Lou Liay Spirit Award (Est. 1997)

Bestowed upon alumni by the University of Illinois Alumni Association on behalf of the University of Illinois. The award is presented to those who have consistently demonstrated extraordinary spirit and pride in support of the University, the Alumni Association, and related organizations, exemplifying a positive image of their Alma Mater while inspiring loyalty and pride in their fellow alumni. The award is named after Lou Liay, EDM ’62, executive director of the UI Alumni Association from 1983-1998.

2020 Recipient

  • Bob Lumsden, ’53 BUS

    As a Champaign native and U of I alumnus, Bob Lumsden, ’53 BUS, used his knowledge of campus to benefit students and alumni throughout a long career at the University. Prior to his return to his Alma Mater, Lumsden spent two years as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, stationed in Mainz, Germany. He then worked as a salesman for the Armstrong Cork company in Lancaster, Pa., and Colgate Palmolive in Chicago. In 1963, Lumsden began working at the U of I’S Campus Tours Office, which later merged with the Campus Information Center.

    In 1975, he accepted an office management position with the UIAA. Among other responsibilities, Lumsden worked with a core group of students to form Student Alumni Association (SAA). A second organization, Student Ambassadors, spun off of SAA in 1983, and Lumsden advised these two groups until his retirement in 1993. SAA continues to be a valuable organization, fostering many campus traditions and celebrations. Likewise, Lumsden has sustained relationships with countless SAA alumni, helping to bring the group together for a 40th anniversary celebration in 2016.

    Lumsden is a life member of the Alumni Association and was a charter donor to the Alice Campbell Alumni Center. He remains in Champaign with his wife, Sharon Lappin Lumsden, ’53 FAA, MFA ’64. The couple’s son, Paul, ’87 ACES, is a pilot for United Airlines.

Past Recipients

  • 2019

    • Al Davis, ’60 ED, MS ’62 ED, ’64 ED

  • 2018

    • Bob Giles, ’66 ENG, MBA ’68, and Pat Meyers Giles, ’69 ED

  • 2017

    • JOHN VOLK, '67 ACES

  • 2016

    • Dr. Kenneth Schmidt, ’65 LAS, MD ’67 UIC

  • 2015

    • Gayl Pyatt, ’64 LAS

  • 2014

    • Michael L. VanBlaricum, ’72 ENG, MS ’74 ENG, PHD ’76 ENG

  • 2013

    • Edwin C. Lennox III, ’90 ENG, MS ’92 ENG, MS ’97 ENG

  • 2012

    • Frederic G. Nearing, ’48 ENG

  • 2011

    • Alan L. Puzey, ’74 ACES

  • 2010

    • Samuel N. Darby, ’62 FAA

  • 2009

    • John Menees, ’52 ENG

  • 2008

    • Denis Lougeay, '66 ENG, MBA '68

    • Denruth Barre Lougeay, '65 ED, EDM '68

  • 2007

    • Norman Beasley, ’58 DSSWV

    • Mary Jane Beasley

  • 2006

    • John S. Ellison, ’64 ACES

  • 2005

    • Carol Keiser Long, '68 ACES

  • 2004

    • David G. Powless, '75 BUS

  • 2003

    • Marie L. Johnson, '54 LAS, MS '58 ED

  • 2002

    • Dan Perrino, '48 FAA, MS '49 FAA

  • 2001

    • Larry L. Fischer, '74 ACES

  • 1998

    • William Branom, '54 MEDIA

    • Henrietta Branom Knecht, '27 LAS