Eastern Illinois University

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

Eastern Illinois University
Former names
Eastern Illinois State Normal School
Type Public
Established 1895
Endowment $74.57 million[1]
President David M. Glassman
Provost Blair M. Lord
Students 8,913 [2]
Undergraduates 7,640
Postgraduates 1,273
Location Charleston, Illinois, U.S.
Campus Small town
Colors Blue and Grey
Athletics NCAA Division IOVC
The Summit League
Nickname Panthers
Mascot Billy the Panther
Website www.eiu.edu

Eastern Illinois University is a state university located in Charleston, Illinois, United States. 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 is located in Charleston, Illinois, just off Interstate 57, about 50 miles south of Champaign and about 40 miles north of Effingham. As you approach Charleston, you will see the university's iconic landmark, Old Main, at its location on 600 Lincoln Avenue.[3]


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.[4]

Old Main building

The first building was finished in 1899 [5] 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[6] and Blair Hall.[7] Blair Hall was restored after a disastrous fire in 2004.[8] 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.[9]

Through the twentieth century, the school changed its name several times in order to reflect its transition from a teachers college into a muti-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.[10]


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

Eastern Illinois University has roughly 8,000 students. Admission is selective. Tuition is approximately $8,550 per year for residents of Illinois and other bordering states, while it is $10,680 for non-residents. Additional fees amount to $2,762.32.[11] The university estimates its average cost-of-attendance to be approximately $24,640 per academic year.[12] Tuition is expected to increase in the 2016-2017 academic year.[13]

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 $35 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 2015 rankings, EIU ranks No. 4 amongst its peers in that region.[14]

Colleges and schools

Eastern is divided into four colleges:

Other academic divisions include The Graduate School,[19] Sandra and Jack Pine Honors College,[20] and School of Continuing Education.[21] 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 Minority Affairs, 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.[22]

Eighty-eight percent of graduates find work in a field related to their major within six months after graduation.[23]

Campus life


Eastern Illinois University offers over 150 student organizations. The school's daily newspaper is The Daily Eastern News.


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.

Dining services

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), and two Marketplace Convenience Centers. They also operate a restaurant style option (Reservation-Only Dining) on the weekends.


Eastern Illinois University's colors are blue and gray; 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 Eastern Football team is coached by Kim Dameron and competes at home in O'Brien Stadium. Eastern Illinois University was a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1912-1970. Eastern Illinois University is one of two NCAA Division I institutions that offer women's rugby as a varsity sport.

Two current National Football League head coaches, Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints and Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins, are alumni 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 starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, is an alumnus of the University, having been signed by Dallas on the advice of Payton, then an assistant coach for the team.

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.

Alma mater

Simply referred to as the "EIU Alma Mater," the song itself was composed by Friedrich 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.[24]

Notable alumni

Notable athletes


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  2. "Eastern Illinois University :: University Marketing and Communication". eiu.edu.
  3. https://www.eiu.edu/admissions/discover.php#getting Getting to EIU eiu.edu
  4. ""The Emerging University - A History of Eastern Illinois University 194" by Donald F. Tingley". eiu.edu.
  5. Archived October 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
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  8. Julie Morss, "Blair Hall bags another award," Daily Eastern News, January 9, 2007.
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