Interview with Joe McGuire, Class of 1977



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Oral history interview with Illinois State University alum Joe McGuire, Class of 1977. The interview was conducted on July 28, 2021, by Kaitlin Sullivan, then graduate advisor of the Student Alumni Council.

McGuire reminisced about his time at ISU during the mid-1970s, highlighting various aspects of campus life and reflecting on its significance in shaping his future. He vividly recalled the eccentricities of campus culture, such as the phenomenon of streaking and the “infamous” Rites of Spring, which featured all-day concerts on the Quad. McGuire emphasized the welcoming environment of ISU, which provided him with numerous opportunities for personal and academic growth, including his involvement with the Vidette student newspaper and campus television station TV-10. He credited ISU with pivotal moments in his life, such as meeting his wife and building a successful career in media. McGuire also praised the supportive faculty and administrators, notably mentioning President Gene Budig, who fostered a student-centered campus culture. He fondly recalled interactions with faculty members like Dick Hentz and Fred Mills, who had a significant impact on his academic and professional development. Reflecting on the affordability of education in the 1970s, McGuire noted the role of financial aid in supporting his journey through college. He expressed concern over the increasing complexities and costs of higher education today.

McGuire highlights campus entertainment options during his time as a student, including free movies at Capen Auditorium and on-campus concerts. He also reminisces about popular venues in uptown Normal and the relaxed social atmosphere facilitated by the era’s lower drinking age. McGuire recalls the prevalence of tobacco use among students but notes a growing awareness of its health risks. He also mentions occasional drug use, particularly during events like Rites of Spring, attributing it to the broader youth culture of the time.

He acknowledges some bureaucratic challenges and personal grievances, such as having his bike stolen twice, but emphasizes that these were minor issues compared to the overall positive experience. McGuire shares anecdotes about campus traditions, humorous events, and the development of campus infrastructure, including the delayed opening of the second Milner Library and Redbird Arena. He fondly remembers living in Whitten Hall and the unique gender ratio during his time there. The interview concludes with McGuire expressing gratitude for his ISU experiences, noting its significant impact on his personal and professional life. He encourages prospective students to seize the opportunities offered by the university and expresses willingness to support them in their endeavors.

Interview Date



  • Introduction: 00:00-04:21
  • President Budig: 04:21-06:37
  • Notable faculty and administrators: 06:37-09:57
  • Comparative difficulty of completing a college education: 09:57-12:03
  • Extracurricular activities: 12:02-13:44
  • Financial aid; work-study: 13:44-17:18
  • Prices for common goods: 17:18-19:01
  • Typical mode of dress: 19:01-20:04
  • National news; digitization of Vidette: 20:04-23:42
  • Entertainment: 23:42-28:29
  • Bloomington-Normal: 28:29-30:41
  • Alcohol and tobacco use: 30:41-32:39
  • Favorite and least favorite aspects of ISU: 32:39-35:14
  • Campus boundaries and buildings; intramural sports: 35:14-41:00
  • Humorous events: 41:00-43:48
  • Conclusion: 43:48-47:06

Interview with Joe McGuire, Class of 1977