Eastern Illinois University is a state university located in Charleston, Illinois, United States. Established in 1895 as the Eastern Illinois State Normal School, a teacher's college offering a two-year degree, Eastern Illinois University gradually expanded into a comprehensive university with a broad curriculum, including Baccalaureate and Master's degrees in education, business, arts, sciences, and humanities.
The first building was finished in 1899  and is called Old Main, though it is formally named the Livingston C. Lord Administration Building in honor of EIU's first president, who served from 1899 to 1933. Built of Indiana limestone in a heavy Gothic revival style with turrets, towers, and battlements, its distinctive outline is the official symbol of the school. Old Main is one of "Altgeld's castles", five buildings built in the 1890s at the major Illinois state colleges. Governor John Peter Altgeld was instrumental in funding the Illinois university system, and he was especially fond of the Gothic style. Eastern's "Old Main" and Illinois State University's Cook Hall are the only schools where the "castle" is not named after Altgeld. Other original Gothic Revival buildings include Booth Library and Blair Hall. Blair Hall was restored after a disastrous fire in 2004. In fall 2008, the university opened the newly constructed Doudna Fine Arts Center, designed by international architect Antoine Predock. The 138,000-square-foot (12,800 m2) complex houses the music, theatre, and visual arts departments.
Through the twentieth century, the school changed its name several times in order to reflect its transition from a teachers college into a muti-purpose institution that could be of wider service to Illinois. Thus, Eastern Illinois State Normal School became Eastern Illinois State Teachers College in 1921, which then became Eastern Illinois State College in 1947. In 1957, the Illinois General Assembly changed the name of the institution to Eastern Illinois University.
The EIU Alumni Courtyard, library quad and the Doudna Fine Arts Center
Eastern Illinois University has 10,417 students, and 2,000 faculty and staff. Admission is selective. Tuition is approximately $9,987 per year for Illinois resident and $25,227 for non-residents, making it one of the most affordable universities in Illinois. There are prominent Communication Disorders and Sciences and Biological Sciences programs, though the College of Education remains the largest department. The university has an endowment of approximately $35 million. The current president is William Perry.
In the US News & World Report college rankings, EIU is classified as a Masters university, meaning one that grants no doctoral degrees and draws students primarily from the surrounding area, rather than nationally. EIU ranks in the top half of US News' rankings of Masters universities within the Midwest region.
Other academic divisions include the Graduate School, Honors College, and School of Continuing Education. The Graduate School was founded in 1951 and has an enrollment of approximately 1,800 full and part-time students with more than 300 faculty holding graduate faculty status. The university also includes the Center for Academic Support and Achievement, the Office of Minority Affairs, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, and the Office of Study Abroad. The university's Booth Library hosts yearly exhibits, the Ballenger Teachers Center, and numerous digital collections. The main university art museum, the Tarble Arts Center, maintains a one-thousand piece permanent collection, including a 500 piece collection of late 20th century Illinois folk arts and related archival information. A majority of the holdings are concentrated on art from the state of Illinois and the Midwest region.
Eighty-eight percent of graduates find work in a field related to their major within six months after graduation.
Eastern Illinois University offers over 150 student organizations. The school's daily newspaper is The Daily Eastern News.
Twelve on-campus residence halls include 7 co-ed, 4 female-only, and 1 male-only. Throughout the year the residence halls participate in competitions and various community service activities.
Eastern Illinois University features 4 residence hall dining centers, the University Food Court with five fast food locations, Java Beanery & Bakery (Java B & B), and two Marketplace Convenience Centers. They also operate a restaurant style option (Reservation-Only Dining) on the weekends.