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Founders Day: The Bells keep ringing

Written by on February 21, 2020

NORMAL, Ill.- Every time a bell rings an angel gets their wings, but Illinois State University gets another year older.

ISU celebrated its 163rd birthday on Feb. 20, 2020 in the Brown Ballroom at the Bone Student Center.

Looking back on the year there were some highs and lows. ISU President Larry Dietz said a low of this year was when students expressed their concern of diversity and lack of inclusion.

However, Dietz just appointed Professor Doris Houston to a new position to move diversity forward on campus, naming her as the interim assistant to the president for diversity and inclusion.

Dietz said, “Learning isn’t just for students. It’s for faculty, staff and administrators.We learn from each other, and I think we are making terrific progress on a lot of fronts together. ”

ISU works with the community to make decisions.

For example, two 50-year alums work to increase housing options for students in campus ministries through advocacy. Not only do Kenneth and Evelyn Huddleston contribute to ISU, but they have great sentiment in the roots of ISU.

Kenneth Huddleston said, “Founder’s Day gives us a chance to reconnect. We will go out on the quad and ring the bell, and that particular bell is in a picture of us standing next to it from 1964, when we were in our 20s. Every 5 to 10 years we retake the picture. So, we will be out there ringing that bell for sentimental reasons. ”

The Huddlestons met at ISU and have been married since.

Their love for each other and ISU displays through their charitable work that they come down from Michigan for every Founder’s Day.

The history of ISU remains in the hearts of everyone in the community. Using our rich history our university leaders are going to make progressive steps to make sure everyone is represented. Dietz wants to model our founders and ensure ISU rings on.