Reaching Stellar Update

UIS students
UIS students, first day of fall semester, Monday, August 27, 2018.

Reaching Stellar Gifts of Note

A university campaign to raise private support can have a dramatic and long-lasting positive effect on student success, academic and extra-curricular programs, and new and updated facilities. Below, we list just a few of the recent gifts we have received in support of the five campaign priorities. We hope that you will consider adding your own support to UIS during the Reaching Stellar campaign. More information here.


Richard and Char Osborne have supported scholarships at UIS with a generous gift in their will. Richard Osborne earned his MBA from UIS in 1973. He is Senior Managing Director of Madison Industries, a private equity firm in Chicago, Illinois. Prior to joining Madison, Osborne served as CEO, Chairman and President of Scotsman Industries, Inc. Under his leadership, Scotsman sales grew from $150 million to $750 million. In 2013, Osborne received the University of Illinois Alumni Achievement Award—the University’s highest honor bestowed upon graduates. The Osbornes have also given generously to the Student Union.

Academic Excellence

You may have heard that the downtown Springfield business incubator Innovate Springfield recently became part of UIS and the first hub of the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN). Much of the funding for the Network and its cornerstone, the new Discovery Partners Institute, will come from the state, but not all of it. Donors are excited about this new opportunity for UIS to encourage business innovation among students and the local community, and UIS is also receiving gifts of private support for this endeavor. These are the programmatic advances that continue to create academic excellence for UIS students.

The UIS Center for Lincoln Studies

UIS is putting together plans for its new academic center that will focus on Lincoln life, leadership and legacy. We are pleased to announced a seven-figure anonymous contribution to the Center and extremely grateful for the vision of this donor and the commitment to Lincoln’s legacy that drove the gift.

The Public Good

Patrons from throughout central Illinois enjoy attending events at the UIS Performing Arts Center. Patrons do, but until recently, performers such as Jerry Seinfeld and Tony Bennett, were probably less enthusiastic about their backstage spaces. That has changed now, following a renovation of two dressing rooms and the attached hallway, funded by anonymous donors. The rooms now have a warm, inviting look, with new furnishings and updated materials. The donors, who value the public good that the Performing Arts Center brings to the Springfield area, wanted the dressing rooms to reflect well on the Springfield community.

Facilities & Technology

The Student Union opened for use in January 2018, and donors continue to make gifts of support to the new building. Perhaps they are inspired by how quickly the “STU” has become the center of life on campus and how much students value its bright, comfortable spaces. The Tracy Family, for example, have given a significant gift of support, adding their gift to the $6 million+ that has come from private gifts.