Gifts to Benefit Chicago, Springfield, Urbana-Champaign Campuses of University of Illinois

Sep 23, 2005 10:00 AM

Private gifts totaling more than $8 million earmarked for University of Illinois programs at Chicago, Springfield and Urbana-Champaign were announced today (Friday, Sept. 23) at the U of I Foundation’s 70th Annual Meeting.

The gift announcements were part of the three-day meeting conducted by the Foundation, the University’s private gift fundraising arm. Nearly 500 alumni and friends of the U of I are attending the event held on the Urbana-Champaign campus.

Seven individuals were recognized at the U of I Foundation’s Business Meeting Friday morning.

Gifts made to the Urbana-Champaign campus include:

  • An outright gift of more than $3 million from David C. and Jane Y. Eades of Champaign will support orthoptera (an order of insects that includes grasshoppers, crickets, and locusts) research in the Center for Biodiversity in the Illinois Natural History Survey at the U of I. David Eades, a graduate of Wabash College, Ind., holds a master’s degree and an MBA from the University of Michigan as well as a Ph.D. in zoology from Indiana University. He is managing general partner of Regency Associates in Champaign and is an adjunct professional scientist in the Illinois Natural History Survey. Jane Eades, who graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University and earned a master’s degree from the University of Michigan and an executive MBA at the U of I, retired as president of Phoenix Gateway International, Champaign.

  • Seven-figure support from Peter B. and Kim B. Fox of Champaign will establish four Fox Family professorships, one each in the College of Business, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and a fourth as designated by the Urbana-Champaign campus chancellor. The purpose of the Fox Family Professorship Fund is to stimulate entrepreneurship and economic development in Champaign County. A graduate of Stanford University, Peter Fox is founder and principal of Fox Development Corp., co-founder, president and CEO of Fox Ventures, and manager of Fox/Atkins Development, which is developing the U of I Research Park. Kim Fox, a graduate of Springfield Career College, is president of Fox Development.

  • Outright and deferred gifts totaling more than $1 million from James R. Beck of Indianapolis, Ind., will support scholarships and fellowships for students in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Microbiology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. A graduate of the University of California-Berkeley, Beck received a Ph.D. in chemistry at the U of I. He spent his entire career as a researcher with Eli Lilly & Co. in Indianapolis, contributing many articles to professional journals and registering 48 U.S. patents.

  • An outright gift of $1 million from Jon David and Elizabeth A. Epstein of Galveston, Texas, will create a professorship and provide research and program support in health care law and policy in the College of Law. Their support will establish the first named program in the College. J.D. Epstein earned a bachelor’s degree in commerce law and a Juris Doctor, both from the U of I. He is a partner in the Houston law firm Vinson & Elkins, where he specializes in health care issues. He also is an adjunct professor of health law at the University of Houston. Beth Epstein is an artist and active volunteer, especially in the field of health.

  • An outright gift of $1 million from John H. Bruning of Pittsford, N.Y., establishes the Y. T. Lo Endowed Chair in Electromagnetic Theory and Optics in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The chair honors the late U of I alumnus and professor Yuen Tze Lo, who served as Bruning’s advisor. A graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Bruning received a master’s degree and Ph.D. in electrical engineering at the U of I. He is president and CEO of Corning Tropel Corp.

On the Springfield campus:

  • A $1 million gift from the Hoogland Family Foundation of Charles R. and Kathleen K. Hoogland of Springfield will help the U of I at Springfield construct a new recreation and fitness center. The remainder of the $14 million facility, expected to be completed in 2007, will be funded by student fees. The new center will include an arena for athletic events and other performances, running track, volleyball or basketball courts, racquetball courts, weight training and group exercise rooms and equipment, locker rooms, fitness areas, locker rooms, and administrative and amenity areas. Charles Hoogland is the owner of Family Video, the Springfield-based video rental chain that has expanded to more than 400 stores in 10 states and employs more than 4,000 people. He is a graduate of Yale University and his wife, Kathleen, attended the University of Colorado.

The following gift will support efforts at the Chicago campus:

  • A six-figure bequest from George R. Honig of Chicago will fund the Karen Honig Memorial Lecture, which brings together a leader in the fields of social services, social welfare or social policy to speak on the UIC campus each spring. The lecture, hosted by the Jane Addams College of Social Work, honors Dr. Honig’s late wife, Karen, a UIC College of Social Work graduate and educator and social worker. George Honig graduated from the U of I at Urbana-Champaign and earned a master’s degree and M.D. from UIC as well as a Ph.D. in biochemistry from George Washington University. He was the longtime head of the UIC College of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics and still serves at the University as professor emeritus.