Monday, September 30, 2013

Blue Fever, catch it!

It’s shaping up to be a great week at the campus of UIS. Not only because of a great weather forecast for the week, but it’s Homecoming week! Pep rally, spirit games, volleyball, soccer, golf, entertainment, 5K run, the dance, and much more. Homecoming is always special for students and alumni, and I’m hoping this year will be another memorable time that will be looked back on fondly. “Catch Blue Fever” is the theme, and no better way to get the week started than with two nights of performances of Blue Man Group! You think we can get them to stay and be a part of our Blue Crew?!

Friday, September 27, 2013

UIS alumni to the rescue

I read with great interest Bernie Schoenburg’s column in the local State Journal Register newspaper this week. It seems three Illinois House members exercised some quick thinking and helped save a man’s life in nearby Decatur, Illinois. What makes this story extra special is that two of those legislators are UIS alums. Our very own Wayne Rosenthal and Adam Brown, both of whom I’ve had the pleasure to meet and I can tell you I’m not the least bit surprised by their actions. I know UIS alums are in the world every day doing extraordinary things, but it’s not often I get to praise them personally for going above and beyond. Well done, Representatives Rosenthal and Brown! Your alma mater couldn’t be more proud of you.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

UIS alum is "Just Right!"

Last Friday morning I had the great pleasure of meeting a couple of great UIS alums in action. I did an interview on AM 1450 with Springfield's own Sam Madonia, a much beloved radio personality and great supporter of our campus. The interview took place at Just Right Eating, a local business owned by UIS alum, Stephanie Johnson. I was looking forward to meeting Stephanie and learning more about her very creative business activities. I got a double shot of UIS pride when I learned that one of her employees and business consultant, Nita Crews, is also an alum. Just Right Eating offers nutritional counseling, personal fitness training, and best of all, wonderfully nutritious meals delivered right to your door! I know many Springfield area residents who are faithful customers of Just Right Eating and who are living healthier lives thanks to Stephanie. You can say that Stephanie and Nita are a couple of “just right” alums setting positive examples of Leadership lived.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at UIS

Each year at UIS, we observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 – celebrating the cultures and the contributions of Americans whose families came from Mexico, Spain, Central and South American and the Caribbean. With the leadership of OLAS (the Organization of Latin American Students) and our UIS Diversity Centerevents are already underway this week. 
We had a wonderful Mariachi band on the quad on Monday to kick-off Hispanic Heritage Month and I'm glad I could stop by and enjoy the music with so many members of this vibrant student organization. Thank you OLAS members for sharing your heritage with the campus community and for demonstrating "Leadership lived" with so much commitment and enthusiasm. Check the UIS website for more information about events going on in the next several weeks!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Your friend's nice car

One of my greatest delights as Chancellor of UIS is spending time with friends of our university, many of whom are Springfield residents who are grateful for the presence of the Springfield campus of the University of Illinois and who provide support for our campus through their gifts. 
One of those very special friends and supporters is Evelyn Brandt Thomas. Evelyn and her brother, Glen, founded and developed Brandt Consolidated, a highly successful agricultural business in Central Illinois that is one of the largest employers in Springfield. We celebrated Evelyn's 90th birthday a few weeks ago and here she is standing next to her birthday present – a replica of the race car that her company sponsors on the NASCAR circuit. It's not often that you see a car like this in "Handicapped Parking"! 
Evelyn is truly an inspiration – not only a builder of a successful business, but a generous philanthropist with a special appreciation for young people. Thank you, Evelyn,  for all that you do to support UIS.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Growing, Growing, Growing!

I'm so pleased to see that the Springfield campus' official Fall enrollment shows that we increased nearly 100 students over last year. As you probably have heard me say many times, “Growth” is our number one priority. ... and we have room to grow. Growth is important in so many ways - academically, financially, culturally… I could go on and on. Our freshmen class jumped up nearly 20% and the number of students living on campus has also greatly increased. It's also great to see more international students and graduate students here at UIS. Welcome to all and best wishes for a terrific year.

Monday, September 9, 2013

UIS has winning ways

This past weekend provided several opportunities to enjoy watching our Division II student-athletes perform. Both the men's and women's soccer teams and the women's volleyball team were at home on campus and it was a successful weekend for all teams. Congratulations coaches and student-athletes on your winning ways! What a great way to start the season.  It was also nice to see so many students attending the volleyball and soccer games. The  student booster club, know as the Blue Crew, was definitely out in force …. and  LOUD!