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Founders Day set for Feb. 21


Contact:Kate Arthur

The Illinois State University Founders Day celebration Feb. 21 will be even bigger this year as the Illinois State University Alumni Association launches its sesquicentennial celebration with a special guest, acclaimed actor and producer Sean Hayes, who will receive an honorary degree.

Hayes won an Emmy Award for his role as Jack McFarland on NBC’s Will & Grace. He has appeared in several films and received rave reviews last year for his depiction of Larry in the comedy The Three Stooges. In 2011, he debuted on Broadway in Promises, Promises, receiving a Tony Award nomination.

A posthumous honorary degree will be awarded to J. Michael Adams ’69, former president of Fairleigh Dickinson University. He died June 21, 2012, of acute myeloid leukemia.

Founders Day events celebrate the University’s heritage and traditions and honor the accomplishments of faculty, staff, students and alumni. Convocation will begin at 2 p.m. Feb. 21, in Braden Auditorium. The ceremony will include the presentation of some of the University's highest awards, including the University Professor, Distinguished Professor, Outstanding Teacher and Researcher and A/P and Civil Service Distinguished Service honors. Other awards will recognize excellence in teaching, research, service and commitment to diversity. A reception will follow at 3:30 p.m. in the Brown Ballroom.

The 150th Alumni Association Anniversary Luncheon, open to all alumni, will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the Brown Ballroom. Cost is $10. For more information or to register, visit

The Founders Day Bell Ringing Ceremony will start off the day’s events at 10 a.m. in the Bone Student Center Prairie Room. Displays highlighting Illinois State's history will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Old Main Room.

An Alumni Awards Dinner will be held at 6 p.m. at the Alumni Center. Cost is $25 per person. For registration information, contact Alumni Relations at 438-2586.

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