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Coordinates: 39°29′4″N 88°10′31″W / 39.48444°N 88.17528°W / 39.48444; -88.17528

Eastern Illinois University is a state university in Charleston, Illinois. Established in 1895 as the Eastern Illinois State Normal School, a teacher's college offering a two-year degree, Eastern Illinois University gradually expanded into a comprehensive university with a broad curriculum, including Baccalaureate and Master's degrees in education, business, arts, sciences, and humanities.

Eastern Illinois University
Eastern Illinois University seal.svg
Former names
Eastern Illinois State Normal School (1899–1921)
Eastern Illinois State Teachers College (1921—1947)
Eastern Illinois State College (1947–1957)
Established1895 (1895)
Endowment$82.1 million[1]
PresidentDavid M. Glassman
ProvostJay Gatrell
Students7,526 [2]
Location, ,
CampusCollege town, 320 acres (129.5 ha)[3]
ColorsBlue and Grey[4]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division I FCSOhio Valley Conference
MascotBilly the Panther
Eastern Illinois University logo.svg



Eastern Illinois Normal School was established by the Illinois State Legislature in 1895 "to train teachers for the schools of East Central Illinois." A 40-acre campus was acquired in Charleston and the first building was commissioned. When the school began classes in 1899, there were 125 students and an 18-member faculty.[5]

Old Main building

The first building was finished in 1899 [6] and is called Old Main, though it is formally named the Livingston C. Lord Administration Building in honor of EIU's first president, who served from 1899 to 1933. Built of Indiana limestone in a heavy Gothic revival style with turrets, towers, and battlements, its distinctive outline is the official symbol of the school. Old Main is one of "Altgeld's castles", five buildings built in the 1890s at the major Illinois state colleges. Governor John Peter Altgeld was instrumental in funding the Illinois university system, and he was especially fond of the Gothic style. Eastern's "Old Main" and Illinois State University's Cook Hall are the only schools where the "castle" is not named after Altgeld. Other original Gothic Revival buildings include Booth Library[7] and Blair Hall.[8] Blair Hall was restored after a disastrous fire in 2004.[9] In fall 2008, the university opened the newly constructed Doudna Fine Arts Center, designed by international architect Antoine Predock. The 138,000-square-foot (12,800 m2) complex houses the music, theatre, and visual arts departments.[10]

Through the twentieth century, the school changed its name several times in order to reflect its transition from a teachers college into a multi-purpose institution that could be of wider service to Illinois. Thus, Eastern Illinois State Normal School became Eastern Illinois State Teachers College in 1921, which then became Eastern Illinois State College in 1947. In 1957, the Illinois General Assembly changed the name of the institution to Eastern Illinois University.[11]


  • Samuel M. Inglis (appointed in 1898 but died before officially assuming office)[12]
  • Livingston C. Lord (1899 to 1933)
  • Robert G. Buzzard (1933 to 1956)
  • Quincy V. Doudna (1956 to 1971)
  • Gilbert C. Fite (1971 to 1976)
  • Daniel E. Marvin (1977 to 1983)
  • Stanley G. Rives (1983 to 1992)
  • David L. Jorns (1992 to 1999)
  • Carol D. Surles (1999 to 2001)
  • Louis V. Hencken (2001 to 2007)
  • William L. Perry (2007 to 2015)
  • David M. Glassman (2017 to present)


The EIU Alumni Courtyard, library quad and the Doudna Fine Arts Center

Eastern Illinois University has roughly 7,500 students. Admission is selective. Tuition is approximately $8,880 per year for residents of Illinois and other bordering states, while it is $11,110 for non-residents. Additional fees amount to $2,923.48.[13] The university estimates its average cost-of-attendance to be approximately $24,640 per academic year.[14]

There are prominent Communication Disorders and Sciences and Biological Sciences programs, though the College of Education remains the largest department. The university has an endowment of approximately $82 million. The current president is David Glassman.


In the US News & World Report college rankings, EIU is classified as a regional public university and fits into one of four regions: the Midwest Region. In the publication's 2019 rankings, EIU ranks No. 5 among its peers in that region.[15] EIU’s Business Program is ranked No. 405 as Best Undergraduate Business Programs.[16]

Colleges and schoolsEdit

Eastern Illinois University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.[17] Eastern Illinois also offers 51 undergraduate degree programs; 32 graduate degree programs; and 10 post-baccalaureate certificate programs.[18]

Eastern is divided into four colleges:

  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences[19]
  • Lumpkin College of Business and Technology[20]
  • College of Education[21]
  • College of Health and Human Services[22]

Other academic divisions include The Graduate School,[23] Sandra and Jack Pine Honors College,[24] and the School of Continuing Education.[25] The Graduate School was founded in 1951 and has an enrollment of approximately 1,800 full and part-time students with more than 300 faculty holding graduate faculty status. The university also includes the Center for Academic Support and Achievement, the Office of Inclusion and Academic Engagement, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, and the Office of Study Abroad. The university's Booth Library hosts yearly exhibits, the Ballenger Teachers Center, and numerous digital collections. The main university art museum, the Tarble Arts Center, maintains a 1,000-piece permanent collection, including a 500-piece collection of late 20th-century Illinois folk arts and related archival information. A majority of the holdings are concentrated on art from the state of Illinois and the Midwest region.[26]

Eighty-eight percent of graduates find work in a field related to their major within six months after graduation.[27]

Campus lifeEdit


Eastern Illinois University offers over 170 student organizations, ranging from religious, multicultural, service, academic, Greek, honorary, governing, social, athletic and political organizations.[28]



The school's daily newspaper is The Daily Eastern News which was founded on Nov. 5, 1915 and is one of only three universities in the United States to run its own newspaper printing press and is one of the smallest universities in the country to have a daily newspaper.


Eastern Illinois also has a student-run radio station, Hit-Mix 88.9 WEIU, WEIU (FM). The radio station can be heard across Coles County on 88.9 FM, as well as online through their website.


WEIU-TV is Eastern Illinois University's student-produced television newscast, broadcasting and streaming live 30-minute newscasts. WEIU covers Champaign, Christian, Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Jasper, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt, Sangamon, Shelby, and Vermilion counties in Illinois and Vigo County in Indiana.


Eleven on-campus residence halls include seven co-ed, three female-only, and one male-only. Throughout the year the residence halls participate in competitions and various community service activities.

  • Andrews Hall (all female)
  • Douglas Hall (all male)
  • Ford Hall (co-ed)
  • Lawson Hall (co-ed)
  • Lincoln Hall (all female)
  • McKinney Hall (co-ed)
  • Pemberton Hall (all female)
  • Stevenson Hall (co-ed)
  • Taylor Hall (co-ed)
  • Thomas Hall (co-ed)
  • Weller Hall (co-ed)

Dining servicesEdit

Eastern Illinois University features three residence hall dining centers (Taylor, Thomas, and Stevenson), the University Food Court with five fast food locations, Java Beanery & Bakery (Java B & B), Chick-fil-A, Charleston Market, Panther Grille, Freschetta Pizza, Subway and two Marketplace Convenience Centers.[29] They also operate a restaurant-style option (Reservation-Only Dining) on the weekends.

Greek lifeEdit

Fraternities on campus:[30]

Fraternities with privately-owned housing:

Sororities on campus:


Eastern Illinois University's colors are blue and grey; the sports teams' mascot is the Panther. The teams participate in NCAA Division I (I-AA FCS for football) in the Ohio Valley Conference. The football team is coached by Adam Cushing and competes at home in O’Brien Field. Eastern Illinois University was a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1912-1970.

Current National Football League head coach, Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints, is an alumnus of Eastern Illinois. Brad Childress, head coach of the Minnesota Vikings from 2006-2010, is also a graduate, preceding Sean Payton at Eastern Illinois. Additionally, Tony Romo, the former starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, and Jimmy Garoppolo, starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, are alumni of the University.

Eastern Illinois is also the host of the IHSA Boys and Girls State Track and Field Finals, which have been held at O'Brien Field since the 1970s. They also host the IHSA Girls State Badminton Finals and the State Journalism Finals.[31]

Alma materEdit

Simply referred to as the "EIU Alma Mater," the song itself was composed by Friederich Koch during his tenure as a music teacher at Eastern. The lyrics were composed as a poem titled "For Us Arose Thy Walls and Towers" by Isabel McKinney, a professor of English at Eastern from 1911 to 1945. These lyrics were originally set to the German folk tune Die Wacht am Rhein (The Watch on the Rhine), but were changed around the time of World War I due to anti-German sentiments at the time.[32]

Notable alumniEdit





  • Ronald W. Davis, biochemist and genetics researcher at Stanford’s Genome Technology Center, with patents on over 30 biochemical devices.[46][47]


Notable athletesEdit











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External linksEdit