U of I’s Official Fundraising and Private Gift-Receiving Agency

The University of Illinois Foundation is the official fundraising and private gift-receiving agency for the University of Illinois. The U of I Foundation works in close partnership with the Office of Advancement at UIS, providing many valuable services and helping us succeed in our efforts on behalf of UIS.

Here are just a few ways the Foundation helps us:

  • They assist us in planned giving arrangements, adding their extensive experience and resources. With their help, we can work successfully with donors from when they first think about a gift through to the execution of a plan that achieves the donors’ personal and charitable priorities.
  • The Foundation processes all the gifts that come to UIS, helping us to guard donors’ intentions and acting as custodian for endowed funds.
  • The Foundation also helps with event planning, communications, and stewardship.

In these and so many other ways, their expertise and professional experience adds to our ability to advance support for UIS.

Special Donor Recognition Society

The Foundation recognizes donors who make significant contributions to the University and to UIS through a Giving Society. The Presidents Council is the University’s highest recognition society.

The William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership

This award, presented by the University of Illinois Foundation, honors the many contributions of an outstanding advocate for the University of Illinois, William E. Winter, by recognizing individuals outside the university structure who play active roles in securing private support. Learn more about Mr. Winter, the award and recipients.

William E. Winter Award Winners

2021: Mark and Julie Staley

Mark and Julie Staley have called Springfield home for nearly two decades. Their belief in the power of education is what drew the couple to getting—and staying—involved at UIS.

Julie is president of the Staley Museum in Decatur, as well as CEO and owner of Spencer Films and president at Spencer Theatre Company. Mark is general partner of SB Partners and VLS Holdings, which specialize in private equity and other alternative investment vehicles. They are both involved in the leadership of their two family foundations: The A.E. Staley Jr. Foundation and the Staley Family Foundation.

“Education is a cornerstone of our family charitable foundation and we are always committed to supporting those institutions in our area,” the couple said. “UIS is a vital part of the Springfield community and our surrounding area. It has grown exponentially throughout the years, and continues to help Springfield thrive.”

Their involvement at UIS began with Mark joining the Stars Athletic Advisory Board and Julie using her TV news anchor skills to benefit the University by hosting and emceeing events, including the annual UIS Scholarship Luncheon and the Good as Gold awards ceremony which honors local volunteers. She also has been a pitch person for NPR Illinois (WUIS).

Mark and Julie have financially supported numerous projects at UIS, including the Student Union and Baseball Turf projects. The couple established the Staley Family Athletic Scholarship to benefit the UIS Department of Athletics and continue to support the UI System through an endowed scholarship at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Mark remains a member of the Stars Athletic Advisory board and Julie serves as a board member on the Reaching Stellar Campaign Committee. Julie also recently became a UIS student in the University’s Doctor of Public Administration program.

They are exceptional advocates for the University, and it was our privilege on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, to present Mark and Julie Staley with the William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership. Enjoy a recording of the full program on-demand.

2019: Professor Larry Shiner

Leader, Volunteer, Advocate

Dr. Larry Shiner began teaching at Sangamon State University in 1971, and he has been an enthusiastic advocate for UIS ever since. “I loved the place from day one,” he says.
Larry came as a philosophy professor, but he soon began adding classes in adjacent areas—European history classes, a history of art class, a course on architecture. This interdisciplinary approach is one of the things he loves at UIS, along with its innovative approach to education, commitment to public affairs, and emphasis on teaching and putting the students first.
He has a special interest in the art, music and theater programs at UIS and energetically advocates for them among people he knows—so much so that Larry helps identify patrons who might be interested in supporting the programs.
Larry has also served on committees related to fundraising. These include the UIS Development Advisory Board, the Faculty and Staff Campaign Council, and more recently the Reaching Stellar Campaign Planning Committee.
He and his wife, Catherine Walters, generously support UIS financially, including the Suzanna Kay Shiner Scholarship Endowment Fund, created by Larry and Catherine in 2002 in memory of their daughter.
Larry and Catherine are great advocates of the University, and it was a privilege to present Larry Shiner with the William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership at the 2019 Celebration of Philanthropy event on Wednesday, April 17, 2019.


Tributes

“From the time Larry Shiner came to Sangamon State University in 1971, he has helped UIS to become a place that people want to call their own. He did this first through 35 years of teaching and scholarship at UIS. In our earliest days, Larry helped establish a student-centeredness that is still a hallmark of who we are. Larry is still engaged with the University, especially with art, music and theatre programs. He was instrumental in creating the art gallery, and we have a new theatre major partly due to his advocacy. Larry’s passion, energy and enthusiasm for the arts and humanities and for all of UIS is so contagious and encouraging that donors can’t help but be inspired. An outstanding teacher and scholar, he’s a wonderful advocate for UIS.”
Susan J. Koch
Chancellor, University of Illinois Springfield

“Larry’s commitment never wavers. Fellow faculty members respect his thoughtful perspective on important matters. Most actions he and Catherine take to support UIS are not necessarily visible to all—they don’t seek credit. They are generous with their support of many areas at UIS. Although ‘retired’ for a number of years now, Larry’s continuing engagement and leadership with the annual Faculty and Staff Campaign has been going on for two decades. In recent years, he has also served as an active member of the successful Reaching Stellar Campaign Committee. He is UIS!”
Jeff Lorber, Ed.D.
Vice Chancellor for Advancement, University of Illinois Springfield
Senior Vice President, University of Illinois Foundation

“Larry exemplifies the best of what it means to be a scholar and university citizen. Both during his time as a faculty member and in the years that have followed his retirement, he has been a productive scholar, most recently exemplified by his book to be published shortly by Oxford University Press on the philosophy of olfactory experience. During his years of teaching as well as in his retirement years, he has served as a much-appreciated mentor to students and to other faculty members, offering insightful editorial comments to improve prospective publications. Over the years as a university citizen, Larry has generously given of his time by serving on planning committees. He has been a sounding board for new ideas and an enthusiastic cheerleader for UIS. I am delighted that he is being honored with the William E. Winter Award.”
Harry J. Berman, Ph.D.
Provost and Interim Chancellor (retired), University of Illinois Springfield

“Larry Shiner has been an extraordinary supporter of the Arts on the UIS Campus. His giving didn’t stop at sharing his expertise teaching Art History classes, he also contributed singing bass in the inaugural year of the UIS Chorus (2001). He has been a great mentor to junior faculty (many now senior). Over the years Larry has attended nearly every UIS Music event, investing both time and monetary gifts to nurture, sustain and share a musical presence on campus. It’s always wonderful to see him in the audience. We are grateful for his passion and generosity.”
Sharon Graf
Director of UIS Music, Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology
University of Illinois Springfield

“Larry has been a remarkable colleague and a generous friend and supporter of the Visual Arts Gallery at UIS. He has served as a consistent and reliable source of support – in particular, with the annual gallery fundraising auction. His kindness is palpable, and I am inspired by his gentle and generous ways. Larry invests fully and thoroughly, in individuals and more broadly at UIS; it has been an honor to learn from and work alongside him.”
Allison Lacher
Exhibitions Manager, UIS Visual Arts Gallery
University of Illinois Springfield

 

2018: David Farrell

UIS helps Springfield thrive

Shortly after moving to Springfield in 1975, David began a career in state government, capped by 20 years as Director of Public Affairs for the Illinois Commerce Commission and retirement in 2002.
Because he values his local Springfield community so much and wants to see it thrive, David is a strong, loyal and generous advocate for the University of Illinois Springfield.
“My hopes for UIS are huge,” he says. “It sends people out into the community who understand a larger world but who stay here to start businesses, enter medical careers and become professional government employees. It’s the engine that drives the locomotive of Central Illinois along.”

NPR Illinois at UIS

NPR Illinois is one way UIS creates that larger view of the world, so it’s not surprising that David has been such a strong advocate for public radio—especially through his on-air appeals during pledge drives. “I usually make a free-form pitch,” he says, “so people don’t know what to expect. Self-deprecating humor and mixing it up a little helps to keep the pitch interesting.”
People tell Randy Eccles, general manager/publisher for NPR Illinois, that they actually like to listen to the pledge drive when David is on air.

“I’m happy to participate in the pledge drive because there’s nothing else like NPR. It appeals on so many levels of the mind and emotion. It’s just unique.”

As a member of the Citizen Advisory Panel at NPR Illinois, David was instrumental in helping to start the station’s Health and Harvest Desk. Springfield can also thank him for Fresh Air, which years ago he helped to bring to the radio station “It’s such a vital program,” he says. “People just needed to see what it was like, so I helped to pull together an initial event and line up some potential donors so we could get the show started here.”

Illinois Innocence Project at UIS

In 2008, David became interested in another cause at UIS. He noticed in the paper that the Illinois Innocence Project, which seeks the release of wrongfully convicted inmates, would be holding its first Defenders of the Innocent Reception.
“I’ve always had an interest in fairness,” David says. “You want people to understand that if they are arrested, they’re going to be part of a fair system, and that’s what the Innocence Project at heart is—a way to make the justice system stronger.”
David and his wife Laurie attended the reception and since then he has contributed his ideas for fundraising to the Project—in addition to becoming a faithful donor. He sits in on meetings to discuss marketing and communication, he stands up at the Defenders Reception and asks people to donate and he and Laurie initiated and underwrote a donor appreciation event at Maldaner’s.
When the Project purchased a copy of the PBS documentary The Central Park Five, David suggested showing it downtown and holding a reception afterwards. “We got a very different audience to that event,” he says, “and because of the reception, people had a chance to stay and talk.”
David sees the Project as more than just an attempt to free the wrongfully convicted:

“The Innocence Project raises awareness that this is not a simple anomaly. It’s a problem in the mechanics, and we have to work at that. This work strengthens the entire society.”

David and Laurie also appreciate the profound impact the Project has on students, who are often the first to review claims of innocence. “That’s exciting!”
David’s advocacy at UIS extends to the UIS Central Illinois Nonprofit Resource Center at UIS, the Theatre program and the UIS Cares Food Pantry.

“He’s that wonderful of a supporter.”

Often it’s David himself who makes a difference. John Hanlon, executive director of the Illinois Innocence Project, says, “David is one person I can count on to lift us up because of his energy and deep belief in what we are doing. I will always walk away happier after speaking with him. He’s that wonderful of a supporter.”
It is our privilege today to present this wonderful supporter with the 2018 William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership.

2017: Paul O’Shea ’61 FAA Urbana

Springfield architect Paul O'Shea honored for Outstanding Advocate Leadership

On Wednesday, April 26, 2017, at the UIS Celebration of Philanthropy on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, the University of Illinois Foundation today announces Springfield native and long-time resident Paul O’Shea as the recipient of the 2017 William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership. The award celebrates individuals who play active roles in securing private support for the University of Illinois.
A licensed architect who recently retired as planning and design coordinator for the City of Springfield, O’Shea has received many awards for his community service, including the 2012 First Citizen Award from The State Journal-Register.
O’Shea has been a tireless advocate for the University of Illinois Springfield. His greatest service has been as an ambassador building relationships between Springfield and UIS.
“The university represents an asset to Springfield that is hard to describe,” O’Shea said. “It has a major impact on our region and the city. Both the university and the community benefit when we come together.”
O’Shea works behind the scenes to encourage financial support for UIS by suggesting fundraising events, helping to plan them and inviting people to attend. He has inspired many to give through his outspoken confidence in UIS and his and his wife’s giving.
He began providing financial support for UIS in 1998 and through the years has given often to many university funds, especially for athletics. In 2012, O’Shea began funding athletic scholarships, and more recently he and his wife, Lynne, have made a generous gift in support of the UIS Intercollegiate Baseball Program Field Turf Project.
The William E. Winter Award is named for the late CEO Emeritus of the 7-Up Company and a longtime member of the University of Illinois Foundation Board of Directors. Past recipients of the William E. Winter Award include W. Robert Felker, Pamela McClelland, Cullom Davis, Bob Clary, Leonard Branson, Thom Serafin, Tom Marantz, Julie Kellner, Guerry Suggs and Michelle Suggs (deceased); Howard Humphrey (deceased), James Lundquist (deceased), and Clifford Greenwalt.

2016: Robert Felker ’74 PAA

Illinois Foundation President James H. Moore, UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch, William E. Winter Award Recipient W. Robert Felker, UIF Director Saul Morse, UIS Vice Chancellor for Advancement Jeff Lorber, U of I Board of Trustees Chair Edward L. McMillan

UIS alum Robert Felker honored for Outstanding Advocate Leadership

SPRINGFIELD – The University of Illinois Foundation today announces W. Robert Felker, graduate of the University of Illinois Springfield and partner at Gator Trading in Chicago, as the 2016 William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership. The award was presented at the UIS Celebration of Philanthropy on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, at UIS. The U of I Foundation is the fundraising arm of the University of Illinois and its three campuses.
Robert Felker BA ’74 is one of the most accomplished alumni of the University of Illinois Springfield, and in 1997, he received the University of Illinois Alumni Achievement Award.
He currently serves as a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s financial markets and payment system working group. Formerly, he was chairman of J.P. Morgan Futures Inc., and chairman of the board of directors of National Futures Association. In 2006, he was inducted into the Futures Industry Association’s Futures Hall of Fame on the FIA’s 50th anniversary.
Felker has also been an active and vocal advocate for UIS, especially as a member of the University of Illinois Foundation Board of Directors. As a Board member, he has served on the Budget and Finance Committee, the Investment Policy Committee, the Membership and Governance Committee, and the Audit and Investment Committee.
“Bob’s impact on the life of the UIS campus is immeasurable,” said UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch. “He has been a valued member of some of the most important committees at the University of Illinois Foundation, and he cares deeply about the future of our University. As others in leadership have before me, I have met frequently with Bob to discuss UIS successes and challenges, and I always appreciate his wise counsel. It’s a genuine privilege to see him receive the 2016 William E. Winter Award.”
In addition to his service at the Foundation, Felker has also been a proactive and energetic advocate for fundraising at UIS. He has frequently hosted UIS events in the Chicago area, served as co-chair of the successful Brilliant Futures Campaign and promoted corporate grants for UIS. Bob and his wife, Patty, have also funded the W. Robert and Patricia W. Felker Scholarship given each year to a student with high academic merit.
“In a quiet and often behind-the-scenes manner, Bob Felker has exemplified the ideals of philanthropy,” said Jeff Lorber, UIS vice chancellor for advancement. “He is generous with his time, talent and resources, working to make his alma mater a great environment for learning. He truly cares about student success in the classroom and beyond.”
The William E. Winter Award, named for the late CEO Emeritus of the 7-Up Company and a longtime member of the University of Illinois Foundation Board of Directors, celebrates individuals who play active roles in securing private support for the University of Illinois.
Past recipients of the William E. Winter Award include Pamela McClelland, Cullom Davis, Bob Clary, Leonard Branson, Thom Serafin, Tom Marantz, Julie Kellner, Guerry L. Suggs and Michelle M. Suggs (deceased); Howard C. Humphrey (deceased), James Lundquist (deceased), and Clifford L. Greenwalt.

Illinois Foundation President James H. Moore, UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch, William E. Winter Award Recipient W. Robert Felker, UIF Director Saul Morse, UIS Vice Chancellor for Advancement Jeff Lorber, U of I Board of Trustees Chair Edward L. McMillan

2015: Pam McClelland ’90 CBM, MA ‘95 CBM

Pamela McClelland received 2015 William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership at UIS

Above: Pamela McClelland (third from left) with 2014-15 scholarship recipients Sandra Huxtable, Elizabeth Kesinger and Elizabeth Janeteas

William E. Winter, CEO Emeritus of the 7-Up Company and a longtime member of the University of Illinois Foundation Board of Directors, headed the volunteer component of the University’s first major campaign in the early 1980s. He became a director of the U of I Foundation in 1984 and is currently a life director. In 1990 the Foundation established the William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership in Bill’s honor.
Pamela McClelland BA ’90, MA ’95, this year’s recipient of the Winter Award, is a retired partner of Kerber, Eck & Braeckel LLP. Pam came to the university as a single mother in her forties. She enrolled at UIS not for a degree but merely to refresh her bookkeeping skills. With encouragement from accountancy professors like Don Stanhope, Pam soared and before long, graduated with highest honors. Then she not only passed the certified public accountant exam but won the Elijah Watts Sells Award, bestowed on the very few students students who score above 95.5% on all four sections of the exam.
Pam joined Kerber, Eck & Braekel (KEB), one of Springfield’s top accounting firms. On the way to becoming a partner, she added a master’s degree from UIS and became one of UIS’ best advocates. She has been instrumental in bringing many scholarships to UIS, including the Donald F. Stanhope Alumni Scholarship, the Leona Vollintine Accounting Scholarship in Honor of Donald Stanhope, the Leona Stanford Vollintine Scholarship, the KEB Accountancy Scholarship, and her own scholarship, the Pam McClelland Accountancy Scholarship.
In addition to advocacy for scholarships, Pam has been an active volunteer on campus. In 1999, she received the University of Illinois Alumni Association (UIAA) Loyalty Award, and in 2004, she became the first to receive the UIAA Distinguished Service Award. She is currently vice-chairman of the UIS Campus Alumni Advisory Board (CAAB).
Pam received her award at the UIS Celebration of Philanthropy on Thursday, May 21, 2015.

 

2014: Cullom Davis

Cullom Davis, 2014 Recipient of The William E. Winter Award For Outstanding Advocate Leadership

This past Tuesday, May 20, the University of Illinois Foundation presented Cullom Davis with the 2014 William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership. The award celebrates individuals who have played an active role in securing private support for the University of Illinois.
Cullom Davis is a founding faculty member of Sangamon State University (now UIS) and Emeritus Professor of History. He was briefly dean of Brookens Library. A strong campus advocate and fundraiser, he has brought significant gifts to UIS for Brookens Library, the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, NPR Illinois, and other programs.

“Through the Lens of History”

According to David Racine, Executive Director of the Center for State Policy and Leadership:

“No individual has made a greater contribution to the University’s scholarship and public service in the study of Abraham Lincoln than Professor Cullom Davis.

“His vision in creating the Lincoln Legal Papers Project at SSU in the 1980s, and his generous support since, have produced the innovative Papers of Abraham Lincoln, a joint initiative of UIS’ Center for State Policy and Leadership, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, and the Abraham Lincoln Association.

“His role in launching and supporting the Center’s Annual Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series since 2002, and in underwriting the Center’s documentary film about the Old State Capitol Historic Site, completed in 2013, are just two more examples of Cullom’s success in bringing life to UIS’ public affairs mission through the lens of history.”

A Professor, Administrator, and Scholar

While a professor, Cullom created and directed the University’s Oral History Office and helped design its M.A. program in public history. Following his retirement from UIS in 1995, he served as Director and Senior Editor of the Lincoln Legal Papers (which later became the Papers of Abraham Lincoln) from 1988 to 2000.
“It has been my privilege to serve and then support the University of Illinois at Springfield,” he says. “Present at its origins (as SSU) in 1970, I embraced the student-centered education, the public affairs mission, and its early determination to make Brookens Library the physical and intellectual center of our campus. Whatever I have accomplished pales in comparison with the rewards I have enjoyed.”
You can read Cullom Davis’s own personal oral history  (pdf). UIS is better today because of him.  Thank you, Cullom, for being such a strong advocate and friend to UIS.