A number of large gifts have led Eastern Illinois University 85 percent of the way to its $50 million "EI&U: The Campaign for Eastern" fundraising goal, and officials are counting on the generosity of the general public in raising the remaining funds.
So far, $42.56 million has been secured in "EI&U: The Campaign for Eastern," the largest fundraising effort in EIU's history. The public phase began in October.
The campaign theme is "Expect Greatness," and officials do just that.
"We are very grateful for the strong support we've received so far, and I am confident that we will continue to benefit from the public's generosity," said EIU Vice President for University Advancement Robert Martin. "We are fortunate that people understand what Eastern means to individual lives and to society as a whole. People are willing to contribute to ensure that Eastern's influence remains strong into the future.
"As state appropriations have decreased and lagged, gifts from donors have become more than a nice bonus for the university -- they have become critical. The bottom line is that private contributions make it possible for us to remain a first-class institution while keeping tuition affordable for our students."
The campaign focuses on four priorities: students (funding scholarships); faculty and staff (attracting and retaining world-class faculty, as well as supporting research, creative projects and service activities); capital improvements (including building a new science center, courtyard spaces and a Lantz Arena gateway); and programs (including developing centers that would focus on specific subjects, with possibilities such as autism, entrepreneurship and innovation, ethics, financial health, geographic information systems and remote sensing, humanities, student community service and wellness).
Although it is primarily a fundraising campaign, officials also hope to use the opportunity to connect with supporters. In fact, two of the campaign's top goals are to establish and enhance enduring relationships with EIU alumni, as well as involve more alumni as campaign volunteers.
EIU's extensive network of alumni and friends throughout the country is making it possible to conduct regional campaigns, with events in Chicago (hosted by Tim and Vickie Burke, Carl Mito and Jeff Knezovich); Springfield (hosted by Jason Anselment and Bill O'Rourke); St. Louis, Mo. (hosted by Sylvia Nichols, Judy Ethell, Julie Nimmons and Jen Hurwitz); Naples, Fla. (hosted by Jim Schnorf); Washington, D.C. (hosted by Sue Payton); and Scottsdale, Ariz.
Members of the "EI&U" campaign Steering Committee are Chairwoman Julie (Humphrey) Nimmons of Litchfield; Timothy L. and Vickie (Krupp) Burke of Evanston; Max and Mary Cougill of Charleston; Judy A. Ethell of Chesterfield, Mo.; Bob Glover of Chicago; Robert A. Ingram of Durham, N.C.; Charles Keller of Effingham; Jeffrey P. Knezovich of Naperville; Herbert and Lynnette Jane Lasky of Ashmore; Richard A. Lumpkin of Mattoon; Carl T. Mito of Arlington Heights; Tony Romo of Dallas, Texas; Paul L. Snyder of Oro Valley, Ariz.; and Charles W. Witters of Las Vegas, Nev.
"We're very grateful for the dedication of the many volunteers who are assisting with this campaign," Martin said. "We could not have reached this level of success without their help."
To learn more about the campaign or make a donation, please contact Karla Evans, director of EIU's Office of Philanthropy, at email@example.com or 217-581-3315, or visit the "EI&U: The Campaign for Eastern" website at http://www.iameiu.com.