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UIS receives large estate gift to establish scholarships 

February 24, 2004

SPRINGFIELD - The University of Illinois at Springfield has received a gift of more than $200,000 from the estate of Ann M. Booth to establish scholarships in honor of her late husband Byron D. Booth, a prominent Springfield resident.

Mrs. Booth, who died in July 2000, wanted to honor the memory of her husband by contributing funds to establish three scholarships in his name at UIS, according to Beckie Ethell, of Advanced Financial Planning Consultants and executor of the Ann Booth estate.  “Mrs. Booth was a very giving person, and felt that having her husband’s name associated with scholarships would be a fitting tribute to him,” Ethell said. “[These scholarships] will make a positive difference in a lasting way for those who receive them.”

The scholarships, the first of which will be awarded this fall, are earmarked for incoming freshmen who have expressed financial need, according to Vicki Megginson, associate chancellor for development at UIS.

Neither Mrs. Booth nor her husband attended UIS.  But in 1990, Mr. Booth conducted interviews for the Oral History Office at this university with seven people from the Springfield International Visitors Commission.

Mr. Booth, who died in 1993, was a marketing executive for Stewart Warner Corp., Hobbs Division, for 40 years, retiring in 1986.  He graduated from Springfield College in Illinois and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Lincoln College of Law.

He served as president of the Lincoln Library Board and the Springfield Recreation and Playground Commission and was a member of the Springfield Board of Education for five years.  He was also a member of the Illinois Historical Society, Abraham Lincoln Association, Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Society of Automotive Engineers, International Visitors Commission, World Affairs Council of Central Illinois, Farm and Industrial Equipment Institute, and Illinois High School Basketball Hall of Fame.

Mrs. Booth was a volunteer at Memorial Medical Center and an active member of the Springfield Garden Club.  She and her husband shared an interest in horticulture and the environment, world issues, Abraham Lincoln, and Russia.

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 40 degree programs – 20 bachelor’s, 19 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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