From left: COE Dean Deborah Curtis, Executive Director of Development Joy Hutchcraft, Jean Borg, Center Director Linda Wedwick, Linda Bowman, President Al Bowman and Ms. Borg's financial advisor, Rick Sabbides.

The College of Education dedicated the newly named Mary and Jean Borg Center for Reading and Literacy on Sept. 17.

Guests toured the Mary and Jean Borg Center for Reading and Literacy in 310 DeGarmo Hall. The Center is named in recognition of Jean Borg’s contributions to enhance the work of the Center and support education at the University.

Jean Borg also has established the Jean M. Borg Endowed Scholarship for a student who plans to teach in the biological sciences area, the Mary R. Borg Endowed Presidential Scholarship and the Jean M. Borg Endowment for Campus Enhancement.

The College of Education Center for Reading and Literacy has received official recognition as an academic center from the Illinois Board of Higher Education and approval from the Board of Trustees. The Borg gift will help implement the mission of the center, which is to improve the reading and literacy of all citizens. Initial funds from the Borg Endowment for the Mary and Jean Borg Center for Reading and Literacy will support the Literacy Development Tutoring Program, the Occasional Lecture Series and enhanced learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate student education.

Jean Borg came to Illinois State at the urging of her mother, Mary, and earned her bachelor’s degree in education in 1950. Jean has served as a teacher, counselor for students, university faculty member and member of the national commission focused on the professional development of teachers in the U.S. She retired in 1993 after 43 years in the education field.

Mary Borg was a women’s rights advocate who worked as a nurse in Peoria. She wrote music and was a seamstress, all while being disabled and in a wheelchair. Although she never attended college, Mary recognized the value of education, especially for women. Jean said she learned from her mother’s independent spirit and her encouragement toward others as well as her daughter.