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What I Learned About Illinois State University as a Tour Guide

I just recently started working as an admissions tour guide and have learned more about Illinois State University working than I have going to school here for two years! My brother is currently looking at colleges and I could come up with lists upon lists of reasons he should come here for school, but instead, I thought it would be better to just share some fun things I have learned to convince him to come to school with me! These are also interesting for anyone in general, whether you are already enrolled in ISU, plan on coming, or don’t go to school here and just want to hear some cool facts (and maybe you’ll decide to transfer here)!

Here are four of the most fun facts I have learned so far: 

  1. 47-ft-tall rock wall 

In the student fitness center, there is a huge rock climbing wall! If you were not aware, Bradley University is the rival of ISU and also built a very tall rock climbing wall. At Bradley, it was 46 feet, and ISU decided to build their wall one foot taller just to say that they are better than Bradley! 

  1. Jake from State Farm 

The original Jake From State Farm actually graduated from the School of Communication here at Illinois State! There are also a signed pair of his khakis somewhere in Uptown, so if you want to find them, it’ll be a fun little scavenger hunt. There is also a bunch of other famous alum like Jane Lynch, Craig Robinson, John Malkovich and Sean Hayes!

  1. Cook Hall 

Cook Hall is the School of Music on campus and, in my opinion, one of the coolest-looking buildings here. There was once an Illinois governor who decided that every public university in Illinois needed to have a castle building on campus otherwise they would not get any funding. So that building would be Cook Hall here at ISU, and you will see at least one similar building at every other public university in Illinois. 

  1. Gamma Phi Circus 

Illinois State University is home to the oldest collegiate circus in the United States, Gamma Phi Circus! It began as the Gamma Phi fraternity and was founded in 1929 by the ISU gymnastics instructor Clifford “Pop” Horton. You can actually join the circus with no prior experience, I hope to see some new people there in the future! 

I have learned so much more about this school but these are my favorite things to share on tours! For anyone in high school giving any thought to looking into Illinois State University, I hope to see you on a tour in the future!

Take Care,

Olivia Pribyl <3

Olivia Pribyl

Illinois State '24

Hi there! My name is Olivia Pribyl and I am a Sophomore at Illinois State University. I am a Special Education major but also aspire to be a social worker! During my free time I love thrifting, going out for coffee, and just being outside! I'm so excited to be a part of Her Campus to share my thoughts and advice with you guys! Follow my socials: Instagram: @ pribyl.olivia Facebook: @ Olivia Pribyl Tiktok: @ roliepolie.oli
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