Gifts in Action

CARL Mobile Courtroom

Child Advocacy Residential Lab mobile courtroom

In the picture above, Clinical Assistant Professor Betsy Goulet holds up a picture of a mobile courtroom that Professor Dathan Powell and his theatre students built for the Child Advocacy Residential Laboratory program. The mobile courtroom allows child advocacy personnel to prepare for courtroom appearances through simulation exercises. Personnel from throughout Illinois will be using the courtroom.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this excellent program. Your gifts are making a difference for child welfare advocates throughout Illinois–and for the children they serve.

Read more about the program….


Dana McCarver

How would you respond to the news Dana McCarver received?

Dana McCarver ended her sophomore year exhausted.

A full load of classes at UIS and a full time job wore her out, and when she went home to Arkansas in the summer she looked drained.

Her sister, a nurse, took one look and said, “Dana, this isn’t normal. You need to get blood work done today.”

Preliminary results showed that Dana needed a blood transfusion. Good, she thought. A quick transfusion, and I’ll feel better.

But the next day, a kidney doctor called.

“Dana, you are in end-stage renal disease (ESRD). You need immediate dialysis.”

Dana, who loves nature and wants to work outdoors, thought her life was over.

Then she took a deep breath and decided to do what she could to make her new life work.

Continue reading Dana McCarver’s story…


Adam Warda

In baseball, in the classroom, Adam Warda achieves success

UIS wasn’t Adam Warda’s first choice for college.

Following high school graduation, Adam enrolled at Southern Illinois University, where Adam had a baseball scholarship.

Unfortunately, he suffered an injury and didn’t get to play as much as he had planned. After his sophomore year, he returned home to attend a junior college.

While there, he caught the eye of UIS baseball coach Chris Ramirez, and that brought him to UIS.

He’ll be graduating at the end of fall semester. So even though UIS wasn’t his first college, it will definitely be his last!

Continue reading….

Lee Humphrey Dodd Scholarship recipient featured in Leadership lived video

The video above highlights the Leadership lived by Vanessa Pratt, who received the Lee Humphrey Dodd Memorial Scholarship created in memory of their daughter by the Lynda Humphrey family. Thank you so much, Lynda, for supporting students like Vanessa!

Arts Start Visit to HeadStart Preschool

Arts Start, a Sangamon Auditorium program funded by PNC’s Grow Up Great outreach

Arts Start, which provides Sangamon Auditorium arts experiences to Springfield Urban League Head Start teachers, students, and families.  In its fourth year, Arts Start has provided pre-show learning, professional development, and more than 6,000 event tickets to Head Start students, families, and teachers.

PNC also sponsors

events and series at Sangamon Auditorium, having recently sponsored the multi-performance presentation of the Broadway show Jersey Boys in March 2014.  Their sponsorship of Class Acts, the Auditorium’s K-12 curriculum-based performing arts series, is in its fourth consecutive year.  Learn more about PNC’s gifts to UIS…


Bridget Donley for Gifts in ActionBridget Donley, Citizen of the World

UIS student Bridget Donley traveled to The Gambia, West Africa, in the summers of 2012 and 2013. She chose The Gambia because here in Illinois she works to help families, primarily West Africans, immigrate legally to the United States. Many of the students who traveled to The Gambia received support from two scholarship funds: the James L. Lundquist Scholarship Fund and the Evelyn N. Zimmerman Endowment Fund.

Bridget says, “After experiencing Africa for myself, I now have a much greater appreciation of the continent of Africa and the diversity of its land and people.”

Read more about the summer study abroad experience.

Do you know DextDexter Burnser Burns?

Dexter has been featured in a Leadership lived video about his study abroad trip to Mexico last summer. He says he could not have gone to Mexico without help from the James L. Lundquist Memorial Scholarship.

Check out the video, and be happy as I am that Mr. Lundquist chose to support study abroad. Every year seven students get help from the Lundquist scholarship.


72 for GIA listNo Longer “Resigned to Bagging Groceries”

Jon Talarico decided to attend college as a boy–even though no one in his family had ever done so. After two years at his local community college, economic issues forced him to set aside his goals. He  says he “resigned himself to bagging groceries” fulltime.  Today, Jon has begun his senior year at UIS. He is majoring in political science. The donor-funded Kent Redfield Scholarship is helping him financially.

Read more of Jon’s story.


Hillary Rikli won award funded by donors

Outstanding Student Research Award

Hillary Rikli, who graduated with a chemistry degree in 2012, won the Outstanding Chemistry Research Thesis Award, funded by gifts to the Chemistry Department. She worked with Dr. Stephen Johnson on a project related to bullet ants–reputed to have the most painful insect sting in the world. Now graduated, Hillary continues to work with Dr. Johnson on the venom of creatures like tarantulas, scorpions, and wasps (and she loves it!).  Read more about Hillary’s research.


Actor in The Old State CapitolIllinois Humanities Council Supports Video

The Illinois Humanities Council has joined individual donors in supporting the production of a video that chronicles historical events at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Produced by UIS’ Office of Electronic Media, The Old State Capitol: A Witness to History will be an entertaining and educational overview of events through history that have taken place at the Springfield landmark.

Read more about the Old State Capitol video.


JustinforwebsitenewspageJustin Rose Benefits from the UIS Fund

The UIS Fund provides unrestricted support to UIS, helping many programs and the students in those programs. One of those programs is the Black Male Collegiate Society, which seeks to empower black men to succeed in the collegiate environment. Justin Rose is a founding member of the BMCS.

Read more about Justin–and if you are a donor to the UIS Fund, thank you! Read articles and view video here.


Margie and Wayne Fox

Wayne and Margie Fox AST Award

Wayne and Margie Fox have generously funded an award for business students who demonstrate excellence in an unpaid internship. Many UIS students invest significant time in these internships, called Applied Study Terms. The Fox Award acknowledges the excellent work of selected business students.

Read about the two students, Sinem Aydin and Jill Harbison, who this year received the Fox Award.


Carly Shank and Amy Zepp prepare Head Start children for performance of Fancy NancyPNC’s $90,000 Gift Yields Impressive Results

A year ago, in May, 2011, the PNC Foundation awarded its  first Grow Up Great grant in the Springfield area to Sangamon Auditorium. The three-year $90,000 grant provided funding to enhance the performing arts experiences of 600 Springfield Urban League Head Start students.

Today, a year into the three-year grant, we have excellent results to report from the grant.



Polly Roesch

The Polly Roesch Music Room

Music at UIS is growing each year, thanks in large part to Polly Roesch and her support through scholarships and gifts. Believing in the promise of a music program that brings together students, faculty, staff, and community members to make and share music, Polly gave music scholarships, and today because of her gift musicians on campus have a beautifully renovated music room.

Read more….


Franklin's Ground SquirrelChris Young Presents Research on Ground Squirrels

This past year your gifts to the UIS Fund provided support to the College of Public Affairs and Administration, which used part of your gifts to help Environmental Science student Chris Young present research on Franklin’s ground squirrels.

Read more..