Library offers exhibit on famous alumni

Deanna Tadlock, Staff Reporter

Eastern alumni such as Sean Payton, Tony Romo, Jerry Van Dyke and Joan Allen are being remembered in Booth Library as a part of the ongoing “Famous Former EIU Students” exhibit.

Community members are encouraged to learn more about the famous people who attended Eastern by taking a walk through the library’s exhibit. Some Eastern alum to look out for are Mike Shanahan, Sean Payton, Tony Romo, Jerry Van Dyke and Joan Allen.

The exhibit has a variety of alumni on display from those in the sports world such as Tony Romo, the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, Sean Payton, the head coach of the New Orlean Saints, and Mike Shanahan, the head coach of the Washington Redskins, and those in entertainment like actor Jerry Van Dyke, who had lead roles in television shows like “My Mother and the Car”, Burl Ives, a singer and narrator of “Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer,” and Joan Allen who starred in Hollywood films such as “The Notebook,” “The Bourne Supremacy,” “Bourne Ultimatum,” and “The Bourne Legacy.”

Robert Hillman, the university’s archivist at the library, said it was vital for students and community members to see the success of alumni.

“The Eastern connection is important here because it might inspire people to say, ‘Well look, this person was a theatre major and became an actor, or actress.’ It tends to inspire people,” Hillman said.

Famous alumni like Joan Allen and Burl Ives have also had solo exhibits in the past.

Hillman said one they had for Ives was in 1990, when the Burl Ives Art Studio was dedicated to him.

Hillman said it might be a shock that all of these well known names came from a small school like Eastern.

The “Famous Former EIU Students” exhibit was first shown a couple of years ago. It contains background information on each of these alumni.

“We try to not put exhibits that aren’t relevant,” Hillman said.

Members of the library brought the exhibit back out for those who did not view the exhibit in the past.

The library shows many exhibits throughout the years. Members of the library have been organizing programs and exhibits since 2002.

The next feature will be in the fall semester, and it will be a dedication to the 50th anniversary of the 1960’s.

Deanna Tadlock can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].