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Share Our Vision: Vision 2020 and the Campaign for Chemistry

Noyes Lab in Fall 2008 The Department of Chemistry at Illinois, with its extraordinary history and outstanding students and faculty, is widely recognized as a major force in chemical research and education. Our goal is to continue to compete with the most elite departments in the country, many of which are private and benefit from very large endowments. As can be seen in the facts listed below this letter, a very small percentage of our budget comes from the State of Illinois and increasingly we are relying on the generosity of our alumni.

As you know, the University of Illinois has initiated a major $2.25 billion fund raising campaign known as Brilliant Futures. The Department of Chemistry has set its own ambitious goal of raising $60 million. Thanks to the remarkable generosity of our alumni and friends, and corporate and foundation donors, we have already reached 72 percent of our goal. However, we still have a long way to go. Last year of our more than 6,400 living alumni, 435 made a gift to the department. This is less than 7 percent, a percent giving value that is about half that of our peer institutions. We know we can count on more of our alumni to step up to the plate. Please consider giving this year to our new Vision 2020 Fund, which is described below.

The Vision 2020 Fund

In creating the Vision 2020 fund, our goal is to secure the future of our department by creating an endowed fund, the annual income of which will allow us to meet our most critical needs, such as recruiting and retaining the best faculty and students, purchasing equipment for the teaching laboratories, and creating educational programs (e.g., travel awards) for deserving students. This fund will not reduce the support currently provided by the campus because our State budget is more than 85 percent dedicated to salaries and generally set by formula.

Documented Impact and Stewardship. A publically disseminated annual report will be generated to show the market value, growth, and income of the Vision 2020 fund. Most importantly, we will detail how the fund's income was used in the previous year so that the impact of every gift will be seen.

Donor Recognition. Each donor to Vision 2020 will be acknowledged in the annual report and in the Department of Chemistry News. At a donor's request, gifts can be made anonymously. For major annual giving and annual pledge levels, donors will be permanently recognized in Noyes Laboratory (see below for details).

Giving in Honor of Another. A gift may be given in honor of a friend, family member, or an Illinois great. Acknowledge the impact of a research advisor or honor the memory of a loved one. The donor's gift will be listed as given in "honor of" or in "memory of."

Special Recognition. For an annual gift to Vision 2020 of $10,000 or a pledge of $2,000 per year for five years, an engraved brass nameplate will be permanently installed on a seat in G. L. Clark Hall (formerly 100 Noyes). For cumulative gifts above the $20,000 level over a five-year period, the donor will be further recognized on a permanent plaque in the main hallway of Noyes Laboratory.

Opportunities for Major Gifts

The Strategic Plan developed by the Chemical Sciences Leadership Council and updated by the Department of Chemistry in 2005 identified several areas where major gifts are most needed.

Named Graduate Fellowships. The Provost's matching program provides a match of the annual income on endowed gifts of $250,000 or more designated for a Graduate Fellowship. The Named Fellowship, which honors the donor or an individual designated by the donor, provides full support for a graduate student. It serves to recognize the most promising leaders of tomorrow, while at the same time helping us to recruit and retain outstanding students and faculty.

Named Chairs and Professorships. Chairs and professorships are critical for recruiting and retaining top faculty. Such appointments provide flexible funds for faculty to explore new areas, purchase vital new equipment and instrumentation, or support undergraduate and graduate students. A gift of at least $3 million will endow a named chair that will support the most accomplished faculty. A gift of $1.5 million will endow a named professorship used for emerging leaders in chemistry.

Other Opportunities. There are many other needs, from remodeling funds for Noyes Laboratory and the Chemistry Annex to outreach and global programs, as well as programs supporting research. Please see our Web site ( for more information or feel free to call me at (217) 333-5071 or send me an e-mail ( I welcome your comments and hope that you help us maintain our tradition of excellence.

With Illinois pride,
Steve Zimmerman

Did You Know?

  • Only 18 percent of the Illinois budget comes from the State of Illinois.
  • The Department of Chemistry has nearly 10,000 total alumni.
  • Half of the Nobel Laureates among Illinois' alumni and faculty have been associated with the Department of Chemistry.
    • Paul C. Lauterbur 2003, Physiology or Medicine
    • Martin Rodbell 1994, Physiology or Medicine
    • Phillip A. Sharp 1993, Physiology or Medicine
    • Rudy Marcus 1992, Physiology or Medicine
    • E. J. Corey 1990, Chemistry
    • Robert W. Holley 1968, Physiology or Medicine
    • Vincent du Vigneaud 1955, Chemistry
    • Wendell M. Stanley 1946, Chemistry
    • Edward A. Doisy 1943, Physiology or Medicine

How to Give

Online at

By mail:
Department of Chemistry
University of Illinois
107 Noyes Laboratory
505 South Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801

Please make checks payable to the University of Illinois Foundation, and designate Chemistry on your check.

Questions? Please contact us via phone at 217-333-5071 or email at

To read the full Department of Chemistry Newsletter, please visit us at

Department of Chemistry

505 South Mathews Avenue, Urbana, Illinois 61801
Phone (217) 333-5071, Fax (217) 244-5943
Copyright 2012, The Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois