Download Audio (237 KB)

Download Interview Transcript, PDF File (218 KB)

Download Interview Transcript, TXT File (36 KB)

Download Interview Transcript, DOCX File (58 KB)


Media is loading


Oral history interview with Illinois State Normal University alum Darrel A. Sutter, Class of 1960. The interview was conducted on July 31, 2023, by Rexton Jones, at the time an undergraduate student at Illinois State University. The interview delves into Sutter's background, his experiences at ISNU, and his teaching career.

Sutter describes his early life being raised on a farm and reminisces about his high school years, where despite farm responsibilities he participated in plays and vocal activities. Upon graduating, he enrolled at ISNU and eventually elected to pursue a career in teaching, having been influenced by guidance from professors like Dr. Pohlman and Dr. Keeley. Sutter majored in history and sociology. He recalls having multiple jobs during college, including grading papers and working at an ice-skating rink. Despite his heavy workload, he regrets not being more involved in student organizations.

Sutter fondly remembers his time at Roanoke-Benson High School, where he taught for 29 years before transitioning to a faculty position at Lincoln College. He emphasizes the impact teaching had on him and the pride he feels for his students' successes, many of whom pursued esteemed careers.

Sutter expresses gratitude for ISNU, which provided him the opportunity to teach and establish scholarships to assist financially disadvantaged students. He emphasizes the importance of staying connected with his alma mater and describes his close relationship with Dr. Larry Dietz, a former president of ISU. He has fond memories of spending time with Dietz and attending sporting events together.

Sutter also shares his experiences traveling to the Soviet Union, highlighting the cultural differences and societal conditions he observed. He discusses the antiquated infrastructure, agricultural practices, and interactions with local people. Despite the culture shock, Sutter expresses a desire to revisit the country and witness the changes that have come about over the past few decades.

Interview Date


Biographical Statement

Darrel A. Sutter grew up on a farm near Colfax, Illinois. He worked his way through Illinois State Normal University, graduating with a degree in Social Science Education in 1960. Darrel taught history, economics, and sociology at Roanoke-Benson High School until 1995. While at Roanoke Benson, he was also a student council adviser, was the scholastic bowl coach, and obtained a master’s degree from ISU in 1965. He later taught sociology at Lincoln College in Lincoln, Illinois. Darrel’s love for teaching and helping students resulted in his sponsorship of five scholarships at ISU and his induction into the ISU College of Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 2012. Many of his students still visit and communicate with Darrel to this day. A wonderful tribute, written by a former high school student is available at: A High School Inspiration That Lives On.

Interview with Darrel A. Sutter, Class of 1960