Alums make historic 8-figure gift commitment to Athletics
Two longtime supporters of Redbird Athletics are now making the largest single-gift commitment in Illinois State University history.
The eight-figure gift commitment from Jim ’74 and Carole (Czerniak) Mounier ’75 was announced at the Board of Trustees meeting Friday, October 24. Athletics Director Larry Lyons called the gift “transformational.”
“Jim and Carole believe in our vision, and this incredible act of generosity will have tremendous lasting impact on our Department of Athletics by benefiting generations of student-athletes through scholarship support, as well as the Weibring Golf Club and the Mounier Golf Training Center,” Lyons said. “It is truly humbling for us and incredible on their part.”
The Mouniers felt the decision was an easy one to make, since Illinois State and Redbird Athletics feel like family to the couple.
“We are proud of ISU’s status as a highly rated national university, value the great friendships we have made, and are excited that our contributions are helping talented men and women achieve their dreams and goals,” Jim and Carole said in a statement. “Our relationship with ISU is more than we could have ever imagined it would be.”
Illinois State President Larry Dietz recognized the Mouniers’ passion for Illinois State and applauded their support.
“Clearly, this gift is a brilliant reflection of the Mouniers’ love for Illinois State, and their unyielding commitment to their ideal that participation in sports builds character and leads to success,” Dietz said. “I have known Jim and Carole for some time, and you don’t have to be around them long to understand their depth of feeling for ISU and their desire to make their University home the best it can possibly be.”
The Mouniers are longtime members of the Weisbecker Scholarship Fund, and in 2007 they established The Mounier Scholarship. Jim and Carole are proud Illinois State graduates who were active in Greek life―Sigma Nu and Delta Zeta―during their collegiate careers. They both enjoy golf and believe the sport builds character and life success. The scholarship is awarded annually to a golf student-athlete, which alternates each year between and a male and female golfer.
“Our alumni relationship with ISU began in 2007,” Jim and Carole said. “We had evolved and progressed in our careers. We developed a new passion. It was golf. When asked to consider a donation to ISU, we chose to endow a golf scholarship.”
Five years after establishing The Mounier Scholarship, the Jim and Carole Mounier Golf Training Center at Weibring Golf Club was completed in fall 2013. The Mouniers made a financial contribution to help with construction of the training center’s first phase, which includes a team-only driving range.
The facility is nearly 500 yards in length and houses tee areas able to accommodate about 50 golfers on the south end with a smaller tee area to the north. With six to eight target greens, golf team members can now practice hitting in different wind directions. They no longer travel to an area golf course for extended practices.
Campus leaders attended an official dedication for the training center Friday, October 24.
“Jim and Carole have transformed the Weibring Golf Club with the addition of a premier Division I intercollegiate golf teaching and learning center,” Lyons said. “It is easily one of the best in the country and will significantly enhance the experience for the Redbird men’s and women’s golf teams.”
Added Jim and Carole: “When asked for support in the construction of the golf training center, we were told it would be a ‘game changer’ for ISU and the student golfers. Who doesn’t want to be part of a ‘game changer?’”