Celebration of Giving: John Tienken Speech

John Tienken

Amazing Opportunities at UIS

Good Evening. I’ve had some amazing opportunities during my 3+ years at UIS.

Some of you might have heard of a game called squash, but when I first came on to campus many probably thought it was just a vegetable. With a few friends, I was able to build a club sport team and we’ve had the opportunity to travel to colleges across the country representing UIS and playing with a sport we love.

But Squash was just the beginning, I jumped into volunteer organizations, worked as a columnist at the newspaper, and got involved in student government as Student Trustee.

The greatest part of my experience has been that I have not been alone. There are so many student leaders her at UIS and we are so grateful for the learning and leading opportunities we have had here.

Thinking of the Future: The Student Union

Student leaders don’t just think about today, but are constantly dreaming about tomorrow and working to make their campus and community a better place.

We did that last year by passing a student fee referendum to partially fund the construction of a student union building. The students supported the student union by a 4 to 1 margin.

Student unions are places to study and hang out, come together, food late at night, and also places for leaderships where student orgs host meetings and events. They are a campus crossroads, they are the living room of student life.

Every public university in the state has a student union, and we need one at UIS.  But we can’t do it without the help of private donors.

Why I’m Grateful Tonight

That’s why I’m grateful tonight because I know somewhere among all of you might be donors who will help us realize our dream of a student union.

Thank you for all your support to help make leadership opportunities possible at UIS, and if you do decide to help, you can’t imagine how grateful all students at UIS, now and in the decades to come, will be.

So thank you—in advance!