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1857 Society

The 1857 Society recognizes and engages the University's most generous donors whose cumulative, life-time giving and commitments have reached at least $50,000.


Donors become a part of the 1857 Society when their cumulative outright gifts, pledges, matching gifts, and/or gift-in-kind total reaches at least $50,000. Donors may achieve philanthropic milestones within the society including:

  • Benefactor: $50,000-$249,999
  • Guardian: $250,000-$999,999
  • Ambassador: $1,000,000-$4,999,999
  • Visionary: $5,000,000


  • Advance information of select campus news, including messages from the President
  • Opportunities to interact with Illinois State leaders, scholars, and students
  • Invitation to premier special events including an exclusive induction event as you join the Society or reach philanthropic milestones
  • Donor names appear on the 1857 Society recognition wall in the Bone Student Center
  • Donors who reach the Ambassador or Visionary milestone will receive personal impact celebrations

The Impact of Gifts

Replica of Old Main Bell  in front of tables in the Brown Ballroom at Gratitude Gala

Philanthropy awards presented at second annual Gratitude Gala

On May 4, Illinois State hosted its second annual Gratitude Gala to honor donors from several of Illinois State University’s giving societies. At the Gala, the University presented four awards to recognize donors’ outstanding philanthropic achievements.