Illinois State University faculty and staff are invited to the Faculty/Staff Appreciation Boxed Luncheon and Awards Program from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Wednesday, February 16. The event is part of the Founding Celebration.

To reserve your boxed lunch, please complete and submit online registration form by Wednesday, February 9. 

Boxed lunches will be available for pick up on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Circus Room of the Bone Student Center. 

(Facilities staff may pick up their boxed lunches at the John Green Building)

*Faculty/Staff I.D. must be provided

Please note: Seating is not available in the Circus Room or the Brown Ballroom. 

An awards ceremony honoring the work of members of the University community will be livestreamed at 12:30 p.m. that day on the Illinois State University YouTube channel

Awards to be presented include Outstanding University Service Award, Service Initiative Awards, David A. Strand Diversity Achievement Award, Environmental Stewardship Award, CS Distinguished Service Awards, A/P Distinguished Service Awards, A/P Emerging Leader Awards, CS and A/P Esprit de Corps, TEAM Excellence, and the Stan and Sandy Rives Excellence in Undergraduate Education Award. 

The Founders Bell Ringing and Posthumous Honorary Doctorate Investiture for Andrew Purnell will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, February 17. The event will be livestreamed on the University’s YouTube channel.  

Members of the campus community will also have the opportunity to ring the Old Main Bell on the Quad throughout the day. 

The posthumous Honorary Degree will be given to family members of Illinois State alumnus Andrew Purnell ‘57.  

As an Illinois State student, Purnell joined peers in forming the University’s first NAACP chapter. Members tested public accommodations for African Americans in Bloomington. The local roller rink and YWCA allowed access to Black residents only once a month at the time, with restaurants refusing service. A meeting with the McLean County State’s Attorney resulted, with a promise that unlawful discrimination would end. 

Purnell was drafted into the U.S. Army. He trained in Colorado and did classified government work at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. He declined a job with NASA, choosing instead to complete a master’s degree and pursue a career in education.  

In 1983, Purnell began working to create the Illinois State University Black Colleagues Association, which was chartered on campus in 1984 with 40 participants. Membership has risen to nearly 300 and more than $280,000 has been raised to provide Black students with scholarships. 

Purnell served on the University’s Alumni Association Board and various campus committees. He was inducted into the Steve and Sandi Adams Legacy Hall of Fame and received the Alumni Association Mercier Outstanding Service Award. In 2013, he was chosen as the alumnus Homecoming king. 

Purnell died March 20, 2020. He is survived by three adult children. 

The Alumni Awards Dinner will be held at 6 p.m. that evening in the Bone Student Center Brown Ballroom. Register for this year’s Alumni Awards Dinner. For more information, please contact Alumni Engagement at (309) 438-2495.