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Today we celebrate ISU’s traditions and heritage that have been instilled for 157 years – take a look at some of our most important years

1857
Illinois State Normal University opened its doors as a teachers’ training school. In 1968 the school’s name was changed to Illinois State University.

 

The Gamma Phi Circus was founded, making it the oldest college circus in the world. Originally known as the Gamma Phi fraternity, the first circus show was performed in 1931. - Courtesy of the Dr. Jo Ann Rayfield Archives at ISU

The Gamma Phi Circus was founded, making it the oldest college circus in the world. Originally known as the Gamma Phi fraternity, the first circus show was performed in 1931. – Courtesy of the Dr. Jo Ann Rayfield Archives at ISU

1929
The Gamma Phi Circus was founded, making it the oldest college circus in the world. Originally known as the Gamma Phi fraternity, the first circus show was performed in 1931.

Hancock Stadium - Photo Courtesy of ISU Athletics

Hancock Stadium – Photo Courtesy of ISU Athletics

1963
Hancock Stadium opened, home of the Illinois State University Redbird football team. It was named after former ISU athletic director Dr. Howard Hancock. Plans to renovate the stadium began in 2011 and were completed in fall 2013.

 

1969
Watterson Towers, known as one of the tallest student dormitories in the world, was completed. The building was named after Professor Arthur W. Watterson, who taught at the university from 1946-1966.

Watterson Towers - Courtesy of the Dr. Jo Ann Rayfield Archives at ISU

Watterson Towers – Courtesy of the Dr. Jo Ann Rayfield Archives at ISU

1973
The Union and Auditorium opened and was known as the U/A. The Bowling and Billiard Center had opened the year before in a separate area known as the BBC. It was not until 1982 that the U/A was renamed as the Bone Student Center/ Braden Auditorium, both after former university presidents Robert G. Bone and Samuel J. Braden, respectively.

2013
President Timothy Flanagan succeeded former President Al Bowman in August. Flanagan, formerly president of Framingham State University in Framingham, Mass., is the 18th ISU president.

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