Hello Redbirds!

It seems like just yesterday that we were welcoming our students back to campus, so it’s hard to believe that fall break is already upon us. As we all continue to navigate the pandemic, we are grateful to have had such a successful semester.

In this issue of our Alumni and Friends newsletter, you will read about one of the many voter engagement initiatives on campus this fall and some outstanding stories about the generous donors supporting the mission of our new Multicultural Center. We are also excited to share this year’s recipients of our Redbird Proud Young Alumni Award.

The feedback of our alumni and friends remains extremely important to us, so we hope that in addition to reading these stories, you will take a few minutes to complete this brief readership survey about our newsletter. Let us know what you’d like to hear from us so that we can continue to improve our communication with you.

From all of us in the Division of Student Affairs, we wish you and your family good health and happiness as 2020 comes to an end. As always, thank you for your support of Illinois State and our students!

Go Birds!

Dr. Levester “LJ” Johnson
Vice President for Student Affairs

bronze bust of Reggie Redbird

The Division of Student Affairs is proud to recognize Abe Lopez-Bowen, Bianca Gerardi Pietro, Bill Dwoinen, Jessica Garber Schaefer, and Quanisha Kumi-Darfour.

The current Instructional Technology and Development Center, where the Multicultural Center is expected to open in summer 2021.

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.

Michael D. Schermer headshot

When veteran Illinois State student affairs professional Michael Schermer was asked if he would consider supporting the University’s new Multicultural Center, the answer was an easy one. “I said, ‘Of course! Tell me what you want me to do,’” recalled Schermer ’73, M.S. ’78, a longtime Illinois State employee and advocate for addressing students’ needs. In recognition of his generosity, the center expected to open in summer 2021 will house the Michael D. Schermer Conference Room.

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.

The current Instructional Technology and Development Center, where the Multicultural Center is expected to open in summer 2021.

Dr. Fariborz (Frank) Naeymi-Rad ’75, an international student to Illinois State from Iran, and Dr. Theresa A. Kepic ’73, a resident of Illinois State’s first International House in fall 1970, committed a $250,000 gift to support renovations and upgrades within the University’s Multicultural Center. Their gift will also support technology infrastructure at the center to connect students to alumni and other U.S. and international multicultural centers.

silhouettes and speech bubbles

A new program through the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CESL) encourages students to voice their perspectives while actively listening to others.