Message from Campaign Chair James Benson
Kick-off event remarks, June 1, 2007
It is my pleasure to join everyone here on this very special occasion! Tonight, it is my distinct honor to officially announce the Campaign’s fundraising goal. Our overall University-wide gift goal for this Campaign is 2.25 billion dollars. This overall 2.25 billion dollar Campaign goal is the largest such fundraising target in our University’s history and one of the largest for a public university anywhere. Many of you have already committed your belief in the University of Illinois to action by pledging your financial support to this Campaign. As Chair of the University’s Campaign Executive Steering Committee, you have my most profound gratitude and thanks.
It is my privilege this evening to acknowledge and thank the Campaign Executive Steering Committee members.
Because our Campaign organizing strategy is “University-wide and campus-focused”, a campaign steering committee also exists for each campus.
As the Chair for the Campaign Executive Steering Committee, tonight it is my honor to recognize the dedicated Campaign Co-chairs for each campus Committee.
At our Springfield campus, the Campaign Co-Chairs are: W. Robert Felker, President and Chief Operating Officer of Banc One Capital Markets; Howard Humphrey, the retired Chairman of Franklin Life Insurance; and, Julie Kellner, co-owner, M.J. Kellner Food Service.
The Chicago campus is represented by: Patrick Daly, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Daly Group; Louis A. Friedrich, Managing Director, Bernstein Global Wealth Management; and, Dr. G. Stephen Irwin, Orthopedic Surgeon.
Co-Chairs for the Urbana-Champaign campus are: Jane Phillips Donaldson, Partner in Phillips Oppenheim; Shahid Khan, President of Flex-N-Gate Corporation; and, our gracious emcee this evening—Roger Plummer, President of Plummer and Associates Consulting.
Now, I’d like to ask these Co-chairs and all Committee members to stand and be recognized.
Our deepest thanks to all of these wonderful individuals.
Now, I am asking you to remain an active part of our Illinois philanthropic heritage.
Everyone here this evening was invited to help us announce and celebrate this Campaign because you are also our leaders. Your philanthropy is essential to the work of the University and its three campuses. You are the exceptional individuals whose extra effort will make a difference in the lives of others and in the brilliant futures of the University of Illinois.
For this, I thank you.