UIS fundraiser aims to raise $40 million by 2022


Photographs courtesy of Photo from UIS Newsroom

UIS announces fundraiser to Sangamon Auditorium audience


Hundreds of people gathered in the UIS Sangamon Auditorium Oct. 10 to attend UIS’s multi-million-dollar fundraising event, the largest in its history.

The campaign, called “Reaching Stellar: The Campaign for the University of Illinois Springfield,” has a total goal of $40 million, which will benefit UIS students, faculty, and the Springfield community. The campaign will continue through 2022 and has already raised $18.4 million in gifts, grants, and donations.

The fundraising event will prioritize raising money for its new Lincoln Studies program, which aims to teach students about Lincoln’s life and legacy. The donations will also benefit the new Student Union, as well as several scholarships and community outreach programs.   

Barbara Jensen-Scahweighauser, one of UIS’s donors, said that her attachment to the community is what inspired her to donate. Her husband, Charles Schweighauser, was a former professor of Astronomy, Physics, English, and Environmental Studies at UIS, and she has lived at Springfield for 26 years.

Charlene Volimer, another donor, graduated UIS in 1981 and said that the campus has a special place in her heart.

“It is meaningful for me to support UIS because not only I graduated from here, but also because my daughter works at UIS through its International program.” She said.

Marilyn Kok, Associate Director of Grants, Marketing, and Communication, planned the event, and said that she was excited that “people are engaged and talking to people with different priorities.”

“I am very happy because people are involved with our plan for UIS,” she said. “And I am very confident of our fundraising because we have so much support from our alumnus and many community friends.”

Susan Koch, the chancellor of UIS, is very confident that UIS will reach its goal, based on tremendous support from this community in the past few years.

“People are having a wonderful time, and lots of supporters have been with this university since its earliest days,” she said. “And I also see people who are supporters from other campuses, and who are newer to the UIS family. It is going to take a real team effort to achieve this goal. So, I felt terrific about tonight.”