The first public institution of higher education in Illinois, Illinois State University in Normal, is a co-educational, residential university, devoted to creating a supportive and productive campus community for all including students, faculty, contributors, and visitors.
Founded in 1857 as a normal school by Jesse W. Fell, it became Illinois State University, in 1968. The city of Normal, formerly known as North Bloomington, was named after the university.
From its modest beginning as a teacher’s college, the university has now grown into an institution offering a range of programs at the bachelor, masters, and doctoral levels.
It is made up of seven colleges such as the College of Applied Science and Technology, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Fine Arts, and the Mennonite College of Nursing.
Collectively it has 40 departments, prominent anmong them being the Family and Consumer Sciences, Kinesiology and Recreation, and Speech Pathology and Audiology.
Established in 1991, the Katie Insurance School at the College of Business, offers a curriculum in risk management and insurance professions.
A variety of programs related to professional leadership and success are organized in the Management and Quantitative Methods Department.
Entrepreneurial studies, based on consulting and management, is also given special importance. Additionally, the university offers extended education non-degree programs throughout the state.
The university campus, set on 850 acres, features 61 major buildings including Williams Hall – which once served as the university’s library. The world’s tallest dormitory, Watterson Towers, is a dominant landmark on campus, as well.
The main library at the university is the Milner Library, which boasts a number of special collections.
Located across the campus, the Fell Arboretum consists of more than 4,000 trees representing about 100 varieties.
In addition, the university is home to the Gamma Phi Circus - the oldest collegiate circus in the nation.