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Illinois State alumni magazine cover fall 2014 showing an illustration of an older model car going down Route 66
Route 66: America’s historic road is more than a lane of memories for two professors.

Volume 15 • Number 2 • Fall 2014

old cars on Route 66

Alums are driving force in preserving Route 66

Preserving the iconic piece of Americana requires a labor of love. The passion and projects of Terri Ryburn and Fred Walk have formed a significant and lasting intersection between Route 66 and the University.

Dakota Pawlicki

Homeless teen is educator because of donors’ dollars

Dakota Pawlicki would later graduate from Illinois State debt-free thanks to scholarships. Today he’s an educator. “ISU felt so much like home to me because it was like the community that got me there,” he says.

Kristin Kouri

Year after tornado, Washington student thankful for scholarship

For Kristin Kouri, the two hours after a tornado struck her hometown felt like three weeks. That’s because the Illinois State University junior couldn’t reach her family immediately after the twister leveled their neighborhood in Washington one year ago.

Gary Gemberling

Alum’s investment will shape College of Business

Gary Gemberling spent his career creating. He launched his own companies and used his expertise to help other businesses build their own success. Now Gemberling is turning back to his alma mater for his next creation.

Employee looks at Heating Plant

Inside look at ISU’s Heating Plant

Built in 1916 and nestled against Schroeder Hall, the Heating Plant has experienced dramatic change. Today the plant heats more than 2,527,000-square-feet of classrooms, residence halls, office space, and other academic buildings.

image of Pat Vickerman

Stats behind the stories

The record-breaking private support of $19.5 million included cash, pledges, estate gifts and gifts-in-kind for the fiscal year ending June 30. These funds will be used to support new and continuing scholarships, endowed faculty positions, academic programs and special funds that provide emergency student support.

Keith Kambic atop Willis Tower

Alum oversees safety, security at Chicago’s Willis Tower

Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) in Downtown Chicago is a city within a city. These 26,000 individuals rely on Keith Kambic ’86 to keep them safe and secure.

Students use wireless laptop

New project to improve campus wireless Internet

Work is expected to get underway this summer on a major upgrade to Illinois State’s wireless Internet coverage.

Randy Winter

Where are they now: Randy Winter

The Department of Agriculture was at peak enrollment when Randy Winter joined the faculty in 1981. Among his most significant accomplishments was transitioning the University Farm to Lexington.

Students on the Illinois State Normal University Quad in 1959

Mail to the Editor: November 2014

Mail to the Illinois State magazine editor for November 2014.

D.A. Weibring

Golf great D.A. Weibring honored with induction

Former Illinois State golfer and PGA Tour professional D.A. Weibring ’75 was inducted into the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame earlier this year.

Jeff Bovee

Redbird Athletics welcomes 3 new head coaches

Some new faces will be at the helm of Redbird Athletics programs this fall, with the hiring of head coaches Jeff Bovee (cross country/track and field), Bo Durkac (baseball) and Maja Kovacek (women’s tennis).

Hall of Fame Inside Graphic

2014 ISU Athletics Hall of Fame class announced

Illinois State Athletics Percy Family Hall of Fame class added four new members.

Joe Benarroch headshot

Alum takes Facebook business story international

Illinois State grad Joe Benarroch partners with PR managers around the world to share stories with the press of how Facebook helps advertisers connect with all of the people who matter.

O'Daffers at Homecoming

Loyal Redbirds serve as Homecoming royalty

This year’s Homecoming was meaningful for Harriet (Gove) and Phares O’Daffer, who were alumni king and queen. The Bloomington couple met at ISU.

"Where are all the Redbirds?" book cover

Reggie Redbird stars in Illinois State’s first children’s book

A new children’s book starring mascot Reggie Redbird will take Illinois State University’s youngest fans on a colorful journey to find out Where are all the Redbirds?

Rick Lewis poses

Photos: Associate dean paints what’s beneath the stereotype

Associate Dean of Students Rick Lewis plans to complete 20 portraits of 20 young African-American men for an exhibition next year, an ambitious return to painting for the School of Art alumnus.

HeroNetwork app

Alum’s nonprofit creates app to stop school shootings

A retired Illinois State police colonel, Michael Snyders ’82 has dealt with a wide spectrum of criminal activity. His passion for protecting others continues as president of the Hero911 Network.

Emily Koller

Social work grad connects youths to healthy food

The percentage of overweight or obese children has tripled in the U.S. during the past 30 years. Emily Koller, M.S. ’13, is passionate about reversing this trend.

Nickelodeon’s Kid’s Choice Award

Alum’s striking glass designs land in Hollywood and beyond

Robert DuGrenier, M.F.A. ’80, is one of the most collected artists in the world. His glass pieces adorn the homes of celebrities, including Whoopi Goldberg and Dustin Hoffman.

Katherine Priore and Dan Hogan

How we met: Katherine Priore and Dan Hogan

When Katherine Priore ’07 and Dan Hogan ’08 met through mutual friends—Brenda Houy ’07 and Kevin Shoemaker—they had no idea their friendship would become a lifelong love affair.

Katherine Williams with family

Redbird legacy: Freshman’s family are all Redbirds

Katherine Williams arrived this fall as a freshman elementary education major already feeling at home. With generations of Redbirds on both sides of her family, she easily transitioned to campus.

Theora Stark with the clock

Thanks to you: Alum’s Ewing gift honors mom

A love of family, history and Illinois State resulted in a unique opportunity for Theora (Wiseman) Stark ’62. The elementary education grad has a love for Ewing Manor, a passion she shared with her mother.