FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date: September 25, 2000
Contact: Cheryl D. Peck
Pearson gift will fund scholarships for Capital Scholars
SPRINGFIELD - The University of Illinois at Springfield has announced a gift in excess of one-half million dollars from Raymond and Ann Pearson, retired Springfield physicians, to fund scholarships for the Capital Scholars program, UIS' new four-year baccalaureate program.
"We are deeply grateful to the Pearsons for helping to assure an auspicious beginning for the Capital Scholars program. Their gift will be instrumental in attracting academically gifted students to the program and will provide an opportunity for future generations of scholars at UIS," said UIS Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn.
The Capital Scholars program is the centerpiece of UIS' continuing development as a younger, more residential campus. Beginning in fall 2001, the program will admit between 100 and 150 first-year students from throughout the state with strong high school records. It is expected to grow to about 350 students in four years.
The Pearsons are longtime residents of Springfield, where they started their medical practices in the 1950s, Raymond in internal medicine and Ann in pediatrics. Their commitment of time, talent, and resources to UIS has included Raymond's service on the Sangamon State University Board and Foundation, as well as financial support of both the UIS Annual Development Fund and UIS Chancellor's Fund for Excellence. Ann is also a major donor to the University of Illinois. Over the years, the couple has generously supported an array of activities on both the Springfield and Urbana-Champaign campuses.
In 1995, Ann was chosen by The State Journal-Register as the recipient of the Copley First
Citizens Award for Greater Springfield. She has served as a member of the YWCA Health Education Board and as a Girl Scouts troop leader.
Designed to encourage responsible citizenship and prepare future leaders for careers in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, the Capital Scholars program will employ team teaching and collaborative learning. Classes will be small and there will be an emphasis on interaction between students and faculty. Students may select from UIS' 20 bachelor's degree programs, ranging from the liberal arts and sciences to business and public affairs. The program will be directed by Professor James Stuart and will be housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. About 30 faculty members, some new to UIS, will teach in the program.
"Capital Scholars is expected to benefit the institution's entire educational enterprise. The presence of lower division full-time students will energize the campus and help strengthen our intellectual, cultural, and social life," said UIS Provost Wayne Penn.