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Welcome to the Redbird Community! A letter from Vice President for Student Affairs Levester ‘LJ’ Johnson Dear students, Welcome to Preview at Illinois State University! Over the next couple of days, you will learn about crucial campus resources and the endless opportunities you have to get involved on campus. You will also hear about “What it Means to be a Redbird,” a campaign that began over a year ago as a way to bring the campus community together. In promoting this message, our goal is to help students understand that they are part of the larger Illinois State community, and that there are certain characteristics that shape all of us as Redbirds. Stemming from conversations about the Illinois State experience with our own students, the overall tenets of family, pride, respect, inclusion, integrity, and care emerged. The combination of all of these ideals are what guides us in building our Redbird community and truly demonstrates “What it Means to be a Redbird.” Let’s explore what each of these mean in more depth.



Strong relationships are formed among our administration, faculty, staff, students and alumni. Friendships are built and connections are strengthened.

We all come from varying backgrounds and have multiple, different identities that contribute to who we are as individuals. No matter where we come from, we want to ensure that all Redbirds feel included on our campus.

Pride We are proud to be Redbirds. We not only recognize and celebrate individual accomplishments, but we also take pride in our community.

Respect Despite our various opinions and beliefs, Redbirds encourage community through a respect for differences. By showing respect, we help all individuals feel valued at Illinois State. We also rally together to support each other when our viewpoints and values are challenged.


Levester Johnson with Reggie the Redbird outside on the Quad.

Whether referring to honesty in our academic pursuits or making ethical decisions in our everyday lives, our Redbirds display integrity both in and out of the classroom.

Care This is evident through the individualized attention and specialized services we offer to our students. The care we show to one another is what really connects our Redbird community. Johnson with a student and President Larry Dietz. RIGHT: Johnson takes a selfie with students and adminsitrators during the Bone Groundbreaking ceremony. Vidette Archive and photo courtesy of

During your time at Preview, I encourage you to reflect on what you think it means to be a Redbird. You may even have the opportunity while you’re here to share your own thoughts and first impressions about being part of the Illinois State community. Hearing from students about their thoughts and feelings toward the Illinois State community is really what makes this campaign special. We want every student to enjoy their time here at Illinois State, and we can all be a part of ensuring that every Redbird has a great experience by remembering the themes of “What it Means to be a Redbird.” Welcome to Illinois State, Redbirds! We can’t wait to see you again in the fall. - Levester “LJ” Johnson VIDETTE PREVIEW GUIDE


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