Monday, April 23, 2018

Springfield resident David Farrell honored for Outstanding Advocate Leadership at UIS

The University of Illinois Foundation today announces long-time Springfield resident David Farrell as the recipient of the 2018 William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership.

The award will be presented at the UIS Celebration of Philanthropy on Wednesday, April 25 at UIS. The U of I Foundation is the fundraising arm of the University of Illinois.

Farrell’s career in state government was capped by 20 years as Director of Public Affairs for the Illinois Commerce Commission. During his career and since retirement in 2002, he has been a tireless advocate for NPR Illinois/WUIS, frequently taking part in on-air fundraising. His deep voice adds sincerity and gravitas to every appeal he makes.

“I’m happy to do it,” he said, “because there’s nothing like NPR Illinois. It appeals on so many levels of the mind and emotion.”

He has also contributed to NPR Illinois as a member of the Citizen Advisory Board and was instrumental in helping to start the station’s Health and Harvest Desk. Springfield can also thank him for “Fresh Air”, a popular program which years ago he helped to bring to the station.

Farrell, who has a deep interest in fairness, also contributes his marketing and communications expertise to the UIS Illinois Innocence Project (IIP), and has served as emcee at the annual Defenders of the Innocent Reception. He and his wife Laurie, who shares in Farrell’s advocacy, have also initiated, underwritten and helped plan IIP events.

“The Illinois Innocence Project is a way to make the entire justice system stronger,” according to Farrell. “This work strengthens the entire society.”

Farrell’s advocacy at UIS also includes Central Illinois Nonprofit Resource Center, the Theatre program and the UIS Cares Food Pantry.

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 UIS recipients of the William E. Winter Award include Paul O’Shea, W. Robert Felker, Pamela McClelland, Cullom Davis, Bob Clary, Leonard Branson, Thom Serafin, Tom Marantz, Julie Kellner, Guerry Suggs and Michelle Suggs (deceased); Howard Humphrey (deceased), James Lundquist (deceased), and Clifford Greenwalt.

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

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