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NORMAL — Illinois State University has surpassed its $150 million goal for Redbirds Rising: The Campaign for Illinois State.

ISU announced Tuesday that alumni, corporations, foundations and friends of the university have contributed more than $155.4 million, helping ISU to achieve its goal more than a year ahead of schedule.

The campaign will continue through June 30, 2020.

"I'm thrilled we've exceeded the Redbirds Rising campaign goal early," ISU President Larry Dietz said in a written statement. "This is a remarkable achievement, one made possible by alumni and friends who believe in the quality of the ISU experience and have demonstrated their confidence in our direction through their investment in the university."

"Our students, faculty and staff are better positioned now (more) than ever before in the university's history to innovate and pursue leadership," Dietz continued. "I'm grateful for our donors' generous support of Illinois State."

Student scholarship assistance is a major area of support for donors, with $61.8 million earmarked for student scholarships. More than 200 new endowed funds have been established during the campaign, with 181 of them focused on providing scholarships for students.

Money also is going to experiences to prepare students to be effective leaders and to encourage creativity and innovation by encouraging a more entrepreneurial campus, according to the university.

Of the more than $155.4 million in contributions, $106 million has come from alumni, $24 million from corporations and foundations and more than $25 million from friends of the university.

"We have worked diligently since the campaign's quiet phase began in 2013 and experienced increasing momentum once the campaign went public" in September 2017, said Redbirds Rising Campaign Co-Chair Dan Kelley, a 1970 ISU graduate. "We're looking to build on the success of the campaign in its final year by asking for broad support from even more of our alumni and friends who value the impact of ISU and what is has meant in their lives."

Contact Paul Swiech at (309) 820-3275. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_swiech

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Health Reporter

Health reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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