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ISU prepares for celebration of Founder’s Day

Written by on February 9, 2023

NORMAL, Ill. – The first Founder’s Day at Illinois State University was held in 1909, with the tradition expanding in 1913 with events to honor the university’s first president, Charles Hovey. 

The schedule of events for this year’s celebration begins with the Founding Celebration Bell Ringing Ceremony in the Prairie Room of the Bone Student Center. 

“The Old Main Bell on the quad will be available for people to go and ring,” says Assistant Director of Media Relations at ISU, Rachel Hatch. “Throughout the day, if you’re anywhere on the quad you can hear it going.” 

The current bell ringing tradition started in 2002, and as efforts to continue to solidify Founder’s Day people across campus were nominated to ring the bell. 

Following shortly thereafter, an appreciation luncheon and award ceremony will be held for faculty and staff. ISU President Terri Goss Kinzy and her husband Scott Kinzy invite all current faculty to the event to have their dedicated services for ISU celebrated.  

Honorary degree recipients like Sean Hayes, Jane Lynch and Andrew Purnell have attended the award ceremony in years past.

“The biggest thing that students can do this year is just learn about it a little bit,” mentioned Hatch. “We are the first public university in Illinois, and Abraham Lincoln signed our ISU paperwork so that’s just one of the interesting facts we’ll speak on.”

Founder’s Day is set to begin at 10 a.m. on February 16 with the ringing of the Old Main Bell.