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Gifts worth more than $18 million to benefit Urbana campus

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Photo by Joyce Seay-Knoblauch, ACES-ITCS

The university dedicated the Khan Annex at an event Sept. 22. The 24,000-square-foot addition on the north side of Huff Hall houses programs of the College of Applied Health Sciences, including the Center on Health, Aging and Disability and the Master of Public Health program. The building addition completes the architectural design envisioned nearly 90 years ago when Huff Hall was still on the drawing board. The original design called for two wings, connected by a central structure to form a Block I in the heart of campus.

« Click photo to enlarge


Sixteen private gifts totaling more than $18 million earmarked for programs at the UI’s Urbana campus were announced Sept. 23 at the UI Foundation’s 76th annual meeting.

The M.T. Geoffrey Yeh Student Center was dedicated Sept. 23. The 20,500-square-foot addition to Newmark Civil Engineering Laboratory was completed in July.

The M.T. Geoffrey Yeh Student Center was dedicated Sept. 23. The 20,500-square-foot addition to Newmark Civil Engineering Laboratory was completed in July. (Click photo for more) | Photo by James S. Vattano, College of Engineering

The gifts from alumni and friends will be included in the university’s ongoing Brilliant Futures, the UI’s $2.25 billion capital campaign to support the campuses at Urbana, Chicago and Springfield.

Brilliant Futures has surpassed its goal. As of Aug. 31, more than $2.27 billion has been committed to the campaign. Gifts directed to the Urbana campus have totaled $1.6 billion, surpassing the campus’s goal of $1.5 billion. Outright gifts, grants, and pledges to Brilliant Futures will support students, faculty members, academic programs, and other activities on the three campuses. The fundraising effort, which began on July 1, 2003, will conclude on Dec. 31.

Featured gifts at the annual meeting:

  •  Outright and deferred gifts totaling seven figures from Alan and Joy Baltz, of Port Orange, Fla., will support the College of Business, the School of Music and the Illinois Promise scholarship program.
  • A major gift from the estate of Ruby Kanfer, of Champaign, will create a professorship and clinical psychology fellowship in the department of psychology. The gift honors the memory of professor Frederick H. Kanfer, an internationally influential clinical psychologist who served on the UI faculty for many years.

    Brilliant Futures

    (Totals are for all three campuses,
    July 1, 2003, to June 30)

    • 234,414 total donors
    • 130,044 first-time donors
    • 108,370 alumni who donated to the campaign
    • 15,255 donors who gave every year during the campaign
    • 20,095 corporations and foundations who gave during the campaign
    • 18,135 current and former UI employees and retirees who contributed during the campaign

  •  A $1 million gift from Peixin He and Xiaoming Chen, of Austin, Texas, will provide unrestricted support to the department of chemistry. Their gift honors Larry Faulkner, a former UI chemistry faculty member and administrator who later served as president of the University of Texas.

  •  Nearly $1 million from Roscoe Jackson II, of Eureka, Kan., will support research and other educational activities, including awards for graduate students, in the department of geology.

  •  A gift of $1 million from Ron Marcuson, of Chicago, will fund scholarships for fifth-year accounting students in the College of Business who plan a career in taxation.

  •  A bequest of between $1 million and $1.5 million from Horace and Kate King Wu, of Omaha, Neb., will create funding for counseling, emergency loans and scholarships for international students on the Urbana campus.

  •  A seven-figure gift of farmland from Barbara Jean Benway, of Springfield, Mo., will provide equal support to the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, the College of Education and the University Library. The gift honors the memory of her husband, Russel Benway.

  •  Ongoing support from Science Olympiad, a Chicago-based science education not-for-profit organization that operates the nation’s largest K-12 team science competition, will help fund the activities of the long-term partnership between Science Olympiad and the UI. During a three-year merger transition period, the UI, through its Illinois Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education initiative, will work closely with Science Olympiad to increase staffing and programs while transferring Science Olympiad’s national operations to the Urbana campus.

  •  More than $500,000 from Frederic Nearing, of Barrington, Ill., will provide funding for the new Electrical and Computer Engineering Building.

  •  A gift of $1 million from Roger and Stephany Joslin, of Bloomington, Ill., will create the Roger and Stephany Joslin Professorship in Law.

  •  A bequest from Gene and Judy Neigoff, of Surprise, Ariz., will provide generous support to the department of mechanical science and engineering. The Neigoff Fund will support endowed faculty positions, promote academic excellence and increase educational opportunities for students, especially those with financial need.

  •  A six-figure gift from Betty Chan Po-King, of Hong Kong, through the Yew Chung Education Foundation, a Hong Kong-based education enterprise dedicated to early childhood development, will support the Yew Chung-Bernard Spodek Chair in Early Childhood Education, a faculty position in the College of Education.

  •  A $1 million gift from Alice and Rex Martin, of Lakeside, Mich., through the Rex and Alice A. Martin Foundation, has provided funding for the UI Division of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Martin Softball Complex.

  •  A $4 million gift from Geoffrey Yeh, of Hong Kong, has funded construction of the M.T. Geoffrey Yeh Student Center in Newmark Laboratory in the department of civil and environmental engineering. The 20,500-square-foot, energy-efficient addition to Newmark Lab includes new classrooms, a conference room, meeting rooms for student groups and an atrium for informal gatherings.

  •  A significant gift from Jon and Bobbi Khachaturian, of New Orleans, establishes Khachaturian Hall in the Yeh Center in Newmark Laboratory. The technologically advanced, environmentally friendly Khachaturian Hall can seat 138 students, making it the largest classroom in Yeh Center.

  •  Gifts valued at $500,000 from Robert Kern, of Palm Harbor, Fla., will provide support for the College of Veterinary Medicine’s equine programs.

The UI Foundation’s annual meeting also included seminars held in conjunction with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, a series of seminars presented by Illinois faculty members and administrators, and the dedication of the M.T. Geoffrey Yeh Student Center in Newmark Lab. Additionally, the university dedicated the Khan Annex, a 24,000-square-foot addition to Huff Hall that includes laboratory, instructional and professional collaboration facilities. UI alumni and Champaign philanthropists Shahid and Ann Carlson Khan have committed $10 million to fund the addition.

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