Celebration of Illinois State's Founding February 16-17, 2022
Wednesday, February 16
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
Faculty/Staff Appreciation Boxed Luncheon and Awards Program
Circus Room, Bone Student Center
President Terri Goss Kinzy and Mr. Scott Kinzy invite all current faculty and Administrative/Professional (A/P) and Civil Service employees to an event celebrating your service to Illinois State University. While we will not be able to celebrate together at a luncheon in person this year, boxed lunches will be provided as a way to say THANK YOU for all that you have done for our University in the past year!
To reserve your boxed lunch, please complete and submit the RSVP form by Wednesday, February 9, 2022.
Boxed lunches will be available for pick up on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Circus Room of the Bone Student Center. (Facilities staff may pick up their boxed lunches at the John Green Building.)
Faculty/Staff I.D. must be provided.
Please note: Seating is not available in the Circus Room or the Brown Ballroom.
Faculty/Staff Appreciation Awards Program
The Faculty/Staff Appreciation Awards Program will take place at 12:30 p.m. via livestream.
Awards to be presented at the luncheon include: Outstanding University Service Award, Service Initiative Awards, David A. Strand Diversity Achievement Award, Environmental Stewardship Award, CS Distinguished Service Awards, A/P Distinguished Service Awards, A/P Emerging Leader Awards, CS and A/P Esprit de Corps, TEAM Excellence, and Stan and Sandy Rives Excellence in Undergraduate Education Award.
Thursday, February 17
Founders Bell Ringing and Posthumous Honorary Doctorate Investiture
Brown Ballroom, Bone Student Center
The ceremony will be open to the public and can also be viewed via livestream.
Nominate a Bell Ringer by January 14.
Alumni Awards Dinner
Brown Ballroom, Bone Student Center
For more information, please contact Alumni Engagement at (309) 438-2495.
Andrew Purnell arrived on campus in 1953, interested in engineering. He studied industrial arts, switched to math as his major during his junior year, and graduated in 1957. Beyond working to cover his college expenses, Purnell was active in intramural wrestling, fast-pitch softball, and bowling. He was inducted into Iota Lambda Sigma, an honorary fraternity, and served on the advisory boards for his class as a junior and senior.
Purnell joined peers in forming the University’s first NAACP chapter. Members tested public accommodations for African Americans in Bloomington. The local roller rink and YWCA allowed access to black residents only once a month at the time, with restaurants refusing service. A meeting with the McLean County State’s Attorney resulted, with a promise that unlawful discrimination would end.
Purnell was drafted into the U.S. Army. He trained in Colorado and did classified government work at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. He declined a job with NASA, choosing instead to complete a master’s degree and pursue a career in education. He taught math and served as an administrator in Illinois at Eisenhower High School and Alan B. Shepard High School.
In 1983, Purnell began working to create the Illinois State University Black Colleagues Association, which was chartered on campus in 1984 with 40 participants. Membership has risen to nearly 300 and more than $280,000 has been raised to provide black students with scholarships.
Purnell has served on the University’s Alumni Association Board and various campus committees. He has been inducted into the Steve and Sandi Adams Legacy Hall of Fame and received the Alumni Association Mercier Outstanding Service Award. In 2013, he was chosen as the alumnus Homecoming king.
Purnell died March 20, 2020. He is survived by three adult children.