Thursday, November 08, 2018

Students thank donors at the 22nd annual UIS Scholarship Luncheon

The University of Illinois Springfield recognized scholarship donors during the 22nd annual Scholarship Luncheon on November 7, 2018. More than 270 people participated in the luncheon.

During the event, students got a chance to personally thank their donors and tell them about impact scholarships have made in helping them reach their educational goals.

“It’s a pretty exciting day,” said Jeff Lorber, UIS vice chancellor for advancement. “For some of us, it’s the most exciting day of the year on campus.”

UIS student Rebecca Smith qualified for two institutional scholarships this academic year. She came to the luncheon to meet her donors for the first time and to say thank you.

“Both of my scholarships are situational and beyond just the financial help, which is a miracle, the vote of confidence from someone who feels like you can succeed is huge when you’re a non-traditional student,” she said.

Scholarship donors Frank and Linda Kopecky started a scholarship to help English and legal studies majors. Frank is a UIS emeritus professor of legal studies and Linda earned her master’s degree in English from UIS. She taught English for several years at Springfield College.

“We’re both educators and we feel that our education has been a powerful, positive force in our life,” said Linda. “I was helped greatly by scholarships going through school, so this seemed perfectly natural and just the right thing to do.”

UIS student Thomas Rivera receives financial support from the Ted Mims Scholarship Fund, which was created by UIS alumnus Bill Hoffman in honor of a former professor who had an impact on his life. Hoffman recently retired following a 16-year career at Microsoft and more than 40 years working in information technology.

“It’s important for me because it helps me out a lot,” said Rivera. “This scholarship here helped pay for a lot of my books, online sources and things I needed for the coursework this year.”

Hoffman, who attended the event, has been looking forward to meeting Rivera for the first time.

“Probably, whether he’s interested or not, I’m going to give him some career advice and maybe save him a step or two,” said Hoffman.

Thanks to the support of donors, UIS currently offers approximately 630 institutional scholarships worth more than $636,000. Students may apply for the scholarships on the Financial Aid website.

Scholarships are one of the top goals of Reaching Stellar: The Campaign for the University of Illinois Springfield, which is currently underway.

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