A Chicago businessman and University of Illinois Springfield alum and his wife have pledged $1.5 million to support the college’s student union building.
Construction is scheduled to begin in May on the $21.75 million building, which is being paid for largely with private donations and student fees. Officials hope for an early 2018 opening date.
Richard Osborne received an MBA from UIS, then called Sangamon State University, in 1973. He is senior managing director of Madison Industries, a private equity firm in Chicago.
UIS Chancellor Susan Koch said the gift by Richard and Charlene Osborne demonstrates the couple’s “generous spirit and strong confidence” in UIS.
“Dick attended UIS in the early days of the university, and since his graduation, he has seen the university grow and flourish,” she said. “With their gift, Dick and Charlene can know they will have a personal and lasting impact on the future of our campus. Their gift is that important.”
Having a student union is seen by university administrators as a way to attract new students and improve the quality of campus life for the current ones.
Jeff Lorber, UIS vice chancellor for advancement, said the Osbornes’ gift is the largest announced gift toward construction of the student union.
The largest lounge in the student union, a prominent feature of the first floor, will be named the Osborne Lounge.
The union, designed to be the focal point for campus life and activities, will include campus dining services, a coffee shop, a ballroom with seating for up to 450 people and a Student Leadership Center to house student government, volunteer offices and space for student organizations.
The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on March 5, 2016.
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