Message from the President
It is an honor to serve as President of the EIU Foundation Board of Directors for the 2013-2014 term, and a privilege to serve with ten other Board members who are experienced, knowledgeable, diversely skilled and strongly dedicated to the mission of the Foundation. The Board, in turn, is fortunate to have the highly capable support of the Foundation professional team, comprised of the Executive Officer and two staff members.
The Eastern Illinois University experience and community culture have been woven into my personal and professional life since my family moved from the low income housing projects of New Britain, Connecticut to Charleston, when I was nine years old. I was a student in the Lab School for grades 6 through 8, and continued at Eastern State High School through the end of my junior year, when the high school was closed. I returned a year later to pursue my dream of a college education, appreciative of the fact that I was a 'townie' with convenient access to a college recognized for academic excellence. As a student, I benefited from the kindness of a faculty member, (and neighbor), who provided me with the tuition amount I was lacking for third quarter enrollment my junior year, and the generosity of a donor whose scholarship award enabled me to complete my degree program on schedule. I hoped that one day I could make similar differences in the life of a student. Serving on the EIU Foundation of Directors has provided that opportunity.
Just four months prior to the beginning of the 2013-2014 term, the Foundation celebrated its 60th anniversary as a private, not-for-profit, charitable corporation. The defined purpose of the Foundation is to provide private assistance and support for the educational and cultural mission of Eastern Illinois University. It is a partnership that has strengthened over the past 60 years in its shared commitment to foster and encourage a community culture in which a spirit of philanthropy and volunteerism is promoted.
A major anniversary celebration usually includes a re-membering of past goals established, challenges and obstacles overcome, and achievements and accomplishments fulfilled. In 1953, the original financial goal of the Foundation was to establish an endowment fund of $1,000,000.
*Fifty years later, in 2003, the portfolio value of the endowment had exceeded $24.2 million,"...the highest in our history." (Former President, Board of Directors, J.W. Oglesby, Executive Officer, Annual Report (July 1, 2003 - June 30, 2004). This was accomplished in the wake of 9/11/2001.
*As of June 30, 2014, the official EIUF Portfolio Value, confirmed by Mercer Investment Consulting, Inc., is $70,747.350. This has been achieved following the economic downturn of 2008-2009 and the slow pace of national recovery.
In this first year of the beginning of a new decade for the Foundation, The Board will:
*Continue to exercise due diligence in the care of the funds entrusted
to the Foundation for the benefit of the University, its programs, and
*Continue to be effective stewards of the funds in our care by
monitoring and ensuring that the donor intent is honored consistent
with defined policies.
*Monitor investments to ensure the best return is received.
*Study and analyze the social and economic factors and trends which
have direct impact upon future planning, effective decision-making and
The 60th anniversary served as a timely reminder that when the members of the current Board of Directors assumed leadership roles and responsibilities last October, they were taking their places in a long continuum of individuals who have served in the past, and who presently serve as members of this multi-faceted community culture in which a spirit of philanthropy and volunteerism is not only promoted, but thrives.
On behalf of the EIU Foundation and the Board of Directors I extend a sincere "THANK YOU" to the volunteers, members, alumni, administration, faculty, staff, associates and friends of Eastern Illinois University and community.
For all the donors, past and present, your continued generosity, contributions, and support make an important difference in the future of EIU. We are grateful for all you do and all you provide to serve and assist others.
Christine Reid Robertson
President, Eastern Illinois University Foundation
The Eastern Illinois University Foundation exists for the following purposes:
To encourage and provide private support to Eastern Illinois University, including the region which the University serves, and to promote the ideals of volunteerism and philanthropy among alumni, friends, and employees of the University;
To assist and support Eastern Illinois University's educational and cultural mission through encouraging philanthropic gifts of cash, property and other materials of educational and artistic value;
To enhance the educational activities of Eastern Illinois University students and employees by participating in and supporting academic and artistic programming through scholarships and grants.