Students, faculty and staff are invited to help celebrate the rich heritage and bright future of ISU on Thursday in honors of Founders Day. Events will take place throughout the day to commemorate the community that has been involved in the university for the past 157 years.


10 a.m. 
Bell Ringing

From 10 to 11:30 a.m., join the ISU community in a long-held tradition at the Founders Day Bell Ringing Ceremony, which will be held in the Prairie Room of the Bone Student Center.

The bell is typically rung once for each year since the university’s founding.

This ceremony used to be held outside in the middle of the Quad at the Old Main Bell, which is a remnant of ISU’s rich history; Chief of Staff Jay Groves said that the weather wasn’t always cooperative, so a member of the Fine Arts faculty made a bronze replica of the bell which is used inside.

The Old Main Bell was part of the first building on campus at what was once called Illinois State Normal University. The Old Main building was demolished in 1958, but the bell remains a major part of the college’s history and is still in use.

“The ringing of the bell evokes good memories,” Groves said.

11 a.m. 
STATE Showcase

The Founders Day STATE Showcase will be held in the Brown Ballroom from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“The different departments of ISU will host displays highlighting what they have going on,” Groves said.

These displays will include the university’s heritage, some of the historical accomplishments of each department and ISU’s vision for the future.

The displays will also honor the many accomplishments of Illinois State’s faculty, staff and students. Refreshments will be served.

“Founders Day is a day where we celebrate the heritage of the oldest public university in Illinois. It’s a chance to pause in the middle of a busy semester and reflect on where we came from while looking forward to the future.” – Jay Groves, Chief of Staff

2 p.m.

From 2 to 3:30 p.m., the Founders Day Convocation will be held in the Brown Ballroom of the Bone Student Center.

All of the ISU community is welcome as awards are presented to honor faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Some of the awards will include Distinguished Professor, University Professor, Outstanding Teacher and Researcher, Service Initiative, A/P and Civil Service Distinguished Service, Team Excellence, Herb Sanders, Neal Gamsky, Williams Technology Award, Strand Diversity and others.

Tim Hunt, English professor, and Fred Smith, chair of the Department of Sociology/Anthropology, have been named University Professor.

This title honors faculty who are nationally recognized scholars and teachers.

David L. Brown, whose family the Brown Ballroom is named for, will be receiving the 2014 Honorary Degree.

Brown currently serves on the Illinois State University Foundation board of directors and has also received the U-High Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.


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