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Distinguished Alum Donald McHenry ’57
A voice for the nation: Alumnus Donald McHenry has made history as the man who successfully negotiated international disputes while serving as the U.S. Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Volume 22 • Number 2 • Fall 2021

Distinguished Alum Donald McHenry ’57 sitting in a recliner in an office

Word and deed: Diplomat and Distinguished Alum Donald McHenry shines on world stage

Illinois State University Distinguished Alum Donald McHenry ’57 never worked for the president who said “Speak softly but carry a big stick.”

Doug Collins playing basketball for ISU

Doug Collins: The man behind the court at Redbird Arena

The court at Redbird Arena may not bear Doug Collins’ name without a fateful decision to stay on for his senior year at Illinois State University.

Digital watercolor painting of campus and students walking through the Jesse Fell gates

Welcomed without worry: Transfer students embraced at ISU

Something very subtle and successful has happened in the Office of Admissions. Staff have implemented academic policies, created a system of partnerships, and established an outreach plan so effective that enrollment has shifted. Today one in three students attending ISU is a transfer.

Cybersecurity maze

Solving complex crimes: Cybersecurity grads fight global threat

Illinois State University’s cybersecurity program is preparing the next generation of specialists to fight cybercrime.

Brendan Hunt poses for photo.

From Theatre of Ted to Ted Lasso: ISU alum Brendan Hunt stars in hit TV show

Illinois State University alum Brendan Hunt co-created and co-stars in the hit show Ted Lasso.

President Terri Goss Kinzy

First Word: Fall 2021

Assessments are endless in higher education. From final exams to accreditation visits that validate academic programs, there is always an assessment and review of performance underway. So how do we measure success at Illinois State?

Multicultural Center

Multicultural Center opening bolsters campus community, student belonging

A campus Multicultural Center will open this summer, providing a supportive environment for students while furthering the University’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

Fell Gates

Illinois State shows strong enrollment, growth in freshmen and transfers

Illinois State University welcomed 3,374 freshmen to its student body for the 2021-2022 academic year. Total enrollment stands at 20,233.

Research being done with a microscope

Prasun, Sedbrook named 2021 Researchers to Know

Dr. Marilyn Prasun and Dr. John Sedbrook have been named 2021 Researchers to Know by the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition.

headshot of Dr. Aslihan Spaulding

Dr. Aslihan Spaulding part of national team awarded $10 million USDA grant

Dr. Aslihan D. Spaulding is part of a national team awarded a $10 million USDA grant to promote alternative systems for agriculture.

Dr. Ajay Samant

University Sales Center Alliance names Dr. Ajay Samant Outstanding Dean

The University Sales Center Alliance announces that Dr. Ajay Samant, Dean of the College of Business at Illinois State University, has been named as the Outstanding Dean for 2021.

Dr. Gary Weede

Where are they now? Dr. Gary Weede

Academia was not the first career choice for Dr. Gary Weede, who envisioned being an Air Force pilot.

Research being done with a microscope

Dr. Jan-Ulrik Dahl awarded NIH grant to study resistant bacteria

Dr. Jan-Ulrik Dahl was awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to uncover the secrets of an insidious bacteria.

Former Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Neal Gamsky

Campus mourns loss of past administrator

Dr. Neal Gamsky, former dean of students and vice president of Student Affairs, died July 31 at age 90.

masked voters at distanced voting machines

Illinois State University receives national Voter Friendly Campus designation

Illinois State University is being recognized nationally as one of over 231 institutions in the country designated as a Voter Friendly Campus by the national, nonpartisan organizations the Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project and Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Students and alumni come togther with new mentoring technology

Career Services’ innovative platform brings students and alumni together

New engagement tool connects students with alumni for career mentoring.

man talking at podium

Nominations sought for alumni awards

ISU’s Alumni Association annually recognizes individuals who personify the University’s tradition as an environment for excellence.

Three individuals holding a mural of Jelani Day.

ISU community comes together to remember Jelani Day

Family and friends of Jelani Day, along with hundreds of members of the Illinois State University community, gathered the evening of October 7 at Redbird Arena to honor his memory.

Amanda Sartoris in a baseball dugout

ISU alumna Amanda Sartoris breaks barriers coaching in Major League Baseball

Amanda Sartoris was hired by the Miami Marlins as an assistant strength and conditioning coach in mid-May, becoming just the second full-time performance coach in Major League Baseball’s 152 years.

Chris Voelz stand behind a podium with her hand raised in a fist.

Where are they now? Chris Voelz ’70

A four-sport athlete at Illinois State, physical education major Chris Voelz ’70 serves as the executive director of the Collegiate Women in Sports Award.

Duffy Bass Field

Baseball All-American takes national spotlight

Second-year freshman Ryan Cermak was named Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

Coach John Coughlan

Beloved running coach mourned by Athletics

Hall of Fame cross country/track and field coach John Coughlan died on June 17 at the age of 80.

An empty Redbird Arena.

Six alums chosen for Hall of Fame

Five former student-athletes and a longtime broadcaster were inducted into the 2021 Illinois State Athletics Percy Family Hall of Fame during Homecoming, including Stafford Davis ’05. An offensive lineman, he was a two-time All-American and four-time All-Missouri Valley Football Conference selection.

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 25: James Robinson #30 of the Jacksonville Jaguars leaves the field after losing 39-29 to the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on October 25, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Redbird trivia: Fall 2021

James Robinson, a record-setting running back for the Redbirds from 2016-2019, took the NFL by storm his rookie season with the Jacksonville Jaguars and compiled 1,414 yards from scrimmage.

Members of the 1969 Redbird softball team celebrate their runners-up finish in the first Women's College World Series. (Courtesy of University Archives)

Redbirds integral in Title IX passage

Athletics has ample reason to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of Title IX’s passage, as the transformational law was implemented through the efforts of four pioneering ISU women.

Student Health Services front desk and lobby.

Then and Now: Student Health Services

Students who needed medical care from the late 1920s through 1946 headed to the office of Dr. Rachel Merrill Cooper, who was the University’s first physician.

Pause for applause: Fall 2021

Pause to applaud these high-achieving Illinois State alumni.

New RSO, Brown Boots, at Festival ISU

New RSOs focus on inclusion, empowerment, and community

With over 400 registered student organizations (RSOs) on campus, Illinois State offers students a multitude of opportunities to explore their interests, develop new hobbies, and build a community. As new Redbirds with their own unique passions enroll every year, that number only continues to grow.

A mascot with its hands in the air.

Reflections of centennial Homecoming celebration

A‌lumni and friends of Illinois State were eager to participate in Homecoming on campus this year after ‌the annual event was virtual this past spring because of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Dr. Mary Ryder, M.A. ’81

Redbird legacy: Family’s 110-year connection to ISU spans four generations

Dr. Mary Ryder, M.A. ’81, has a unique ISU bond. Her family’s 110-year connection spans four generations.

Carl Kasten ’66 and Lynda Lane ’66

Alumni leaders selected as Homecoming Royalty

Their involvement, support, and love for the University make it fitting that Lynda Lane ’66 and Carl Kasten ’66 were crowned during the milestone year of ISU’s centennial Homecoming.

Old Main Bell, fall 2021

Class Notes: Fall 2021

Keep up with what fellow alumni are doing by reading our class notes for the fall 2021 alumni magazine issue.

illinois state bridge

In memory: Fall 2021

In memory of Illinois State University alumni, faculty, and staff who have passed away.

Portrait of David DeMarini smiling in front of a yellow flower garden.

Thanks to you: David DeMarini

David DeMarini ’72, M.S. ’74, Ph.D. ’80, enjoyed a 36-year career as a genetic toxicologist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.