Sister City: Normal and Illinois State University
If you look at the map enlarged, you will see how close Bloomington and Normal
really are. We visited Normal on Thursday night after eating dinner in Bloomington. It was dark outside; thus, the photographs are not so grand.
We walked the campus at Illinois State University. Illinois State University was the state of Illinois' first public university . Their year-long Sesquicentenial Celebration began in February of 2007. In 1857, the university was called Illinois State Normal University. It originally served as a teacher training institution. Jesse Fell [Abraham Lincoln's friend] gave the money and land to establish this institution, and Lincoln himself drew up the legal documents to help establish it. The first class had 43 students!
I knew about Illinois State University because as a teacher I had many students who attended to study speech and drama [it is well known for its excellent theater department].
As we walked the campus that evening, we noticed that most of the architecture was quite modern, and the dormitories were very large and skyscraper like. The students on the campus that we encountered were friendly and polite. It was difficult to "size-up" the campus because the buildings were not open, and it was dark.
1. Map of Bloomington and Normal [please click to enlarge]
2. Advertisement for Illinois State University Sport's Teams called the Redbird's