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Uptown Normal Circle



Illinois State University's campus is in the twin-city community of Bloomington-Normal near the center of the state, roughly two hours from Chicago and St. Louis. Interstates 74, 55, and 39; U.S. Route 150; and Illinois Route 9 intersect in Bloomington-Normal, creating a transportation hub. An Amtrak passenger station along the Chicago-St. Louis corridor is just two blocks from the University and daily flights are offered through the Central Illinois Regional Airport. The community is also home to GROWMARK, Illinois Farm Bureau, State Farm Insurance International Headquarters, Country Financial, Beer Nuts, the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Illinois Wesleyan University, Lincoln College, and Heartland Community College.

The community has distinguished itself for its outstanding school systems and educational attainment, parks and recreation, health care, job growth, economic opportunity, and low crime., a real-estate research blog, recently ranked Illinois' 50 most-populated cities looking at factors including crime, education, home values, amenities, cost of living and employment. Normal was considered the best place to live in downstate Illinois. Bloomington followed closely in the #2 position. 

Campus Cultural Resources

  • AsiaConnect

    AsiaConnect is an association of Illinois State University faculty and staff and Bloomington-Normal community members who work together in the interest of the Asian community.

  • Association of Black Academic Employees (ABAE)

    The Association of Black Academic Employees (ABAE) is a medium through which Black employees at Illinois State University participate in shared governance. The Association’s purpose is to serve in an advisory capacity to University administrators, faculty, staff, and students regarding the general welfare of all Black employees at Illinois State University.

  • Multicultural Alliances at Work

    These groups and Learning Communities are intended to provide members of the Illinois State University teaching community with opportunities to explore the challenges and joys experienced by underrepresented faculty in the academic workplace. The groups discuss a variety of topics throughout the semester and explore possible strategies that can help minimize challenges and maximize joys. Everyone is welcome to join

  • Organization of Latino Employees (OLE)

    The Organization of Latino Employees provides a sense of community and acts as an advocate for the needs of Latino/Hispanic individual and groups on-campus and creates opportunities for social and professional networking for individuals interested in advancing the interests of Latinos/Hispanics on-campus and in the community.

  • Queer Coalition

    Queer Coalition is an Affinity Group at Illinois State University with the purpose of promoting the diverse cultures of the LGBTQ2IA+ community at ISU and in the local area, as well as representing the interests, needs, and concerns of LGBTQ2IA+ faculty, staff, and students. They strive to encourage communication, engagement and support among this community and develop cooperative relationships with the local larger community in several ways. They also foreground the fact that all forms of oppression are interconnected by doing so work toward racial justice.

  • Safe(ish) Series

    The Safe(ish) series, formally known as Safe Zone, explores LGBTQ+ identity and provide sustainable and inclusive strategies that acknowledge, affirm, and advocate for gender expansive and LGBTQ+ identities. The two-hour session provides an opportunity for those seeking understanding and deeper commitments around disrupting oppression for the community. All Illinois State University students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend.

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