Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Chancellor Koch kicks off Access Illinois scholarship initiative at UIS with $25,000 donation

Susan J. Koch, University of Illinois vice president and UIS chancellor is helping to kick off Access Illinois: The Presidential Scholarship Initiative on the Springfield campus with a $25,000 personal donation.

In establishing the Dennis D. and Susan J. Koch Scholarship Fund, Koch said she plans to lead by example and won’t be shy about asking for private support from friends of the University to fund badly needed student scholarships at UIS.

“Providing access for students is a personal matter for me and for my husband, Dennis,” said Chancellor Koch. “We’re looking forward to watching the progress of the UIS students who receive this scholarship.”

The fund was established in honor of both Koch and her husband’s parents and grandparents, who made it possible for each of them to seek a higher education.

“When my father, the son of an electrician and the grandson of an Illinois miner, was given the opportunity to attend a public university here in Illinois, it changed his life and the lives of our entire family forever,” said Chancellor Koch. “My husband’s grandmother, a pioneer farm wife on the plains of South Dakota, provided my husband and his brother the financial means to attend college.”

University of Illinois President Michael Hogan launched the Access Illinois initiative in June. The goal is to raise $100 million or more over the next three years to fund scholarships on the Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield campuses. The fund will increase financial aid to help students and their families offset tuition costs that have risen sharply as state funding for the University has declined over the last decade.

The initiative will solicit donations from the University’s more than 600,000 alumni from all three campuses and other supporters, seeking general-use gifts that can be used to meet current needs as well as endowed scholarships that provide financial aid in perpetuity.

For more information on the Access Illinois initiative at UIS, visit or contact Vicki Megginson, associate chancellor for development, UIS, and senior vice president, University of Illinois Foundation at 217/206-6058 or email

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