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Illinois State alumni magazine cover spring 2017 with image of the American flag and newspaper accounts of flagpole incident
Days of May: Race, war, and the fight over the ISU flagpole

Volume 17 • Number 4 • Spring 2017

Illinois State Police guard the flagpole on Illinois State’s Quad on May 19, 1970

Days of May: Inside the infamous flagpole standoff that put ISU on the brink

On May 19, 1970, the Illinois State University campus reached a boiling point leading to what has become known as the “flagpole incident.”

College of Education Associate Professor Pamela Hoff was part of the Harambe Circle in a past Umoja ceremony.

Season of celebration: Unique ceremonies enrich graduation

As a transfer student, LaCrisha McAllister ’14 was struggling.

Zara Griswold

Birthing dreams: Alumna achieves family, career success through surrogacy

Illinois State alumna Zara Griswold is in the business of creating families. The agency Griswold created with Staci Swiderski helps couples who cannot physically reproduce their own child navigate the expensive and legally complicated process of using gestational surrogacy with egg and sperm donation to have a baby.

Emily Vigneri accepts the Civil Service Distinguished Service Award from President Larry Dietz at this year's Founders Day Convocation.

Alumni Association honors seven award recipients

The Illinois State University Alumni Association honored seven award recipients at Founders Day celebrations on February 16, as well as during a dinner program.

image of circus route book form Milner Library Special Collections at Illinois State University.

Milner receives $268,000 grant to save circus history

The largest grant in the history of Milner Library at Illinois State University will ensure a wealth of circus history will be preserved.

Professor Emerita Marie DiGiammarino

Where are they now? Marie DiGiammarino

Marie DiGiammarino always envisioned teaching, but never anticipated making Illinois State her professional home for nearly 30 years.

Dave Magers

Mail to the Editor: May 2017

The following letters to the editor appeared in the May 2017 issue.

Photo of men's basketball team

Conference champions: Top Valley honors go to men’s basketball coach, player

After leading the Redbirds to a regular-season championship for the first time in nearly two decades, head men’s basketball coach Dan Muller was named the 2017 Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year. Senior Paris Lee also captured top honors when named the MVC Larry Bird Player of the Year and the Defensive Player of the Year.

Charlotte Lewis dribbles a ball

ISU Olympian inducted into Hall of Fame

Former ISU basketball star and Olympian Charlotte Lewis ’78, ’01, is a 2017 inductee into the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame. A Redbird student-athlete from 1974 to 1978, she died of a heart attack at the age of 52 in 200

Derrius Rodgers head shot

Freshman runner at NCAA championships

Derrius Rodgers made Illinois State University history as the first 60-meter runner to ever qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships held during the spring semester.

Sandi (Platta) ’67 and Steve Adams

Loyal Redbird couple honored

Sandi (Platta) ’67 and Steve Adams received the 2017 Joseph F. Warner Golden Redbird Award.

Women's volleyball players

Five athletes competed at U.S. volleyball tryouts

The strength of ISU’s volleyball roster was proven during the spring semester, when five team members were chosen to participate in the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryouts held in Colorado.

Reggie Redbird reading a book

A NEW alumni service, online book club available

Be a part of this free book club to enhance professional skills, leadership abilities, and network with other Redbirds.


Plan for Homecoming 2017 and nominate royalty

Illinois State is celebrating its many legacies this year at Homecoming 2017. Plans are underway for the fall celebration that is set for October 16-22.


Annual alumni meeting set for June 24

Alumni are invited to the Alumni Association annual meeting at 9:30 a.m. on June 24 in the Alumni Center.

Ivan Maras

Proudly he served: Alumnus honored with Congressional Gold Medal

Agriculture classes that would prepare him for farming are what drew Ivan Maras ’52 to the University seven decades ago.

Chuck Scott

Pause for applause

Please applaud these Illinois State alumni’s accomplishments.

Kelsey Wallace and Alex Nagyivan wedding party

How we met: Kelsey Wallace and Alex Nagyivan

Kelsey Wallace and Alex Nagyivan, both 2009 graduates, completed a management and quantitative methods class together their junior year. But that’s not when their romance started.

Members of the Raycraft family who are Redbirds include Lucas and Barbara, seated. Standing, from left, are Laura, Adam, Jim and Dawn.

Redbird legacy: Family’s Redbird ties extend across 3 generations

Barbara (Dunn) Raycraft finished high school in 1953 and chose teaching over nursing and secretarial work—which were the career options for young women at the time.