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Black Student Reunion

Commemorative Book

The African American Experience


                                                        book logo

The historical book,  Eastern Illinois University 1895-2020:  The African American Experience was produced for the Office of Inclusion and Academic Engagement in celebration of the 125th anniversary of Eastern Illinois University.  This hardbound  commemorative book offers a written narrative and pictorial account of Eastern Illinois University from its inception and present day in efforts to capture pivotal moments that shaped the past, present, and future lives of Eastern Illinois University’s African American students, faculty, and staff. Research was conducted and connections were made with historical figures from Eastern’s past.   This provided insight to the forces and personalities that made the school and afforded some understanding of Eastern’s traditions. Only $65.00.   Books will not be sold on site. Click here for a video preview of the book produced by a former OIAE high school leadership camp participant.


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The Foreword of the book is written by Mr. Elmer Pullen.  He was a Financial Aid Counselor at Eastern from 1970 – 2002 and is the receipient of the 2019 Louis V. Hecken Alumni Service Award. The table of contents for this commemorative book includes the following but offers much more.


  • Founding of Eastern Illinois State Normal School
  • Early Presence of African American Faculty and Staff
  • Early Presence of African American Students
  • Student Organizations: Past and Present
  • Athletics
  • Royalty
  • Distinguished Alumni



Eastern Illinois University 1895-2020:  The African American Experience pays tribute to the ongoing contributions made by African Americans on the Eastern Illinois University campus. Please know that any and all proceeds collected from the sale of the this hardcover book will help fund scholarships and other Office of Inclusion and Academic Engagement endeavors to further assist underrepresented students at EIU.




“In reading the book, I was really impressed with the history of African Americans at Eastern Illinois University.  The book is very informative and the pictures are beautiful.”


Elmer “Jack” Pullen, EIU Financial Aid Counselor


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Mona Y. Davenport, Ph.D.
Executive Director

1122 - Blair Hall

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