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EIU Media Relations

EIU Foundation Announces Recipients of Annual Philanthropy Awards


Shown, from left to right, are Helen Price; Nancy Page, EIU Foundation Donor Relations, accepting award on behalf of Barbara Heise Clark; C. Roger Sorensen; and Margery and Jerry Heath.

Since its inception in 1953, the Eastern Illinois University Foundation has been dependent upon the generosity of its members and volunteers to fulfill its mission of support to the university.

And, since 1993, the foundation has formally recognized and honored its volunteers and donors. In 1997, these awards were renamed the Burnham and Nancy Neal Philanthropy Awards in appreciation of the Neals' leadership, support and dedication to Eastern and the foundation.

These awards are given to individuals and organizations who have demonstrated a sincere dedication and commitment to the financial, academic and cultural well-being of EIU. The critical support and sustaining financial commitments provided by these distinguished philanthropists are essential to the future of the university and the students it serves.

Barbara Heise Clark of Decatur, Dr. Jerry and Margery Heath of Charleston, Helen Price of Elmhurst, and C. Roger Sorensen of Mattoon have been named the EIU Foundation's Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year for 2009. The five were recognized during the Foundation's annual spring philanthropy awards dinner.

Barbara Heise Clark, a 1964 alumna of Teacher's College High School and a 1950 alumna of Eastern Illinois State College, grew up as a daughter of an EIU faculty member and administrator. She endowed two scholarships in elementary education in 1998: the Bryan and Adra Heise Elementary Education Scholarship and the Charles and Barbara Clark Elementary Education Scholarship. Every year, Clark adds to the earnings of each of these scholarships because she wants all of her scholarship recipients to receive a "significant" amount, and because she feels that helping students at EIU is the best use of her money.

For birthdays and Christmas, Clark requests that her friends and family give money to EIU rather than "waste it" by buying her things she does not need. "Eastern is in her heart, and she gives back to Eastern wholeheartedly," said Foundation officials.

A planned gift from Clark 's estate will also benefit the Heise and Clark scholarships.

Clark is a member of the EIU Foundation, as well as the Heritage Society, which honors individuals and corporations who make the commitment to support Eastern, its students and its programs through planned gifts, such as charitable gift annuities, trusts, bequests from their estates, life insurance policies, etc. She is also a member of the Cornerstone Society, which recognizes those who have a lifetime giving level of $25,000 to $50,000.

Dr. Jerry Heath served as director of Eastern's Health Service and volunteered his services as team physician for EIU's athletics program for 32 years, retiring in 1988. During his tenure, he assisted in the development of instructional curricula, the medical technology program, and medical insurance for EIU students. Heath is a member of the EIU Foundation and a charter member of both the EIU President's Club and Panther Club.

Both he and his wife, Marge, are alumni of EIU. In addition, Mrs. Heath is a graduate of Teacher's College High School and the 1942 EIU Homecoming Queen. The couple's son, Forest , is also an Eastern graduate.

In 1988, the Heaths established the Dr. and Mrs. Jerry Heath Sports Medicine Scholarship for student-athletes interested in the sports medicine profession. They both have been very supportive of Eastern through their philanthropic gifts: Athletics, the Human Services Center, the Department of Kinesiology and Sports Studies and the Eastern Symphony Orchestra have all benefited from the couple's generosity. Dr. Heath currently has an office in the athletic training room named in his honor because of his gift to the Reaching for the 21 st Century Legacy Fund. The Heaths are members of the Heritage Society, as well as the Keystone Society, which recognizes those with a lifetime giving level of $50,000 to $500,000.

Helen Price and her husband raised three sons, teaching them the importance of education, public service and community involvement. Two of the three sons attended EIU, and the oldest son, Dr. James Price, served for 17 years as adviser to the Delta Chi fraternity before his death in a car accident in 2000. In 2002, Mrs. Price established the Dr. James D. Price Delta Chi Business Education Scholarship -- a lasting memory for her son and his continued belief that public service and community involvement are as important as a solid education.

EIU Delta Chi alumni continue to honor Dr. Price in various ways on campus, and communicate regularly with Mrs. Price. Recently, she pledged to name the academic adviser room in Klehm Hall, recognizing her son's legacy at Eastern.

Price was recently selected to share her story of philanthropy to EIU on the Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences' philanthropy area of iTunesU. The short video podcast of her is the first of its kind on Eastern's campus and is sure to motivate others to become involved in giving to EIU.

She is a member of the EIU Foundation, and she and her husband, Roy, are members of both the Heritage and Keystone societies.

After graduation, C. Roger Sorensen, a 1949 alumnus of Eastern, went on to a successful career with Texaco in Houston, Texas. However, he returned to Charleston at least once a year to revisit campus and attend athletic events. In 2002, he decided to move back to Illinois to be closer to EIU.

In 1991, he established the C. Roger Sorensen Business Scholarship; in 1992, the C. Roger Sorensen Tennis Scholarship; and, in 1994, the C. Roger Sorensen Golf Scholarship. He has supported these scholarships with annual gifts since their creation. He has also made significant gifts to the Reaching for the 21st Century Legacy Fund, the Theodore Ivarie Leadership Fund, Emphasis on Eastern -- Presidential Scholars, the LAIR Fund (athletics), and Friends of WEIU -TV. (He likes their football coverage, said Foundation officials.)

Most recently, Sorensen formalized agreements for his estate gift to EIU. His ultimate gift will endow two funds: the C. Roger Sorensen Supplemental Instruction Program Endowment Fund that will support a graduate assistant in business, and the C. Roger Sorensen Completion of Degree Scholarship, which will be awarded to a student-athlete who has exhausted his/her eligibility and who is within one semester of graduation.

In addition to being a member of the EIU Foundation, Sorensen is also a member of the Heritage and Keystone societies. He has been named to Eastern Illinois University 's Athletics Hall of Fame, and is a member of the Livingston C. Lord Society, established to honor those who return to campus for their 50-year class reunion.



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Josh Reinhart, Public Information Coordinator

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