When Thomas Doubet (MA ’81 LAS) came to Springfield in the mid-70′s, he already had a master’s degree and a good job with the Department of Agriculture managing county fairs across the state.
But Tom Doubet liked to learn, so when he discovered that Sangamon State University (now UIS) had a program* that allowed students to design their own course of study, he was on board. Thinking he might one day manage the Illinois State Fair—”the big daddy fair of fairs”—he designed a master’s program in “Fairs and Expositions” with courses is psychology, law, marketing, and more.
Tom went on to a long and successful career working for the state. Although he never managed the “big daddy fair,” he did see practical results of his work: “The national fair association used my paper on the qualifications of fair managers for many years, as a template for what fair boards should look for when hiring managers.”
Tom Doubet loved his time at Sangamon State. “Going to Sangamon State was a breath of fresh air. Every class was taught by a professor. If it said in the catalog that Dr. Munkirs was going to teach the class, it was Dr. Munkirs who showed up. I spent so much time with my advisors. They were clearly very, very interested in what I was doing.”
In recognition of the unique and very special process that the Liberal Studies program offers both undergraduate and graduate students at UIS, Tom Doubet has decided to fund a current-use scholarship—the first that targets students in this program.
Each fall, when Tom and his wife, Sue (BA ’79 PAA), come to the UIS Scholarship Luncheon and meets the student who received his scholarship, he’ll be able to find out what this grateful student has decided to study.
Will it be animal psychology…historical restorations….lobbying…travel writing… sports marketing? With all the options at UIS, it’s impossible to predict.
* Now called Liberal and Integrative Studies.