Celebrating the sesquicentennial and more

From the Chairman (Photo courtesy of Bill Stratton)

This year marks the Sesquicentennial of the University of Illinois. A 15-month celebration is planned that will highlight 150 years of  teaching, research and public engagement. This issue of Illinois Alumni helps kick off the celebration with a variety of special features devoted to school history, notable alumni, student life and Illini sports. In addition, the University is planning a series of special events—on campus and in other locations. I encourage you to join your fellow alumni in celebrating our great institution!

Alumni Awards

In March, we recognized three outstanding alumni at the annual Chicago Illini of the Year Awards ceremony: Rebecca Snyders Darr, ’90 LAS, CEO, WINGS Program Inc.; Mary Kay Haben, ’77 BUS, former president, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, North America; and the Honorable James F. Holderman, ’68 ACES,  JD ’71, retired chief judge, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Co-sponsored by the University of Illinois Alumni Association and the Chicago Illini Club, the Chicago Illini of the Year Awards recognize the accomplishments of Chicago-area Illini. Award recipients were selected from among nearly 140,000 alumni living in the Chicago metro area. All have positively affected the University, as well as their industries and communities.

In addition, we will recognize Alumni Achievement Award and Distinguished Service Award recipients during Commencement weekend this May. William Baker, MS ’80 ENG, and Dr. Stephen Elledge, ’78 LAS, are the recipients of the 2017 Alumni Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed upon alumni by the UI Alumni Association on behalf of the University. The award is presented to those who have attained outstanding success and national or international distinction in their careers and whose accomplishments reflect admirably on their Alma Mater. Colleen Callahan Burns, ’73 ACES, is the recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Service Award, which is given to alumni who have consistently demonstrated extraordinary commitment, dedication and service to the advancement of their Alma Mater.

It is a true honor to congratulate those who have been recognized by their fellow alumni and the University of Illinois. Our award recipients help elevate the University’s profile and prestige, and we are thankful for all they have contributed to their Alma Mater and to society.

Welcome Center

Plenty of excitement and support surround the development of the new University of Illinois Welcome Center at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center. Set to open in Spring 2018, the Welcome Center will contribute to the University’s Sesquicentennial celebration. The Center will bring together alumni, students, prospective students and their families to celebrate UI’s rich heritage and to enhance Illini pride.

William Stratton, ’85 LAS

Chairman, Board of Directors
University of Illinois Alumni Association