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Eastern Illinois University is a state university in Charleston, Illinois. Established in 1895 as the Eastern Illinois State Normal School, a teacher's college offering a two-year degree, Eastern Illinois University gradually expanded into a comprehensive university with a broad curriculum, including Baccalaureate and Master's degrees in education, business, arts, sciences, and humanities.
Eastern Illinois Normal School was established by the Illinois State Legislature in 1895 "to train teachers for the schools of East Central Illinois." A 40-acre campus was acquired in Charleston and the first building was commissioned. When the school began classes in 1899, there were 125 students and an 18-member faculty.
Old Main building
The first building was finished in 1899  and is called Old Main, though it is formally named the Livingston C. Lord Administration Building in honor of EIU's first president, who served from 1899 to 1933. Built of Indiana limestone in a heavy Gothic revival style with turrets, towers, and battlements, its distinctive outline is the official symbol of the school. Old Main is one of "Altgeld's castles", five buildings built in the 1890s at the major Illinois state colleges. Governor John Peter Altgeld was instrumental in funding the Illinois university system, and he was especially fond of the Gothic style. Eastern's "Old Main" and Illinois State University's Cook Hall are the only schools where the "castle" is not named after Altgeld. Other original Gothic Revival buildings include Booth Library and Blair Hall. Blair Hall was restored after a disastrous fire in 2004. In fall 2008, the university opened the newly constructed Doudna Fine Arts Center, designed by international architect Antoine Predock. The 138,000-square-foot (12,800 m2) complex houses the music, theatre, and visual arts departments.
Through the twentieth century, the school changed its name several times in order to reflect its transition from a teachers college into a multi-purpose institution that could be of wider service to Illinois. Thus, Eastern Illinois State Normal School became Eastern Illinois State Teachers College in 1921, which then became Eastern Illinois State College in 1947. In 1957, the Illinois General Assembly changed the name of the institution to Eastern Illinois University.
Samuel M. Inglis (appointed in 1898 but died before officially assuming office)
The EIU Alumni Courtyard, library quad and the Doudna Fine Arts Center
Eastern Illinois University has roughly 7,800 students. Admission is selective. Tuition is approximately $8,880 per year for residents of Illinois and other bordering states, while it is $11,110 for non-residents. Additional fees amount to $2,923.48. The university estimates its average cost-of-attendance to be approximately $24,640 per academic year.
In the US News & World Report college rankings, EIU is classified as a regional public university and fits into one of four regions: the Midwest Region. In the publication's 2019 rankings, EIU ranks No. 5 among its peers in that region. EIU's Business Program is ranked No. 405 as Best Undergraduate Business Programs.
Other academic divisions include The Graduate School, Sandra and Jack Pine Honors College, and the School of Continuing Education. The Graduate School was founded in 1951 and has an enrollment of approximately 1,800 full and part-time students with more than 300 faculty holding graduate faculty status. The university also includes the Center for Academic Support and Achievement, the Office of Inclusion and Academic Engagement, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, and the Office of Study Abroad. The university's Booth Library hosts yearly exhibits, the Ballenger Teachers Center, and numerous digital collections. The main university art museum, the Tarble Arts Center, maintains a 1,000-piece permanent collection, including a 500-piece collection of late 20th-century Illinois folk arts and related archival information. A majority of the holdings are concentrated on art from the state of Illinois and the Midwest region.
Eighty-eight percent of graduates find work in a field related to their major within six months after graduation.
Eastern Illinois University offers over 170 student organizations, ranging from religious, multicultural, service, academic, Greek, honorary, governing, social, athletic and political organizations.
The school's daily newspaper is The Daily Eastern News which was founded on Nov. 5, 1915 and is one of only three universities in the United States to run its own newspaper printing press and is one of the smallest universities in the country to have a daily newspaper.
Eastern Illinois also has a student-run radio station, Hit-Mix 88.9 WEIU, WEIU (FM). The radio station can be heard across Coles County and surrounding counties on 88.9 FM, as well as online through their website.
WEIU-TV is a PBS station on the campus of Eastern Illinois University. WEIU-TV airs adult and kids PBS programming as well as a student-produced 30 minute nightly newscast. WEIU covers Champaign, Christian, Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Jasper, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt, Sangamon, Shelby, and Vermilion counties in Illinois and Vigo County in Indiana.
Eleven on-campus residence halls include seven co-ed, three female-only, and one male-only. Throughout the year the residence halls participate in competitions and various community service activities.
Eastern Illinois University features three residence hall dining centers (Taylor, Thomas, and Stevenson), the University Food Court with five fast food locations, Java Beanery & Bakery (Java B & B), Chick-fil-A, Charleston Market, Panther Grille, Freschetta Pizza, Subway and two Marketplace Convenience Centers. They also operate a restaurant-style option (Reservation-Only Dining) on the weekends.
Eastern Illinois is also the host of the IHSA Boys and Girls State Track and Field Finals, which have been held at O'Brien Field since the 1970s. They also host the IHSA Girls State Badminton Finals and the State Journalism Finals.
Simply referred to as the "EIU Alma Mater," the song itself was composed by Friederich Koch during his tenure as a music teacher at Eastern. The lyrics were composed as a poem titled "For Us Arose Thy Walls and Towers" by Isabel McKinney, a professor of English at Eastern from 1911 to 1945. These lyrics were originally set to the German folk tune Die Wacht am Rhein (The Watch on the Rhine), but were changed around the time of World War I due to anti-German sentiments at the time.