Monday, April 25, 2016

UIS alum Robert Felker honored for Outstanding Advocate Leadership

The University of Illinois Foundation today announces W. Robert Felker, graduate of the University of Illinois Springfield and partner at Gator Trading in Chicago, as the 2016 William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership. The award will be presented at the UIS Celebration of Philanthropy on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, at UIS. The U of I Foundation is the fundraising arm of the University of Illinois and its three campuses.

W. Robert Felker BA ’74 is one of the most accomplished alumni of the University of Illinois Springfield, and in 1997, he received the University of Illinois Alumni Achievement Award.

He currently serves as a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's financial markets and payment system working group. Formerly, he was chairman of J.P. Morgan Futures Inc., and chairman of the board of directors of National Futures Association. In 2006, he was inducted into the Futures Industry Association's Futures Hall of Fame on the FIA's 50th anniversary.

Felker has also been an active and vocal advocate for UIS, especially as a member of the University of Illinois Foundation Board of Directors. As a Board member, he has served on the Budget and Finance Committee, the Investment Policy Committee, the Membership and Governance Committee, and the Audit and Investment Committee.

“Bob's impact on the life of the UIS campus is immeasurable," said UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch. "He has been a valued member of some of the most important committees at the University of Illinois Foundation, and he cares deeply about the future of our University. As others in leadership have before me, I have met frequently with Bob to discuss UIS successes and challenges, and I always appreciate his wise counsel. It's a genuine privilege to see him receive the 2016 William E. Winter Award."

In addition to his service at the Foundation, Felker has also been a proactive and energetic advocate for fundraising at UIS. He has frequently hosted UIS events in the Chicago area, served as co-chair of the successful Brilliant Futures Campaign and promoted corporate grants for UIS. Bob and his wife, Patty, have also funded the W. Robert and Patricia W. Felker Scholarship given each year to a student with high academic merit.

“In a quiet and often behind-the-scenes manner, Bob Felker has exemplified the ideals of philanthropy," said Jeff Lorber, UIS vice chancellor for advancement. "He is generous with his time, talent and resources, working to make his alma mater a great environment for learning. He truly cares about student success in the classroom and beyond."

The William E. Winter Award, named for the late CEO Emeritus of the 7-Up Company and a longtime member of the University of Illinois Foundation Board of Directors, celebrates individuals who play active roles in securing private support for the University of Illinois.

Past recipients of the William E. Winter Award include Pamela McClelland, Cullom Davis, Bob Clary, Leonard Branson, Thom Serafin, Tom Marantz, Julie Kellner, Guerry L. Suggs and Michelle M. Suggs (deceased); Howard C. Humphrey (deceased), James Lundquist (deceased), and Clifford L. Greenwalt.

For more information, contact Jeff Lorber, UIS vice chancellor for advancement at 217/206-6058 or email

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