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EIU Media Relations

EIU Extends Partnerships with Girls State, Smith-Walbridge


Eastern Illinois University has recently extended its partnership to continue hosting two renowned state events each year.

American Legion Auxiliary Illini Girls State, EIU extend contract for 10 years

Representatives of both American Legion Auxiliary Illini Girls State and Eastern Illinois University used the occasion of the 33rd session in June to formally sign a 10-year contract extension.

“Eastern Illinois University has had a long history of working with the American Legion Auxiliary Illini Girls State, and we are really excited to be able to continue this partnership.” said Jody Stone, senior associate director of Residence Life and Conference Services.

Premier Girls State brings together young women from the state of Illinois for a week-long program where they are provided training in city, county and state government. The participants have a chance to run for office, vote, campaign and write legislation for the organization. Guest speakers in the political arena and motivational speakers are invited to encourage young women to become more confident and provide them with a solid foundation of leadership and management as they transition into adult life.

“Programs like the American Legion Illinois Premier Girls State are exactly what is needed today to create the leaders of the future, as well as the responsible citizens we need them to be,” Stone added.

Celebrating the Girls State contract extension are, from left to right: EIU President Dr. David Glassman; Marsha Haag, President of American Legion Auxiliary Illini Girls State; Sarah Wyckoff, 2018 Girls State Camp Director; Karen Boughan, Executive Secretary of American Legion Auxiliary Illini Girls State; Lynette Drake, Vice President of Student Affairs at Eastern Illinois University; and Mark Hudson, Director of University Housing and Dining Services at Eastern Illinois University.

Smith-Walbridge Clinics, EIU extend contract for five years

Representatives of both the Smith-Walbridge Clinics and Eastern Illinois University also used their 18th partnership event to formally sign a five-year contract extension.

“Smith-Walbridge Clinics is one of the preeminent marching band clinics in the US, in fact it also draws a significant number of international participants.” said Mark Hudson, director of University Housing and Dining at EIU. “It is a huge honor that they want to continue working with Eastern Illinois University to host their conference for the next five years.”

Smith-Walbridge Clinics was the first camp to host marching band-related activities serving high school students, undergraduate college students and band directors. Smith-Walbridge offers different clinics and programs for participants to apply to their own programs. 

“I love seeing all these people who have a passion for marching band and music come together here at EIU to create a tight-knit community, and build life-lasting friendships,” added Matthew Boyer, assistant director of Residential Life and Conference Services at EIU.

EIU hosts several opportunities throughout the year catered to grade school and high school students across the state, including events focusing on athletics, music, performance, writing and various other events. In addition to providing a safe, friendly venue, the events offer attendees the ability to experience what EIU and the Charleston community have to offer as those students begin to consider their options for pursuing higher education in Illinois.



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Contact Information

Media Relations
Josh Reinhart, Public Information Coordinator

2142 Old Main
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-8444

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