the proud ranks of Illinois State University alumni—220,000 strong and growing. As Executive Director of Alumni Engagement Kris Harding, M.S. ’94, states in her message above, “This will likely be a year that you will never forget,” and the Redbird alumni family continues to recognize your accomplishments, dedication, and perseverance now and into the future as #RedbirdProud alumni.

With that, the Alumni Association also wants to leave you with some quick tips on how to fully take advantage of your new status as a Redbird alum. Also be sure to complete this quick, new graduate survey to share what you will be doing now that you are an ISU 2021 graduate. So without further ado and in no particular order, here are the 10 things every new Illinois State grad should know.

Alumni networks

The Chicago Young Alumni Network volunteered at the Lakeview Pantry during #RedbirdImpact Month.
Lindsay Vahl (left) with members of the Chicago Young Alumni Network who volunteered at the Lakeview Pantry during #RedbirdImpact Month. (Photo from 2019)

Were you involved in a bunch of student groups on campus? Then stay involved as an alum too.

Illinois State alums have organized a long and growing list of affinity-based alumni networks, such as the young alumni networks in both Chicago and Central IllinoisLatinx Alumni NetworkBlack Colleagues AssociationLGBTQA, and many college and department-based networks.

And if life takes you beyond Chicago and Bloomington-Normal, we have regional networks located all across the country! These alumni groups get together for Redbird Athletics games and watch parties, host special events, and raise money for student scholarships.

Keep learning after graduation for free

Learning never stops after you graduate. Your Alumni Association provides a variety of ways to stay connected to Illinois State University from afar through any mobile device, computer, or tablet. From an interactive campus tour and sharing recipes to live events and DIY videos to try at home, find something to educate, entertain, and elevate growth. Visit Alumni’s virtual events site to learn about the many online opportunities available. For Redbirds who enjoy a good book, join the Illinois State online alumni book club where you will discuss topics covering lifelong learning topics.

Don’t be a stranger

Homecoming 2021: 100 Years is set for October 11-17, 2021. Plans are being made to host safe gatherings and events. Don’t let Homecoming be the only time you visit campus each year. Come back to visit anytime, and stop at the Alumni Center first to meet the Alumni Engagement staff and get the latest info on campus events.

Looking for a job?

Illinois State’s Career Services isn’t just for students. Career Services offers various services to alumni to provide you with additional job-hunting help.

Get your transcripts

Many employers will ask to see an official transcript before hiring. To order your transcript online, visit the Office of the University Registrar. Here you can learn more about transcript availability, how to read your transcript, and to be sure your transcript includes your degree.

Need insurance?

Insured graduating students who will not be enrolled in classes during the following term may continue coverage for one additional term. Insured full-time students graduating in May are eligible to purchase summer coverage by applying through from April 17 through May 18. For more information on extending student insurance, contact Student Health Insurance.

Update your info

Good news: As an alum, you’re officially a subscriber to the award-winning alumni magazineIllinois State, sent out three times a year in print and digital format. Next issue comes out this summer, but we can’t send you the latest edition unless we have your new address and email (your university email account will be deactivated one year after your graduation date). Update your contact information today to receive the magazine and other special invites to alumni events and resources.

Redbirds support Redbirds

As you get established after graduation, don’t forget to pay it forward and support fellow Redbirds. Consider a gift to the Red and White Scholarship fund or to your favorite college, department, or program. Your gift, of any size, makes an impact.

You are #RedbirdProud

This one’s easy. Stay plugged into Illinois State campus life by following us on social media:

Check out the full list (and find your college or department) on our Social Media Directory.

Gear up

By now, you probably have no shortage of Illinois State T-shirts in your dresser. But as you join the working world, it’s time to spiff up your collection of Redbird gear and get some stuff you can actually wear to the office or display that well-deserved diploma. Here are just some of the places where you can buy Redbird gear: