Make a difference for the UIS Prairie Stars Athletics
Thank you so much for your interest in building a competitive and respected NCAA Division II program at UIS. On this page, you can read about athletic funds, including scholarships, and use Donate buttons to make a gift to each fund.
Pave the Way Fund
We invite you now to join us and become part of history as together we strive to return Prairie Star Soccer to prominence. Now that the Aydin Gonulsen scholarship has been endowed, our game plan is to raise additional funds to turf Kiwanis Stadium. We have created the Pave the Way Fund to recognize the past tradition and to assist in returning the program to prominence…brick by brick.
Other Giving Opportunities
UIS Athletics Unrestricted Fund
When giving to scholarship funds, your $25, $50, $100 will go into the account you choose, and that money will either go straight to the next student who gets the award (if the scholarship is current use) or into the endowed scholarship fund to add to every future award.
Ron Gibbs Athletic Scholarship
Ron Gibbs had been a Springfield resident since 1930. Before his death in 1985, Mr. Gibbs had a 50-year officiating career comprised of football and basketball games at every level. These included events with the IHSA, NIT, and NCAA as well as 15 Super Bowl games. The Ron Gibbs Athletic Scholarship was established by the Gibbs family to honor the memory of Ron and his wife, Josephine who died in 1992. Applicants for this scholarship must be student-athletes with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a genuine interest in sports officiating.
Aydin Gonulsen Scholarship
This scholarship, for soccer athletes, honors former soccer coach Aydin Gonulsen, who began coaching soccer at UIS (then Sangamon State University) in 1977. In his first game as coach, the SSU Prairie Stars beat Bradley University 4-2. The sport continued to thrive and in 1986 the SSU Prairie Stars won their first NAIA national championship. Gonulsen went on to win National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Men’s Soccer Championships with UIS in 1986, 1988 and 1993. His 1986 team competed in the World College Championships, where UIS beat NCAA Division I champion UCLA. Thanks to the generous contributions of many past players, fans, friends, and alumni, the awards from this endowed scholarship will be matched 1:1 for the next ten years through the recently completed Access Illinois Scholarship Initiative.
Howard C. and Lynda Y. Humphrey Scholarship
Tireless and passionate supporters of UIS, Howard and Lynda Humphrey have made indelible contributions to the university, both through their generous gifts and their volunteer service. Howard, a graduate of the University of Illinois, served as Chairman of the Board, CEO and president of the Franklin Life Insurance Company. After he retired, Howard played a vital role in his community through his leadership in several businesses and civic organizations. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the University of Illinois Foundation and founder of the UIS Development Advisory Board. Now deceased and greatly missed, he was recognized in 2002 with the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Illinois Alumni Association. Lynda Humphrey continues her commitment to UIS, especially through the family’s endowed scholarships for global experience, legal studies (in memory of daughter Lee Humphrey Dodd), and this scholarship for student-athletes. The Howard C. and Lynda Y. Humphrey Scholarship was established in 2002 to provide student-athletes with funds to assist in their academic endeavors while participating in the athletic programs at UIS. The general student population is considered upon lack of a suitable student-athlete.
Lorber Family Scholarship Fund: AN ACCESS ILLINOIS Matched Fund
Jeff and Sandy Lorber came to Springfield in 2012, when Jeff began his work at UIS as Vice Chancellor for Development and at the University of Illinois Foundation as Senior Vice President. The Lorbers are providing a scholarship for UIS student-athletes because they believe athletics help round out the complete student experience both for students who compete and for students who support the Prairie Stars teams.
Jack Marantz Scholarship Fund: An ACCESS ILLINOIS Matched Fund
When the Marantz family sought to commemorate the life of former WWII marine and CEO of the Bank of Springfield, Jack Marantz, they decided upon an avenue that would perpetuate two of his driving passions: sports and education. The senior Marantz, who considered himself to have been an at-risk student in high school, strongly believed that sports help students stay out of trouble. The Jack Marantz Memorial Scholarship was established by Jack Marantz’s son, Tom, to encourage and support UIS student-athletes. This endowed scholarship qualifies for the Access Illinois Match Program. Scholarships produced by the endowed fund will be matched for the next ten years.
Marsaglia Scholarship Fund: An ACCESS ILLINOIS Matched Fund
Donated by Frank Marsaglia, Head Men’s Golf Coach at UIS, this scholarship is for undergraduate athletes with financial need. Because it qualifies for the Access Illinois match, the scholarship will have twice the impact for each year of Mr. Marsaglia’s pledge.
Paul O’Shea Athletic Scholarship Fund: An ACCESS ILLINOIS Matched Fund
Unrestricted support for undergraduate athletes with financial need. You can add to Mr. O’Shea’s generous gift in any amount using the Donate button above.
Mallory Pate Memorial Scholarship Access Illinois Fund: An ACCESS ILLINOIS Matched Fund
Unrestricted support for undergraduate athletes with financial need. Created by UIS Athletic Director Kim Pate and her husband Rick in honor of Rick’s father, Mallory, this scholarship and others for athletes helps to recruit excellent athletes and build great teams.
Bill and Nancy Simpson Endowed Athletic Scholarship: An ACCESS ILLINOIS Matched Fund
Unrestricted for undergraduate athletes with financial need. Because the fund is endowed, the Match Program will match the amount of the scholarship 1:1 for the next TEN years. Thank you!
Staley Family Athletic Scholarship: An ACCESS ILLINOIS Matched Fund
Unrestricted for undergraduate athletes with financial need. The Staley Family has had an athletic scholarship for several years. To qualify for the match program, they increased the amount of their gift, which will now be doubled in its impact. Thank you!
Guerry L. Suggs and Jo A. Alessandrini Athletic Scholarship: An ACCESS ILLINOIS Matched Fund
Guerry Suggs and Jo Alessandrini have been good friends to UIS. Guerry and his first wife, Michelle (deceased) funded the Michelle M. and Guerry L. Suggs WUIS Performing Arts Studio. Now Guerry and Jo have provided a generous scholarship for undergraduate athletes with financial need. Currently being funded under a five-year pledge, the resulting scholarship will qualify for the Access Illinois 1:1 match which will double the impact of the scholarship for ten years.
Turanchik Scholarship: An ACCESS ILLINOIS Matched Fund
This scholarship is for an undergraduate student-athlete with financial need. The scholarship will be matched through the Access Illinois Scholarship Initiative. The donor, George Turanchik, is the father of UIS’ former goalkeeper, Jack Turanchik. It’s always so nice to have support from students’ parents. Thank you!
Unes Family Athletic Scholarship: An ACCESS ILLINOIS Matched Fund
This scholarship is for an undergraduate student-athlete with financial need. The scholarship will be matched through the Access Illinois Scholarship Initiative. This is another scholarship donated in honor of a former student, this time Adam Unes, a member of the Prairie Stars baseball team who received the UIS Coach’s Award in 2012. Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Unes, for this scholarship.
Manny Velasco Scholarship
Manny Velasco, who retired this year, was tennis coach at UIS since 1980. Well known throughout Springfield for his generosity and support for the sport of tennis, Manny has been an integral part of the success of Prairie Star Athletics and the development of UIS student-athletes. Manny has rightfully become known as the “dean” of the UIS coaching staff. With the support of his many former student-athletes and other friends and admirers, this scholarship is now endowed, and because it qualifies for an Access Illinois Scholarship match, the award from the scholarship will be matched for the next ten years. Cheers to all who donated to make this happen in time!
- Men’s Baseball Program Fund
- Men’s Baseball Scholarships Fund To give to baseball scholarships, give to the Baseball Program Fund and in the comment box tell us you would like your gift to go to baseball scholarships.
- Men’s Basketball Program Fund
- Men’s Basketball Scholarships Fund
- Women’s Basketball Program Fund
- Women’s Basketball Scholarships Fund
- Men’s Golf Program Fund
- Men’s Golf Scholarship Fund To give to golf scholarships, give to the Men’s Golf Program Fund and in the comment box tell us you would like your gift to go to golf scholarships.
- Women’s Golf Program Fund
- Women’s Golf Scholarship Fund To give to golf scholarships, give to the Women’s Golf Program Fund and in the comment box tell us you would like your gift to go to golf scholarships.
- H. Albert Inkel Memorial Scholarship The University of Illinois Springfield women’s golf coach Nichole Inkel-Pongracz started the H. Albert Inkel Memorial Scholarship Fund with her mother, Becky Inkel, to honor the coach’s father, who died recently. The scholarship will be awarded to an UIS women’s golfer. The student-athlete must be in good academic standing and write an essay on how golf has influenced her life.
- Men’s Soccer Program Fund
- Men’s Soccer Scholarship Fund
- Women’s Soccer Program Fund
- Women’s Soccer Scholarships Fund
- Men’s Tennis Program Fund
- Men’s Tennis Scholarship Fund
- Women’s Soccer Program Fund
- Women’s Tennis Scholarships Fund
- Tracy Tennis Scholarship The University of Illinois at Springfield (then Sangamon State University) has enjoyed intercollegiate tennis since 1979. Tennis is one of ten intercollegiate athletic programs competing at the NAIA Division-II level at UIS as of Fall, 2009. In 1981 both men’s and women’s teams won their district championships and advanced to nationals where the women finished 8th. Over the following 20 years since their inception, the men’s team has been represented by at least one member of the team to the NAIA nationals for 20 years, and the women have been represented nationally for at least 15 years. The Tracy Tennis Scholarship has been established to build upon the Prairie Stars’ winning tradition by allowing UIS coaches to pursue some of the top tennis high school athletes in the state. Financial assistance weighs heavily on an athlete’s college choice and the Tracy Scholarship seeks to attract the state’s most talented players through this award.
- Women’s Softball Program Fund
- Women’s Softball Scholarship Fund
- Women’s Volleyball Program Fund
- Women’s Volleyball Scholarship Fund
We welcome your inquiries. Please use the contact info below.