Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Former student donates $500,000 in honor of UIS professor

A former student and University of Illinois Springfield employee has donated a half-million dollars to establish a named professorship in honor of her former English professor.

The professorship — the university’s first from a graduate honoring a former professor — is the Judith E. Everson Professorship in English. Everson taught at the university for 31 years and was a charter faculty member at UIS’ predecessor, Sangamon State University.

Everson’s former student, Cheryl Peck, who served as director of public relations at UIS from 1992 to 2009, donated $500,000 to establish the endowment fund.

“I first met Judy Everson in a class, ‘Literature Between the Wars,’” Peck said. “I was immediately inspired by her energy and enthusiasm and how she skillfully involved the students in discussions about literature.”

Peck said she went back to college in midlife during the 1980s.

“That was the beginning of a personal transformation that lasted several years,” she said. “She gave me confidence in my ability to succeed academically. I was inspired to make a major career change from journalism to higher education and established a lifelong friendship with Judy now that we’re both retired.”

The professorship was featured in an November 2, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

Read the article online