The year was 1973.
My fiancé and I were sitting on the lawn in front of Old Main reviewing our graduation checklists when a gentleman approached with a camera and asked if he could take a picture. That picture became the cover of the 1973 Eastern Illinois University General Catalog. Back in the days before e-mail, Facebook, and online access, the class catalog was printed in hard copy. We’re still waiting for our royalty check. I bet it’s in the mail.
Before that year ended, we graduated with our degrees in education, exchanged our wedding vows, secured employment, and became official Charleston "townies." Forty-four years, two careers, and two retirements later, Eastern Illinois University still holds a very special place in our hearts.
The small class sizes we enjoyed, and the excellent and caring instructors from whom we were inspired, held true for both of our EIU alumni children and continue even to this day. Those traditions live on due to the ongoing commitment and generous support of EIU Foundation members like you. You help Eastern students enjoy a private university experience but with a public university price tag. Your philanthropic example assures current and future students of Eastern’s extraordinary investment in providing them the skills and confidence they need to succeed both in their careers and in life.
The EIU Foundation currently oversees assets in excess of $83 million. In FY 2016 it distributed $1,275,000 in scholarships to 1,018 Eastern students and provided $1.8 million in grants to the University. During these financially challenging times that stress all public universities across Illinois, your generosity continues to assist families and individuals in realizing their educational goals and dreams.
Homecoming may be an annual event on campus, but for me it now happens every time I walk into Buzzard Hall to greet my students. And there is no more heartwarming sound than that of the Alumni Clock Tower ringing out the melody, echoing off the stately buildings..."So must our hearts remember thee, so may our lives a tribute be."
On behalf of the Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers of the EIU Foundation, thank you for living a life that is a tribute.
Timothy McCollum, President
Eastern Illinois University Foundation
Board of Directors