Teresa Susmaras eventually transferred her studies to the University of Illinois at Chicago in her early years of post-graduate study. But Susmaras time at Illinois State University, where she enrolled after her high school graduation, was rich in the learning experiences which assail the first-time university student.
Illinois State University was founded in the town of Normal, or rather, the town of Normal took its name from the original purpose of the institution: to act as a ‘normal’ school, training teachers who would educate the citizens of Illinois. Abraham Lincoln was the attorney hired to prepare legal documents for the funding of the school. Its original name was Illinois State Normal University, and it was first located in downtown Bloomington, Illinois, at the state’s center. Eventually, the school relocated to its current campus in North Bloomington, which promptly adopted the name ‘Normal’.
The name of the university would change twice more, to Illinois State University at Normal in 1965, and to Illinois State University in 1968. ISU is the oldest public university in Illinois, and continues today to turn out well-prepared teachers, remaining in the top ten largest producers of teachers in the United States. Illinois State, by the era of Teresa Susmaras’ enrollment, had expanded far beyond its meager academic beginnings. Today ISU offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level programs in the academic colleges and research centers typified by the College of Applied Science and Technology, the College of Arts and Sciences, The College of Business, The College of Education, The College of Fine Arts, The Mennonite College of Nursing, and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).