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Founded in 1953 under the leadership and direction of H Ogden Brainard, the Eastern Illinois University Foundation has, since its inception, been dependent upon the generosity of volunteers to fulfill its mission of support to the University.

Burnham Award Burnham Award Burnham Award

2015 Outstanding Philanthropist Award

Beginning in 1993, the Foundation has recognized and honored philanthropists whose spirit and overwhelming generosity demonstrate a sincere dedication and commitment to the academic and cultural well-being of Eastern Illinois University. In 1997, the Philanthropy Awards were named after Burnham and Nancy Neal in recognition of their leadership, gifts, and steadfast dedication to Eastern.

Robert DeBolt (top left)
Dr. Jill Nilsen (top right)
Charles W. Witters (bottom left)

Burnham Award

2016 Honorary Lifetime Members

A lifetime membership in the Foundation is bestowed upon donors, alumni and friends of the University who have brought significant recognition and attention to Eastern, have provided substantial lifetime contributions, or who have attained national or international prominence and prestige in their careers, public service, or humanitarian efforts.

Mary Anne Hanner

Burnham Award

2016 Outstanding Foundation Members

This award is bestowed upon individuals who demonstrate the ideals of membership in the Foundation through their volunteer service to the Foundation and to the University’s academic and athletic programs, providing the leadership, expertise, and knowledge essential for the work of its advisory and governing boards, administrative councils and committees, and its executives-in-residence programs.

Christopher and Nancy Desmond