Outstanding faculty at Illinois State University educate, mentor, and inspire students daily. One Illinois State alum recently made a gift to help celebrate faculty excellence. On April 28, 2018, T.Y. Wang, professor and chair of Politics and Government, announced during Illinois State University’s pre-law awards banquet, that David Crumbaugh recently donated $250,000 to establish the Thomas Eimermann Professorship.

Crumbaugh, a LeRoy, Ill. native, graduated from Illinois State University in 1973 with a political science degree and went on to a successful career as a corporate attorney.

The gift is in honor of Eimermann, Crumbaugh’s professor and mentor, and will be awarded to faculty in the department of Politics and Government over approximately the next 10 years. The professorship will fund efforts such as research, hiring research graduate assistants, and travel for professional conferences.

Greg Simpson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), shared his appreciation for the gift, which established the first named professorship in the history of CAS. “I am deeply thankful for the long-time support from a successful alum like David Crumbaugh and feel his most recent gift speaks highly about the quality of faculty across Illinois State University,” Simpson said. “This professorship will help us in recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty in Politics and Government.”

The award is named for Thomas (Tom) Eimermann, Ph.D., who taught law-related courses for 38 years at Illinois State University, served as ISU’s first pre-law advisor, founded and directed the mock trial program, and was chair of the Political Science Department from 1992 to 1998. He retired in 2002 and continued to teach part-time until 2008.

Thomas Eimermann, professor emeritus of politics and government

Thomas Eimermann, professor emeritus of politics and government

Eimermann was not surprised Crumbaugh made this generous gift; Crumbaugh had supported the prelaw program in a number of ways over the past 20 years. When Eimermann learned the gift was named in his honor, he said “I was, however, surprised, honored, and very grateful to learn that my name would be attached to this new professorship.”

According to Eimermann, Crumbaugh was a “bright, articulate, and hardworking student who came prepared for class and actively joined in class discussion.”

After interning at law firms in Bloomington/Normal and earning an undergraduate degree from Illinois State, Crumbaugh graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law. He became one of the country’s top lawyers in the areas of banking and finance law and recently retired as partner from Latham & Watkins in Chicago, the sixth largest law firm in the country. He was inducted into the CAS Hall of Fame in 2017 and is a charter member of the Illinois State University Attorneys Advisory Board.

The Thomas Eimermann Professorship honors and celebrates the pursuit of faculty scholarship—one of the three pillars of Redbirds Rising: The Campaign for Illinois State. The $150 million comprehensive campaign also aims to support scholarship and innovation and is the most ambitious campaign in the University’s 161-year history. More than 43,000 donors have contributed over $116 million in outright gifts and commitments since the beginning of the campaign. To learn how you can support faculty, staff, and students, visit RedbirdsRising.IllinoisState.edu.