Interview with Matthew Rillie, Class of 2015 (2021)


Matthew Rillie



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Oral history interview with Illinois State University alum Matthew Rillie, Class of 2015. The interview was conducted via Zoom videoconferencing software on April 13, 2021, by Laura Schultze, then an undergraduate student and member of the ISU Student Alumni Council.

Rillie, who uses they/them or he/him pronouns, describes himself as an active participant in campus life during his time at ISU, emphasizing his involvement in various clubs and advocacy initiatives, particularly within ISU Pride and Diversity Advocacy. They recall a campus culture characterized by passionate student engagement in advocating for better policies and resources while also prioritizing fun. Rillie highlights the dedication of ISU students who, despite balancing multiple jobs, invested their extra time in building their community and working for change. Notably, he discusses Pride’s successful campaign to bring more gender-inclusive bathrooms on campus.

Rillie expresses gratitude towards impactful faculty and staff members who provided leadership and support, shaping their own journey and professional aspirations. He reminisces about his involvement in extracurricular activities such as Leaders of Social Change, which profoundly influenced his perspective on service-learning and education beyond the classroom. Rillie also touches on the evolution of campus services and student experiences, noting changes in how students access resources and engage with campus life, particularly in response to technological advancements. Additionally, they share insights into their friend group’s favored leisure activities, including biking, stargazing, and coffee outings.

Interview Date



  • Introduction; experiences with ISU Pride: 00:00-05:53
  • Influential mentors and staff: 05:53-10:40
  • Leaders of Social Change: 10:40-13:15
  • Familiarizing himself with the university: 13:15-15:29
  • Consuming news while a student: 15:29-17:54
  • Activities with friends: 17:54-20:48

Interview with Matthew Rillie, Class of 2015 (2021)