From the Chairman: Time of celebration

From the Chairman (Photo courtesy of Bill Stratton)

Congratulations to the nearly 12,500 recent Illinois graduates who are joining the ranks of University of Illinois alumni. Numbering 700,000-plus—more than 450,000 from Illinois alone—U of I alumni are changing the world!

Congratulations are also due to Jennifer Lewis Neubauer, ’82 ED, who has been named president of the University of Illinois Alumni Association. A Champaign native and Illinois alumna, she joins us from the Ohio University Alumni Association, where she served as assistant vice president of alumni relations and executive director. You can read more about Jennifer on pg. 37.

As we welcome these newest members to the University of Illinois Alumni Association family, I would like to remind you of our mission: to connect, inspire and celebrate YOU—our alumni. If you know any recent Illinois graduates, please share the following information and encourage them to get involved.


Joining Illini clubs and groups is a great way to stay connected to the University—and your fellow alumni. They offer networks of engaged alumni across the nation and around the world; encourage and facilitate personal fellowship and professional development; and provide opportunities for alumni to give back to the University and their local communities.

Visit to find a club near you!


Our legislative advocacy program—Illinois Connection—inspires alumni to advocate for higher education funding on behalf of the University. Illinois Connection recently hosted University of Illinois Days at the state Capitol where U of I System students and alumni came together to advocate on behalf of their Alma Mater. We need more alumni voices to encourage our elected officials to work together to provide adequate support for higher education.


During Commencement weekend, the UI Alumni Association recognized William Baker, MS ’80 ENG, and Dr. Stephen Elledge, ’78 LAS, as its Alumni Achievement Award recipients; and Colleen Callahan Burns, ’73 ACES, as its Distinguished Service Award recipient. All alumni should take pride in the accomplishments of these outstanding individuals—you can read more about them on pg. 26.

As my term as Chairman of the UI Alumni Association Board of Directors comes to an end, I’d like to share a few final thoughts with you. I chose to get involved with the Alumni Association so that I could give back to my Alma Mater and connect with other alumni. It has been a privilege and an honor to represent more than 700,000 esteemed alumni and to serve the University of Illinois. Through my role with the Alumni Association Board of Directors, I have learned so much about our amazing institution, had the opportunity to represent the University all around the world and made lifelong friends. I encourage you—no matter how far removed you are from Illinois—to get involved. Stephen Van Arsdell, ’72 BUS, MAS ’73, is the incoming Chairman, and he will serve you all well.


William Stratton, ’85 LAS

Chairman, Board of Directors

University of Illinois Alumni Association