Friday, October 10, 2014

Saul Morse: UIS a true asset for the capital city

A recent State Journal-Register article about enrollment in area colleges and universities stated that the University of Illinois at Springfield has more students than at any other point in its 45-year history.

The fact that more than 5,400 students are enrolled — locally and online — got me thinking about the effect the campus has on Springfield and Sangamon County.

Many remember the transition from Sangamon State University to UIS in 1995. It is hard to imagine 20 years have passed. The year 2015 also will mark the groundbreaking for a new student union, adding a needed social element to the campus and serving as a welcoming gathering place for the wider community.

There are other aspects of UIS that we perhaps take for granted. More than 10,000 alumni live and work in Sangamon County alone. The experiences and education they received permitted them to advance in their chosen careers or to move into a new career.

We take for granted that regardless of the environment in which they work, the overwhelming majority of these individuals purchase housing, food and automobiles, visit restaurants, utilize services and generally keep our economy prospering.

More than 1,000 students reside on campus and utilize local services, stores and other facilities. And the university has more than 1,000 employees, most of whom are local, living in Sangamon and Menard counties in particular.

University faculty and students participate in community organizations and schools. Faculty, staff and students contribute thousands of volunteer hours to make the capital city a better place for all.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on October 10, 2014.

Read the entire article online.