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Giving to the Great Lakes Centers

For more information on giving to the Great Lakes Centers, download our prospectus (.pdf) or contact Susan Mennenga at 312-355-4501 or

The Crucial Need for Private Support

The primary mission of the University of Illinois is education and research. State dollars allocated for occupational and environmental health are used to support teaching of graduate courses and research. Moreover, the overall percentage of the University of Illinois’ budget provided by state assistance has been cut back continually since the late 1980s. Formerly “state supported,” the University is now “state assisted.” That assistance totals under 35 percent of the operating budget—down from 72 percent in 1954 and 42 percent only a few years ago. State dollars do not support service, outreach, or the building of community and global partnerships. To create and maintain programs that extend beyond the classroom or laboratory requires other resources.

For the past 25 years, the Great Lakes Centers have been funded primarily through competitive federal grants. The types and amounts of these grants vary from year to year. There is no assurance that the agencies which fund our Centers will have funds in the next fiscal year or even that the agencies themselves will continue to exist from one administration to another. GLC does not have a dedicated faculty position for its Director or for any of its faculty. GLC does not have a state operating budget to support administrative personnel or pay for supplies and utilities. GLC does not have any fiscal support to carry out its role as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. If we were to stop writing grants today, the Centers would soon disappear.

We are seeking philanthropic support to secure the existence of the Centers into the future. Donations will be put into a permanent endowment. Interest from this endowment will support a dedicated leadership position and will provide the Centers with basic operating expenses to assure the continuity of their work despite the variations in funding available through grant cycles. These funds will also be used to support Visiting Scholars who can enrich our academic community with their scholarship and broaden our school of thought beyond the walls of our university. These funds will also be used to support our global mission as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.

An Invitation to Partnership

You can create a living legacy for yourself, a family member, a respected mentor, or colleague, through a gift that can support one of several areas. All categories below offer naming opportunities.

Endowed Directorship
$3.75 million
Support of the Directorship of the Great Lakes Centers.
The person selected for this position would be a professor at the UIC School of Public Health dedicated to directing the Centers and to conducting teaching and research on global environmental and occupational health issues.

Center Endowment
$5 million
These funds would be used to provide ongoing support for the operating expenses of the Centers, including the role as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.

Visiting Scholars Endowment
These funds would be used to support the travel and living expenses of up to six national and international scholars per year who would conduct teaching, research, or service at the Great Lakes Centers or at one of their partner institutions around the world.

Global Centers of Excellence Program Endowment
$750,000 per center
$750,000 is required for the establishment of each international center of excellence in occupational and environmental health at our partner institutes around the globe. Current centers include the Louise Hamilton Center for Children’s Environmental Health at the Institute of Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and Gynecology and the Chornobyl Data Management Center at the Institute of Endocrinology in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Endowed Health in the Arts Program
$1.5 million
These funds would be used to provide for a coordinator and general operating expenses for our Health in the Arts Program. This program provides training, research, and service on the special occupational health and safety needs of visual and performing artists.

The name of each donor will appear in perpetuity on all publications, educational, and public relations materials emanating from each category. Please consider helping the Great Lakes Centers continue their success and service in improving, promoting, and maintaining the health and safety of workers, families, and communities across Illinois and around the world.

How to Give to the Great Lakes Centers

For more information on providing support to the Centers, please contact Susan Mennenga at the Office of Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, 312-355-4501 or