A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Reflections.... then and now
A few weeks ago, I had dinner with my college roommate. I met her at EIU (two kids, (first generation educated) in August 1979, and we have been friends ever since. We talked a lot about how much has changed over the years, how our friendship remains the same as it was 36 years ago when we first met.
As I start my year as President of the Eastern Illinois University Foundation, I reflect on how much has changed over that time for the Foundation. How the Foundation's commitment to "provide private support to EIU and promote the ideal of volunteerism and philanthropy among alumni, friends, and employees of the University", has stayed the same.
Let's take a look back in history to see how we have done.
The Foundation was started under the leadership and vision of H Ogden Brainard in 1953, and the first recorded scholarships (3) totaled $350 in 1957. While I don't know what the annual gifts to the Foundation were in 1953 or 1957, I was able to learn that they was $65,475.42 positive (change in fund balance) in the year ending June 30, 1979, when I came to EIU. The total assets were $797,503.60.
Fast forward to the year ending June 30, 2015, where the total net income was $3.5 million, total assets were $88.9 million, total gifts were $11.1 million, and more than $1 million and 900 scholarships and grants were awarded. I would say that, while a lot has changed for the Foundation during this 36-year time frame, the vision of H Odgen Brainard so many years ago has held its course.
Due to state deficits and budget cuts, the University has to change for the future. It is my hope that the continued ideal of volunteerism and philanthropy stated by H Ogden Brainard will allow the Foundation to continue to step up and support the University as these changes occur to ensure a strong and bright future.
Judy Ethell (Class of 1982)
Eastern Illinois University Foundation
Board of Directors