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Former UI president to speak at May 13 commencement

Jeff Unger, News Bureau
(217) 333-1085;


Stanley Ikenberry
Photo by Bill Wiegand
 Stanley O. Ikenberry

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Stanley O. Ikenberry, the 14th president of the University of Illinois, will be the featured speaker at Commencement ceremonies May 13 at the Assembly Hall, 1800 S. First St., Champaign. He will speak at both the 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. ceremonies.

A national leader in higher education, Ikenberry plans to return to the UI faculty in June after five years as president of the American Council on Education, the nation's principal higher education association. A professor of education and in the Institute of Government and Public Affairs, he plans to teach, write and consult.

Michael Aiken, the chancellor of the UI, said he is pleased that Ikenberry accepted the invitation to speak to the graduates:

"Stan Ikenberry has played a vital role in higher education -- both at Illinois and as the leader of the American Council on Education," Aiken said. "He understands the possibilities and opportunities that lie ahead for the Class of 2001, and we feel that he will inspire this year’s graduates to achieve the great things for which we have prepared them."

Ikenberry assumed the UI presidency on Sept. 1, 1979. Accomplishments under his leadership include consolidation of the Chicago Circle and Medical Center campuses into the UI at Chicago; and the addition of a Springfield campus; establishment of state-of-the-art facilities such as the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications; the creation of a more diverse student, faculty and staff population; and greatly expanded financial support. Ikenberry’s tenure ended Aug. 1, 1995.

During his tenure at ACE, Ikenberry helped lead the development and passage of the Clinton administration’s Hope Scholarship and Lifetime Learning tax credits. He also led the effort to develop a strong policy position in preparation for the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act in 1998.

Student aid and research funding also increased sharply during Ikenberry’s tenure at ACE, spearheaded by efforts such as The Student Aid Alliance. ACE also led efforts on several legal issues in the federal courts, and worked to relieve institutions from burdensome regulations.

Ikenberry is the immediate past chairman of the board of trustees of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Earlier, he led the boards of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, the Association of American Universities and ACE.

Before coming to Illinois, he was senior vice president of Pennsylvania State University and was a professor in the Penn State Center for the Study of Higher Education.

Ikenberry received a bachelor’s degree from Shepherd College in Sheperdstown, W.Va., in 1956. He earned a master’s degree and a doctorate from Michigan State University in 1956 and 1960, respectively. He holds six honorary degrees.