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. Movoto.com, 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. Forbes in 2014 ranked Bloomington-Normal in the Top 50 in "Best Small Places for Business and Careers."
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.
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.
Female students, scholars, and spouses of someone attending Illinois State, are invited to join a group called, International Women. This club makes it possible for women from other countries to meet once a month to share traditional food and customs, and visit places of interest.
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.
Safe Zone provides students, faculty and staff the opportunity to create safe spaces on campus that are highly visible and easily identifiable to lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) persons. These Safe Zones are spaces where support and understanding are readily available and bigotry and discrimination are not tolerated.
The Triangle Association develops and celebrates educational, social, and cultural activities and promotes safety, sensitivity, and understanding in and about the LGBT community on and off campus.