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University of Illinois Springfield eclipses campaign goal of $40 million


University of Illinois Springfield students hold up the total raised in the Reaching Stellar campaign, which was launched in 2017. UIS had a celebration Thursday on the campus to announce the mark which eclipsed a $40 million goal.

The University of Illinois Springfield‘s fundraising campaign was enough to set off fireworks.

Literally.

The five-year public campaign, coinciding with the university’s 50th anniversary, wrapped up June 30, raising about $42.5 million for student scholarships and several other priority areas. It was the first time the amount raised was disclosed publicly.

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A celebration of the feat Thursday attracted about 275 donors and supporters and brought together four of the university’s past and present chancellors. It included a dinner and a fireworks display to cap off the evening.

Reaching Stellar was the UIS part of a $3.1 billion campaign by the University of Illinois System, which includes campuses in Urbana-Champaign and Chicago. It was the system’s largest fundraising campaign ever.

UIS received 125,498 gifts from 17,923 donors. A quiet campaign began in 2014 before the public campaign was launched in October 2017 with a goal of $40 million.

University of Illinois Springfield students culminate Black History Month celebrations with the Ebony Ball at the campus Student Union on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. [Tiffani Jackson/The State Journal-Register]

More than $8 million has been committed to more than 70 new scholarship funds that have already assisted close to 300 additional students to date, according to a news release.

Some of the funds targeted the Center for Lincoln Studies, which is housed at the UIS’s Public Affairs Center and helps shepherd Abraham Lincoln scholars to resources in Springfield. The center has a reference room and work stations that scholars and individuals doing research can use as a home base.





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