Greetings my fellow Redbirds!

My first year as the Illinois State University Black Colleagues Association (ISUBCA) president truly has not been like anything I could have imagined. Around the country and in our own backyard, we have watched and witnessed the devastating effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As a Redbird family, we are mourning the incredible losses of former Vice President for Student Affairs, Steve Adams, and BCA legend and icon, Dr. Andrew Purnell, Jr., both who made invaluable contributions and indelible impacts to BCA’s purpose. Dr. Purnell will posthumously receive an honorary doctorate from the University.

As individuals, we are experiencing a new way of living, coping and discovering new ways of connecting as demonstrated with BCA Game Night this summer and the recent We are One 2020 and Beyond: A Virtual “FUN”draiser Experience. As BCA members, we are rising to the challenge by your 367 philanthropic gifts of $32,000 during this year’s “FUN”draiser and staying committed to our purpose. I sincerely thank you for your unwavering support.  

BCA family, I look forward to the “greatness for us ahead,” and I am confident that we will come out of this pandemic stronger and better and know “WE are in this together and will get through!”   

Stay safe and well, 

Rhona N. Israel ‘83

Man broadcasting

From the minute he stepped to the microphone at WGLT, a National Public Radio affiliate licensed to ISU, Davis began honing skills that eventually catapulted him to fame at major market urban radio stations across the country from Philadelphia to Florida.

Ralph Lauren shirt design

Michelle (Brown) Smith ’90 recently won an international design contest sponsored by Ralph Lauren for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic relief.

Dr. René Shingles, M.S. ’86, and Mr. Stan Shingles ’82, M.S. ’88

An abiding sense of community has sustained and uplifted Stan ’82, M.S. ’88, and Dr. René Revis Shingles, M.S. ’86, throughout their lives.

Redbird Kanisha Lites ’07, a Junior Olympic (2003, 2004) baton twirler who recently learned she was the first African American feature baton twirler in the history of the Big Red Marching Machine.

Three individuals in portrait shots

Three alums make up team