Thursday, July 08, 2010

Scholarship honoring fallen state trooper Brian McMillen reaches $25,000 endowment mark

The legacy of fallen Illinois State Police Trooper Brian McMillen will live on at the University of Illinois Springfield thanks to generous donations from family, friends and fellow students.

The Brian McMillen Memorial Scholarship Fund recently reached the $25,000 endowment mark, which means the scholarship will continue without end into the future. The money raised will be invested to grow the fund, with additional donations helping to boost the award amount. The scholarship is open to all Criminal Justice majors at UIS, regardless of their specific career goals. Applicants must be active as campus or community citizens.

“You want to see that someone like Brian is remembered, and that other students know about his life story and perhaps are inspired by it to do things a little differently in their own lives,” said Barbara Hayler, professor emerita of Criminal Justice.

Hayler led the push to establish the scholarship, personally pledging to match donations twice. Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Jay Gilliam and the Criminal Justice student organization also helped to raise funds by hosting a bake sale and Free ThrowAThon. This past fall, senior Leslie Ruetter became the first student to receive the McMillen scholarship during the UIS Scholarship Luncheon.

“It was a great way to honor Brian, who was a walk-on member of the men’s basketball team. Some people from the Illinois State Police were also very helpful in making (the Free ThrowAThon) a success,” said Hayler.

McMillen, 24 was killed on October 28, 2007, while on duty as an Illinois state trooper. He was on his way to assist a fellow officer when his squad car was hit by two vehicles. Both drivers were convicted of aggravated driving under the influence, among other charges and are now serving time in prison.

For more information contact Barbara Hayler at 217/206-7586 or email You may also contact Jay Gilliam at 217/206-7910 or email Donations can be made to the Brian McMillen Memorial Scholarship Fund by visiting

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