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News Release

Jim Gobberdiel
Director, Marketing and Communications
University of Illinois Foundation

June 2, 2007


Commitments Total Over $990 Million

Chicago Campus Seeks $650 Million
To Accelerate Discovery and Sharing of Knowledge,
Enrich Student Experiences, Expand Great Cities Commitment,
Promote Healthy Societies, Offer Broader Access to Academic Opportunity

The University of Illinois launched the largest fundraising effort in the school's 140-year history today (Friday, June 1). The goal of Brilliant Futures: The Campaign for the University of Illinois is to raise $2.25 billion to support students, faculty, research, programs and campus environments. The U of I Foundation has received commitments of $990.8 million in gifts, grants and pledges to the campaign as of May 29, 2007 , according to Foundation President Sidney S. Micek.

The Brilliant Futures Campaign was publicly launched tonight at an event attended by over 1,115 alumni and other supporters at Chicago 's Navy Pier. The Campaign began on July 1, 2003 with its “planning phase” and will continue its eight and one-half year quest through year-end 2011.

U of I Campaign Among Nation's Elite and Largest for Public or Private Universities 

Currently there are 29 U.S. universities, including Illinois , with campaigns with goals of

$1 billion or more. The Illinois campaign at $2.25 billion will rank among the elite and largest campaigns for higher education in the nation. There are just 10 campaigns that are, or have, been launched or completed that are larger. Six of these are private universities ( Columbia , Cornell, Johns Hopkins, NYU, Stanford and Yale) and four are public institutions ( Michigan , UCLA, Virginia and Washington ).

Of the total $2.25 billion Campaign objective, $1.5 billion is the goal for the Urbana-Champaign campus; $650 million is for the Chicago campus and $28 million is for the Springfield campus. The combined goal for University administration and the U of I Foundation is $72 million. The funding goals were determined by the chancellors at each of the three campuses according to priorities identified in a University-wide strategic planning process initiated by University President B. Joseph White in 2005.

“The greatness of an institution resides in its people, their intelligence, ambition and motivation, so it is appropriate that the goal of our campaign is to provide U of I faculty and students with more opportunity and more resources,” said President White.

Chicago Campus Targets Five Key Campaign Funding Areas

Campaign funds for the Chicago campus will help UIC focus on combining an urban university with the resources of a leading research institution to accelerate the discovery and sharing of knowledge, enrich student experiences, expand the Great Cities Commitment, promote healthy societies and offer broader access to academic opportunity.

“The Brilliant Futures Campaign will help us realize our strategic vision of becoming the nation's premier urban public research university and our mission of providing cutting-edge research, knowledge-based public service and outstanding health care,” said UIC Chancellor Sylvia Manning.

At tonight's launch event, former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw was introduced by Erika Walsh, a 1999 Shaw Scholar who is an associate at the law firm of Schiller DuCanto and Fleck LLP. She received the DuPage Legal Assistance Foundation's Award in May for her contributions to pro bono service in DuPage County .

“As a single mother in my senior year at UIC, I was fortunate to receive the Shaw Scholarship, which each year provides one exceptional student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with a full year's tuition at UIC,” said Walsh. “I was the seventh of 15 recipients of the Shaw family's generosity.”

Shaw was a working student at Navy Pier when he first dreamed of helping impoverished students.

“It was very grinding to work a 50-hour week while going to class,” he said. “I always thought that if a student could get money with no strings attached, it would really help. Once that person gets out into the world, he or she would want to give back and it would radiate like a ripple in a pool.”

Urbana-Champaign and Springfield Campuses Outline Campaign Funding Priorities

The Urbana-Champaign campus plans to use Campaign funds to cultivate leaders for the 21st century, provide excellence in academic programs, encourage breakthrough knowledge and innovation, create transformative learning environments and ensure that the best and brightest students have access to the Illinois experience.

“Increased private support will allow us to fulfill our historic land-grant mission of providing the students of today with an excellent education so they may become the researchers, scholars, teachers and leaders of tomorrow,” said Richard Herman, chancellor of the Urbana-Champaign campus.

The Springfield campus, now an accredited four-year institution, will utilize Campaign funds to offer innovative, high-quality liberal arts education, public affairs activities and professional programs.

“The funds we receive through The Brilliant Futures Campaign will enable UIS to achieve our goal of being recognized as one of the top five small public liberal arts universities in the nation,” said UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen.

Volunteer Leadership Benefits Campaign 

The Development Committee of the U of I Foundation's Board of Directors is functioning as the University-wide Executive Steering Committee for the Brilliant Futures Campaign. Chair of the committee is former insurance industry executive James M. Benson, now president and CEO of Clark Benson LLC.

To ensure that campus-level fundraising is addressed within the scope of the overall Campaign, a campaign steering committee also exists for each campus and the co-chairs of those committees serve on the Campaign Executive Steering Committee.

UIC Campaign Steering Committee

The UIC Campaign is led by co-chairs Patrick F. Daly, chairman and CEO, The Daly Group; Louis A. Friedrich, managing director, Bernstein Global Wealth Management; and G. Stephen Irwin, MD, an orthopedic physician.

Members of the committee include Richard S. Hill, chairman and CEO, Novellus Systems Inc.; Colette Holt, principal, Colette Holt & Associates; William H. Kaufman, MD, retired general surgeon; Carole E. Kaufman, first vice president and financial advisor, Smith Barney Citigroup; William Lamar, Jr., senior vice president, head of U.S. marketing, McDonald's Corporation; William C. Merchantz, president and CEO, Lakeview Technology Inc.; Ann Nerad, civic leader; Joseph A. Piscopo, retired chairman, Pansophic Systems; James C. Pritchard, MD, pathologist; Bernard Shaw, retired principal anchor, CNN America; Stephen J. Sinclair, Sr., chief operating officer, Northbrook Energy; Kay Schwichtenberg, president and CEO, Central Life Sciences; Kong Meng Tan, MD, radiologist; Rhonda Churchill Thomas, attorney, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP; William D. Unger, partner emeritus, Mayfield Venture Capital; Milford G. Wyman, MD, retired cardiovascular physician; and Rae Wyman, attorney.

“All of these engaged volunteer leaders lend significant expertise and resources in accomplishing the University's vision of creating brilliant futures for all people whose lives are touched by its work,” said Benson. “Overall, the involvement of alumni and supporters as volunteers—in our classrooms and behind the scenes—has been incredible and we are grateful for this important partnership,” he added.

The Brilliant Futures Campaign is the third comprehensive capital campaign for the University of Illinois. The initial fundraising endeavor, Campaign for Illinois , exceeded its $100 million goal by raising $137 million between 1979 and 1985. The second effort, Campaign Illinois , was launched in 1991 with a goal of $1 billion. When the campaign closed on Dec. 31, 2000 , gifts totaled $1.53 billion, making it one of the largest fundraising efforts conducted by a public university at that time.