When Eastern Illinois University’s Board of Trustees meets this week, a new member will be among those sitting at the table.
Belleville resident Phillip (P.J.) Thompson Jr.’s appointment by Gov. Bruce Rauner to serve on the eight-member board goes into effect immediately, although approval from the Illinois Senate is still needed to make it formal.
“I am excited to serve my alma mater as a member of its Board of Trustees,” Thompson said. “Higher education is something I am passionate about and (I) want to continue to use the skills I’ve acquired to enhance the wonderful things already being done at EIU. I am eager to work with the other members of the board and other university officials to move EIU forward!”
Thompson’s face will be a familiar one to the EIU community; in addition to having received his bachelor’s degree in sociology from the university in 2003, he spent nearly five years as Alumni Services’ events coordinator (2008-2012). He used the skills he learned and honed at EIU when he served as associate director of alumni relations (2012-1015) at Bradley University, Peoria, and later at McKendree University, a private liberal arts institution located in Lebanon, Ill.
Thompson currently serves as director of alumni relations at McKendree, where he is seeking his master’s degree in higher education administration (July 2017).
Thompson replaces Rene Hutchinson of Chicago, whose term expired earlier this month. He had served on the BOT since being appointed by then-Governor Par Quinn in October 2011.