On April 21, we will host our President’s Forum, annual meeting and 65th Anniversary Benefit Reception. Throughout the spring, we’re hosting a full schedule of conferences for chief financial officers, advancement colleagues, public relations and marketing staff and student engagement professionals.
We’re also very excited to share more about our new named-scholarship program, which we initiatied at the beginning of 2017. This provides a company or individual an opportunity to create a scholarship in their name. We’re pleased that we have secured commitments for three named scholarships in the first quarter of 2017, totaling $80,000. The first was from Call One, a full-service technology/telecommunications company headquartered in Chicago. Thank you so much for your generous support.
Thank you, friends, for your continued support this past year, and we look forward to enjoying the evening together with you April 21 at the ACI 65th Anniversary Benefit Reception.
When she attended Bradley Bourbonnais Community High School, Mason LeMay worked with an organization called Best Buddies, a volunteer organization that works to improve and enhance the lives of people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Since her freshman year in college, she has volunteered her time with organizations such as the River Valley Special Recreation Association which provides programs, activities and Special Olympics for adults.
The first in her family to attend a four-year college, LeMay brought these interests with her to Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, about five minutes from her home. Majoring in exercise science with a minor in psychology, LeMay is focused on attending graduate school to study occupational therapy, with an eye on becoming a pediatric occupational therapist. "Originally I was looking for physical therapy, but the population I want to work with is adults and children that have disabilities," she says. "I have really enjoyed watching patients grow and regain the strength they had prior to the accident or the illness that caused them to lose function or strength."
LeMay, a sophomore, knows first-hand about serious illness. In September 2015, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 non-Hodgkin anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a rare cancer. She took a year off from school for treatment, including chemotherapy. With the cancer cured, she began planning for her return to Olivet Nazarene for the 2016 fall semester. Because the costs of cancer treatments are high, the university awarded her a McGraw Emergency Financial Aid grant from ACI to help her return last fall. The ACI scholarship was helpful to her family, she said.
"The scholarship helped me return to school after being diagnosed," she says. "It lessened the financial burden for my parents who were helping pay for college. They were able to put more money toward the medical bills that we received."
LeMay has made the most of her college experience. She has been on the dean's list twice for academic achievement. LeMay plays for the university's junior varsity volleyball team, continuing an interest she developed in the sport at a young age. "I've actually gotten the opportunity to help coach a local club team," LeMay says. "It feels good getting to share the same passion with younger girls, and I hope they develop the same passion that I have." She also continues to work with Best Buddies through Olivet Nazarene, which supports residents at Shapiro Developmental Center in Kankakee. Student volunteers such as LeMay spend time with buddies, and host events or parties for Shapiro residents.
What keeps LeMay at Olivet Nazarene are small classes, professors who care, her faith and friends who supported her through difficult times. Unfortunately, LeMay won't be able to graduate with the students she started with, but there is a bigger goal, she says. "I've realized in college it's not a big deal to graduate with your friends," LeMay says. "It's much more about the education you receive in college and everything you're learning for a successful career."
This spring, Timothy Lacy was in Florida with nine other students, working to build a home as part of the Habitat for Humanity program. "We're helping people less fortunate than us," says Lacy, president of the Habitat branch at Blackburn College."We get to see the impact we have on their lives. When we meet them, it is so fulfilling."
Lacy, a junior from Jerseyville, Illinois, and his older brother, are the first and only members of their family to attend college. Lacy says he chose Blackburn because it offered many opportunities. He thought that he wanted to work in some type of business career, so he took business and marketing classes. Lacy fine-tuned his interests after getting a job in the college business office as an accounts receivable assistant. "It really intrigued me to actually learn more about accounting," he says.
He eventually switched his major to accounting with a double minor in economics and business administration. "I really chose accounting because of the experience I'm getting from the college itself in the work program, and Blackburn has offered me so many opportunities to expand my knowledge in the field," Lacy says.
Lacy is an intern at a CPA firm this spring. This is his second internship in the field, providing him hands-on experience with tax returns, bank reconciliations and payroll. Lacy knows now that an accounting career is where he is headed, possibly as a staff accountant. One of Lacy's Blackburn College professors helped him get his current internship, a benefit of direct working relationships between professors and students at a small college.
Lacy's Blackburn experience includes other activities as well. During the fall, he runs for the college's cross country team, a sport he's been participating in since he was a sophomore in high school. For his cross country success, Lacy was awarded all-academic and all-sportsmanship honors by the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. He is also a member of the Blackburn's running club, organizing 5K and half-marathon events. Lacy has been treasurer of a dorm council, vice president of a fraternity, Phi Gamma Nu, and served on an appeals board. And, on most Sundays, he plays drums in a worship band at Carlinville First Church.
An ACI Grover Herman Scholarship, part of a series of grants, loans and work-study finances, helps make it possible for Lacy to study at Blackburn. "I was really needing help paying for college," he says. "My parents cannot pay for college, so it's really all on myself to make up the money to go to college." Without the ACI scholarship and other sources of funds, Lacy says he might not be in college at all.
One of the benefits of attending a liberal arts school such as Blackburn is a chance to explore many topics through general education classes, Lacy says. "Especially for a student that doesn’t exactly know what they want to do, I believe gen eds are very beneficial," Lacy says. "In my case, I didn't know what I wanted to do. There are still things that I learned and relate to my accounting classes that I heard in previous classes such as marketing and organizational behavior."
Deep local history, Catholic tradition characterize Benedictine University as it looks to an expanding international future
President Michael Brophy focuses on storytelling, welcoming all to university's campuses
If you ask Dr. Michael Brophy of Benedictine University why he wanted to be Benedictine University's president after 10 years as president at a California university, he'd say that the presidency at Benedictine was a prime opportunity, the best in the country at the time. Brophy, whose professional background is in academia and in the arts, including music and film making, joined the Lisle-based university in 2015.
"What attracted me was the complexity of our enterprise," Brophy said in an interview with ACI Reporter. Read more.
Augustana College shines with unique programs for students, important contributions to Quad Cities' community
President Steven Bahls says college benefits from local community, alumni, ACI program
Steven Bahls has enjoyed multiple and varied careers. He is a lawyer and CPA, with experience as a law school faculty member and dean, and now, a college president. Some amateur photography work, too. His journey to Augustana College, Rock Island, began with a suggestion from a small college president, Sister Joel Read of Alverno College in Milwaukee. In the mid 1980s, Bahls was a successful attorney doing pro bono work for the Alverno, when she suggested he consider a career in academia. His wife Jane, was a faculty member at the college at the time, teaching religious studies.
Bahls listened to that advice, and with some recommendations from Sister Read, left to join the law faculty at the University of Montana, later becoming associate law school dean. Read more.
ACI, Call One announce new scholarship for science, technology or business majors
Associated Colleges of Illinois (ACI) is pleased to announce that Call One, a Chicago-based business technology company, provided $50,000 for scholarships through its "Call One Future Innovator Scholarships" program in partnership with ACI.
"Illinois needs innovation. Studying engineering, business or technology will lead to a path where innovating is not only needed for career development, but is needed for the betterment of all Illinois residents," according to the scholarship description. "Scholarships will help those go-getters, trend-setters and innovation-home-run-hitters who will look to use their engineering, business or technology degrees to help make Illinois a better place to live, work and play."
"We are delighted to work with Call One on this meaningful scholarship program for students attending our member colleges and universities," said Mick Weltman, ACI executive director. "Our main purpose is to help qualified students succeed in college and in life. These scholarships make it possible for science and business students to imagine new possibilities and work to make their dreams a reality." Weltman added that similar named scholarship opportunities are available through ACI.
"Call One believes businesses within the state should help facilitate and develop innovative thinkers," said Ed Wynn, executive chairman of Call One. "We are proud to work with Associated Colleges of Illinois in supporting those individuals who have the drive and tenacity to become future innovators for Illinois and beyond."
Recipients of the Call One Future Innovator Scholarship will be students attending ACI-affiliated colleges or universities. Students awarded scholarships must be enrolled in business administration, computer science, engineering or similar areas of study. Students must also receive additional financial assistance for their education.
Associated Colleges of Illinois is a nonprofit organization consisting of 23 Illinois member colleges and universities. The organization raises funds to support scholarships for first-generation, low-income and minority students attending member institutions. It provides peer mentoring for qualified students, and supports independent, private higher education in Illinois through professional development and sharing of resources.
Risk Strategies Company’s National Higher Education Practice team specializes in crafting insurance coverage and risk management plans for colleges and universities and represents approximately 150 college clients as brokers and consultants for Employee Benefits, Student Health/Accident, and Property and Casualty insurance across the country. One of the company’s largest, Risk Strategies’ Chicago office represents college clients, including ACI members, throughout the Midwest including the Chicago area and Central and downstate Illinois.
Growing trend: New budgeting and forecasting software is redefining finances roles for higher ed
For decades, Excel has been the primary tool for institutions looking to create and manage budgets in conjunction with strategic plans. While Excel is a reliable asset for incorporating data, many financial arms to organizations are discovering more diverse options for how they can strategically “use” that data, and ultimately, affect their strategic course. With the vast amounts of data being collected by higher education institutions, spreadsheets are not efficient when collaborating with multiple team leads or performing financial forecasting, institutional projections and budgeting.
"This funding will make a substantial impact on ACI member colleges and universities, plus the students supported by our Peer Mentoring Program and the scholarships we provide," Weltman said. "This event will build on the success of our fundraiser last spring."
The 2017 event will focus extra attention on ACI's 65th anniversary. The organization was founded in 1952, with 22 charter members. Many are still ACI members.Through its history, ACI has provided more than $70 million in scholarships to Illinois students. Today there are 23 ACI member colleges and universities serving more than 60,000 students.
The Benefit Reception will feature Richard Ekman, CIC president, as keynote speaker. Student scholarship recipients from member colleges and universities are expected to attend, along with member presidents, corporate and foundation representatives and individual supporters. Chicago Sinfonietta will provide musical entertainment.
ACI spring professional development conferences set
Associated Colleges of Illinois will host four conferences this spring at campuses of member colleges and universities. The conferences provide a continuing education and networking opportunity for administrators, faculty and staff at ACI's 23 member Illinois colleges and universities. This spring, conferences will be held in April and June as follows:
April 7, Advancement Conference, University of St. Francis, Joliet -- The conference brings together advancement and fundraising professionals from ACI member institutions. Registration is open.
April 21, President's Conference, University Club of Chicago: This conference brings together presidents of ACI member institutions for discussion on significant higher education topics. This meeting will be held in conjunction with the annual ACI Board of Trustees meeting and 65th Anniversary Benefit Reception.
April 28, Student Engagement Conference, Knox College, Galesburg – This conference brings together ACI faculty and staff who work with first-generation students at ACI member colleges and universities. Attendees are deans of students, financial aid officers, career services professionals, multicultural officers and others. Registration is open.
June 2, Public Relations and Marketing Conference, Lewis University, Romeoville -- This conference is open to professional communicators from ACI member institutions. Registration will open soon.
June 9, Chief Financial Officers Conference, Blackburn College, Carlinville -- This conference is open to senior-level and chief financial officers of ACI member institutions. Registration will open soon.
In the fall of 2017, ACI plans to consolidate all conferences into one with separate tracks for each special interest group, according to Constance Willoughby, ACI director of conferences and scholarships. The conference location and date will be announced this summer, she added.
ACI professional development conferences are open only to professionals employed by ACI member institutions.
This year, ACI welcomed three new corporate partners: BLDD Architects, Michael Best and Synergy. Corporate partners provide products and services to meet the needs of higher education, and they help fund ACI's professional development conferences.
BLDD Architects specializes in the design of high-performance learning environments that empower you to deliver on your mission. We're higher ed experts on a mission to intentionally improve everything we touch, and we see opportunities in buildings (even your existing, outdated ones) to make your campus the ideal place for growth, discovery, and making a difference in the world. BECAUSE LIFE DESERVES DESIGN.
Michael Best is a full-service law firm providing legal services to clients on a local, regional, national, and global basis. With more than 230 attorneys in 12 offices nationwide, Michael Best counsels higher education institutions on a full range of legal issues, including intellectual property protection and labor and employment matters, such as Title IX, employee benefits, student affairs and immigration. We help universities commercialize their technologies and resolve technology-related disputes. In our work as outside counsel to many university leaders, our lawyers take calls on whatever campus exigencies occur, from cybersecurity and real estate transactions, to campus safety, public finance and governance issues.
Synergy Campus Security Services, LLC, provides contract services for colleges and universities. We provide safety and peace of mind to our higher education clients. You make a promise of safety and security to students and their families, and we help deliver that promise. Our primary goals are to provide a safe and well-protected campus environment, and protect our client’s properties and assets from hazards and the opportunity for crime. The Synergy management team has over 24 years of security and law enforcement experience. This experience, coupled with our focus on customer service, allows us to use best practices to implement a security posture that is conducive to learning. It’s friendly and professional while providing a sense of well-being and security to students and staff. Synergy can and will meet the needs of your campus ensuring a safe and secure environment for your students, faculty and staff to live learn and work.
Earlier this year, the ACI Board of Trustees welcomed Bradley J. Mease, CPA, left, and Leslie J. Sawyer, right, as corporate trustees, following approval by the board’s executive committee.
Mease is assurance senior manager with Baker Tilly, an ACI corporate partner and full-service accounting and advisory firm that offers industry specialized services in audit, tax, and management consulting. Mease brings more than 15 years’ public accounting experience to the board. He specializes in serving clients in the higher education and not-for-profit industries.
Sawyer is chairwoman and CEO of Environmental Design International Inc.(EDI), a Chicago-based civil and environmental engineering firm, founded by her late sister, Deborah Sawyer, who was also a member of the ACI board. A member of the EDI Board of Directors since 1998, Leslie Sawyer assumed ownership of the firm and her current roles in August 2016.
Trinity Christian College president: liberal arts education prepares students well, benefits society
A college education that emphasizes the liberal arts helps students prepare well for careers and to be prepared for unexpected things in life, said Kurt D. Dykstra, left, president of Trinity Christian College, Palos Heights, Illinois. In addition, research continues to show that an educated population is a benefit for society and the overall economy, he added.
Dykstra made the comments at a February 9 meeting of nearly 50 financial advisors and staff, sponsored by Associated Colleges of Illinois (ACI).
Illinois college presidents connect liberal arts education and student success
Presidents of two member universities of Associated Colleges of Illinois (ACI) presented a compelling case for liberal arts education, connecting the student experience at their institutions with preparation for the state's workforce, engagement as citizens and successful living.
President David L. Parkyn, left, of North Park University, Chicago, and President Donna M. Carroll, right, of Dominican University, River Forest, spoke to an audience of more than 230 people January 19 at the City Club of Chicago. The presidents' presentation, "Liberal Arts Colleges and Universities: A Hidden Resource for Chicago and Illinois," can be viewed online. The program was cosponsored by the ACI and the City Club of Chicago.
You can make a difference for Illinois students who seek a quality private liberal arts education through your personal gift to ACI. Contributions help provide scholarships for motivated students from diverse backgrounds attending ACI colleges and universities.
ACI member institutions provide some form of financial aid to 90 percent of students, and the number of students needing financial aid continues to grow. Your gift to ACI goes directly to students at our 23 colleges and universities who have the greatest financial need. Your financial support will strengthen their ability to stay in college and graduate.
To make your gift today, please visit our website or contact Mick Weltman at (312) 263-2391 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your gift will go a long way in helping underserved students succeed in college and in life. Thank you!