I was the first college graduate in my family. As a result, I was the recipient of a lifetime gift that allowed me to build upon the dreams of my depression era parents and make sure that my own children and grandchildren had and will have the same educational opportunity that I was so fortunate to experience.
Like many others who worked all the way through school while receiving a first-rate education from some of the finest instructors I have ever known. I can still see and hear Bert Holley, Robert Blair, Drs. Plath and McConkey, Rex Syndergaard and Joel Goldfarb each of whom played a key role in my life and the lives of many contemporaries. Each inspired and challenging us to reach, to learn, to grow intellectually and to contribute. They each lived their values.
Today, we together have the opportunity to continue to make a positive difference in the lives of today’s students. Like us, they come to EIU seeking knowledge, intellectual rigor, and values that can advance their own lives and the lives of those they meet along their chosen life path.
Your foundation has come far from its birth back in 1953. Today, we oversee assets exceeding $84.0 million. In FY2014 the Foundation distributed $1,006,000 in scholarships to 952 EIU students and provided another $1.8 million in grants to the University. Together we will continue to grow our investment in higher education as we assist families and individuals to dream and pursue a more rewarding and meaningful life journey than they might otherwise achieve without our efforts.
It is with both gratitude and determination that the volunteer members of your foundation thank each of you for the roles you have played in our joint efforts dedicating the best that we have to the highest that we can comprehend so that the great American public education experiment can live on and continue to enrich our personal and collective lives.
On behalf of the foundation board, members and staff we say thank you!
With best wishes,
H. Michael Finkle, President
Eastern Illinois University Foundation
Board of Directors