Chairman of the Special Olympics, an FBI legend and Vietnam veteran-turned-NFL champion will be presenters for this year’s Indiana State University Speaker Series. 

John Douglas, legendary profiler and FBI Investigative Support Unit founder, will kick off the series on Sept. 16. Douglas is best known for his development and authority of criminal profiling, which emerged in the 70’s as a tool to help hunt down violent offenders. In his most recent book, “The Killer Across the Table: Unlocking the Secrets of Serial Killers and Predators with the FBI’s Original Mindhunter”, Douglas takes a look at the life and minds of several notable criminal cases, discusses details about the profiling process and takes a look at the strategies used to crack the most challenging cases. 

Singer/songwriter Mandy Harvey be the second speaker on Oct. 22. Harvey lost her hearing at age 19 but has not let that stop her from chasing her dream. She now tours the world playing her original music and presents her inspirational story of continuing to try. Some of her speech topics include: Embracing the Silence: Finding New Reasons to Smile, Facing Your Fears: One Small Step at a Time, and Surviving the Death of your Dream.

Tim Shriver, chairman of the Special Olympics, will follow Harvey on Nov. 6. Shriver is the son of Special Olympics founder Eunice Shriver and currently serves more than 3 million athletes in over 180 different countries. Shriver speaks on subjects related to the history of the disability rights movement, the creation of Special Olympics, the importance of inclusion, respect and acceptance and discovering and acting upon what matters most. 

Criminal justice reform activist Victoria Pratt will speak on Feb. 3. Pratt has gained national and international recognition for her work to reform the criminal justice system. Her experience with the court system has allowed her to use creative problem solving to help find alternatives to jail to low-level offenders. Her speech addresses “Why What We Do Matters”.

Rocky Bleier will be on Tilson stage on Feb. 24 to share a message about “Leadership Through Teamwork, Perseverance and Hope”. After being drafted in the Vietnam War not long after he was drafted for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bleier was seriously wounded and many thought his NFL career was over. Against all odds, he reconditioned himself and was drafted by the Steelers as a running back and went on to win four Super Bowls. 

The season’s final speaker and second speaker in the Indiana State University Jamal Khashoggi Address on Journalism and the Media will be Steve Inskeep, a host for NPR’s ‘Morning Edition’. Inskeep has reported in countries across the globe and told stories of the less famous, including Pennsylvania truck drivers, Kentucky coal miners, U.S.-Mexico border detainees, Yemeni refugees, California firefighters and American soldiers. Inskeep will speak on March 16. 

All Speaker Series events start at 7 p.m. in Tilson Auditorium on Indiana State’s campus. Before the events, the speakers’ books will be available for purchase with a signing to follow the presentation. 

These events are free and open to the public. For more information, go online to or call 1-877-ISU-TIXS.

On Campus

The Commons: The food court area of Hulman Memorial Student Union (HMSU), where students meet up, grab a bite, study and hang out. The Fountain is just outside.

Condit House: The brick home that stands on the Quad is an optional residence for Indiana State University’s president. Not all presidents have lived on campus, but Dr. Deborah Curtis, ISU’s current president does.

The Quad: The large, grassy area on the southeast side of campus is the front yard of the Condit House and a student hang out when the weather is nice. Dreiser, Gillum, Normal and Tirey Halls, as well as the Technology and Fine Arts Buildings surround often shady space where students string hammocks and play Frisbee and organizations host events.

The Quads: This is the Lincoln Quadrangles and its dining hall. Not to be confused with the above definition of the outdoor area. The Lincoln Quadrangles are upperclassman housing but the dining hall is open to all students.

George: He’s the guy behind the counter at George’s Café. “This is ‘the place to eat,’” alumnae Allanee Quick said. “A staple in an ISU diet. The line is worth the wait,” student Jamie Cuffle said. 

The Rec:This is the Student Recreation Center, where all students can go to play sports, workout, swim or lounge in the hot tub. The rec is constantly improving and there are plenty of pick-up games and even a juice bar in the lobby. Intramural sports are also played here, as well as training for Trike and Tandem.

Sycamore Slang

Roll Trees: Another phrase used to cheer on our university. The Arbor Day Foundation recognized State as a Tree Campus and due to our Sycamore tree heritage, ISU has many slogans and cheers involving trees. Check out Colt Slack’s 2015 song, “Roll Trees – Indiana State University Anthem,” on YouTube.

The Walk: An unofficial Homecoming bar crawl along Wabash Avenue from campus to the Memorial Stadium, where the Sycamores play football. This is not sponsored nor encouraged by the university in any way.

Fountain Run: It is exactly as it seems. Traditionally this meant that to be official Sycamores, freshmen had to run through the fountain with a group of friends. Now people do it for fun at the beginning of the school year or to cool down on a hot day. Sometimes they opt out all together.

Railroaded: To get stuck going somewhere because a train is crossing or blocking the tracks. “I hadn’t heard anyone say they were railroaded until I came to ISU. It doesn’t happen nearly as often in my hometown, so we really don’t have a name for it,” student Jillian Bontjes said. There are a lot of trains in Terre Haute, so always leave a bit early just in case and NEVER try to outrun a train, NEVER drive around the gates, and NEVER climb over a stopped train.

The Bally: This is the college bar in Terre Haute that also has a Pizza King inside. The Ballyhoo Tavern has been around since 1948 and it is a large hangout spot for the over 21 college students and alumni during homecoming. This is a bar so anyone under the age of 21 cannot and will not be allowed into the establishment, it is not affiliated with ISU. Its the bright blue building behind Universtiy Hall.