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Chancellor Amiridis Celebrates Donors and Advocates for Supporting UIC

UIC celebrated alumni and friends for their philanthropy, commitment and passion during “An Evening with Legacies & Leaders” April 4 at the Pritzker Pavilion Stage at Millennium Park.

chancellor amiridis addresses legacies and leaders

“Each person, and gift, has tremendous impact,” UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis told donors during the event. “Your passion and commitment to UIC is admirable, whether you show it by giving, volunteering or advocating.

“You have collectively made a transformational impact on UIC. I feel it and see it every day, as do our students, faculty members, staff and communities.”

The annual donor recognition event honors UIC’s most engaged and passionate supporters and thanks them for their efforts, which support students, empower faculty, drive discovery and strengthen connections to UIC’s communities.

Theresa Thomas, a senior in anthropology, thanked donors on behalf of UIC students who have benefited from their support.

theresa thomas addresses an evening with legacies and leaders

“I am a nontraditional and working-class student in every sense, like many other students attending UIC,” she said. “After returning to school to complete my undergraduate degree, I often had to choose between working additional shifts to make ends meet or spending those essential hours in the library.

“As a recipient of the Nasrin Mahani scholarship last semester, I was able to choose the library. Such financial assistance allows students like myself to engulf themselves in their studies and present their best work.”

More than half of UIC students are eligible for Federal Pell and Illinois MAP funds, which means than their family income is $50,000 or less. More than one-third of UIC students are the first in their family to go to college and 60 percent hold a job while completing their studies, Amiridis said.

“This is why we are grateful to you, our alumni and friends, who have stepped up to support our students,” he said. “You are helping us ensure every hungry mind has a path to study here and that we are able to prepare thoughtful global citizens.”

Philanthropy has also helped support campus learning spaces — such as the new Engineering Innovation Building which opens this summer — in addition to helping faculty introduce novel teaching techniques. Donor support helps drive research discovery and connect UIC to its community, including includes creating access to health care for populations across Illinois, Amiridis said.

UIC has raised 54 percent — $404 million — of its $750 million goal for its IGNITE Campaign, a five-year fundraising campaign that launched last fall.

“We are humbled and grateful for your partnership,” Amiridis said.

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