Long-time supporters of UIS through their interests on campus, including WUIS, Brookens Library, and alumni events, Mary and Jim Beaumont will make their most lasting impact on UIS students through the two endowed UIS scholarships that bear their names.
The couple has two scholarships that bear the Beaumont name, each reflecting the couple’s interests.
Mary, who earned a master’s in communication in 1989, has been an active volunteer her whole adult life. One day when she was in her 40’s, it occurred to her that what she really cared about was the education of women. “I want women to have opportunities and choices,” she says.
Not surprisingly much of her volunteer labor has been on behalf of the American Association of University Women. One of the scholarships at UIS sponsored by the AAUW and awarded each year to women is named for Mary: the AAUW Mary M. Beaumont Scholarship. In 2010, Mary and Jim generously endowed this scholarship so that its impact on student lives would be timeless.
Jim Beaumont, already a seasoned journalist when he enrolled at Sangamon State University (now UIS, earned a master’s in public administration in 1984 and then continued working at the Chamber for 30 years, becoming Vice President before he retired in 2002.
Reflecting Jim’s career as a journalist, in 2011, Mary and Jim created an endowed scholarship for a student in UIS’ Public Affairs Reporting program.
The Beaumonts say they are more involved on campus now than they ever were as students. “UIS is just a marvelous resource for the community,” Mary says. “It has added so much to Springfield.”
Through these two scholarships, the Beaumonts will also be adding much to Springfield and other Illinois communities through the access they will be providing to UIS students and through the contributions that these students will make in the years to come.