Alumni unite in Springfield to advocate for higher education on behalf of University of Illinois System

On Wednesday, May 10, more than 100 alumni from the University of Illinois System’s three universities (Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield) will be in Springfield to meet with legislators for University of Illinois Alumni Day at the Capitol. This event is held in conjunction with the Board of Trustees meeting, which takes place Thursday, May 11.

Lunch and a briefing program will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Sangamo Club (227 E. Adams St.). University System President Timothy Killeen will speak about the importance of state funding for higher education and the challenges that the budget impasse has created for the University. Following the briefing program, alumni and University leaders will take a group photo on the steps east of the Capitol in front of the Abraham Lincoln statue at 1:15 p.m. Legislator meetings will follow. There will be availability for media interviews following the group photo.

Coordinated by Illinois Connection—the legislative advocacy network of the University of Illinois Alumni Association—and in partnership with the University’s Office of Governmental Relations, this annual event brings alumni together to deliver a unified message to lawmakers on behalf of the University System. Alumni will meet with their elected representatives to encourage funding support for the University of Illinois and higher education in general. University System President Timothy Killeen, Executive Vice President Barbara Wilson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Robert Jones, University of Illinois at Chicago Chancellor Michael Amiridis and University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Susan Koch will be in attendance.

“I am proud and humbled that so many of our loyal alumni share their time, year-in and year-out, to meet with legislators and advocate for the U of I System,” Killeen said. “Their stories resonate—real-world examples of our power to transform lives and collectively build the next-generation workforce that is critical to move Illinois forward.”

“Legislators appreciate hearing personal stories from their constituents,” said State Senator Toi Hutchinson. “As a proud alumna of the University of Illinois, I am encouraged by the dedicated and passionate alumni who are advocating on behalf of their Alma Mater and voicing their support for higher education. Everyone in the state benefits from a strong public education system.”

“The importance of higher education to the state of Illinois cannot be underestimated,” said U of I at Chicago graduate and UI Alumni Association Board member Peter Skosey. “The University of Illinois is a critical part of the solution to the state’s challenges. Advocating on behalf of my Alma Mater is the least I can do to help.”

For more information about the UI Alumni Association’s Illinois Connection advocacy program, visit

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The University of Illinois Alumni Association is an independent, not-for-profit organization that strives to enhance the Universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield by connecting, inspiring and celebrating more than 700,000 alumni.

The University of Illinois System is a world leader in research and discovery, the largest educational institution in the state with more than 81,000 students, more than 24,000 faculty and staff, and universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The U of I System awards more than 20,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees annually.