The Division of Student Affairs held its Steve and Sandi Adams Legacy Hall of Fame ceremony on Friday, October 1. In addition to inducting a new class of Hall of Fame members, this year’s ceremony also honored the late Steve Adams.

The Legacy Hall of Fame is named in honor of Vice President Emeritus Steve Adams and former first lady of the division Sandi Adams for their many years of combined service and commitment to Illinois State University. It recognizes their lifelong dedication to the role holistic education plays in the life of a student, as well as their steadfast loyalty to Illinois State.

Induction into the Hall of Fame is an honor bestowed upon alumni who served as student leaders or student employees in the Division of Student Affairs. Recipients are recognized for their contributions while on campus and their post-graduation commitment to:
• Contributing new knowledge through research, scholarship, and creative pursuits
• Providing enduring dedication to individualized attention
• Promoting teamwork, respect for differences, and goals that celebrate diversity
• Enhancing the quality of life for communities through collaborative and individual action

The ceremony recognized the following 2021 inductees.

Linda Kingman ‘81

Linda Kingman is an award-winning leadership, communications, and employee engagement expert. After graduating from Illinois State, Kingman started her career as an intern with the Illinois Senate. During her decade with the senate, she became a key advisor to the president of the Illinois Senate, rising to the position of chief of staff, overseeing operations for the senate majority in Springfield and Chicago. For more than two decades, she has served in executive communications roles at both corporations and agencies. As senior vice president and senior thoughtpartner at The Grossman Group, a Chicago-based consultancy, Kingman works with and advises leaders across industries to help them and their organizations improve leadership communication capability to drive meaningful change. Before joining The Grossman Group, Kingman spent 13 years leading corporate and employee communications practices at the global public relations firm Golin (formerly Golin Harris). Prior to that, she served for seven years as chief communications officer for Kemper Insurance Companies, where she played a central role in the executive management team’s response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Kingman is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and the Arthur W. Page Society. She serves on the Strategic Communications advisory council for Northwestern University’s Integrated Marketing Communications graduate program and is a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow.

Karyn L. Aguirre ‘86

Karyn L. Aguirre received her Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Illinois State, Master of Social Work from Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois Chicago, and Master of Educational Leadership from the American College of Education. After 11 years with the state’s attorney, she came to realize through ardent prayer and deep soul searching that this was not her calling. Aguirre recognized that her true calling and passion was, and still is, shaping, molding, and impacting the lives of others. In November of 2004, Aguirre found a career that allowed her to engage her passion of service to others by working as a school social worker with the Chicago Public Schools. Finally, she had found a place where she could utilize her skills to positively impact lives. To date, she has assisted at-risk juveniles and students with profound and severe emotional disorders, behavioral challenges, and low-incidence disabilities. Aguirre is most proud of her work as the immediate past president of the Illinois State University Black Colleagues Association. She values assisting others in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Boy Scouts of America Troop 534, and the cancer ministry organization Different Shades of Pink.

Eric Burwell ‘90

Eric Burwell is principal and an owner of Burwell Management Company, a Lincoln-based property management company investing in a variety of real estate, private equity, venture capital, and liquid investments. Burwell graduated with two bachelor’s degrees, one in finance and the other in business administration. In the spring of 1988, Burwell joined the Theta Theta chapter of Alpha Tau Omega (ATO), America’s leadership development fraternity. While at Illinois State he met his wife, Karin ‘90, M.S. ‘94, a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. Upon graduation from Illinois State, Burwell attended Loyola University of Chicago where he earned his Master of Business Administration with a concentration in finance. After graduate school, he returned to Bloomington and re-engaged with Alpha Tau Omega, serving on the board of directors for its housing corporation for more than 23 years, as a chapter advisor, and as a member of the chapter’s board of trustees since 2000. He currently serves as an alumni scholarship advisor and oversees numerous academic scholarships given annually by ATO to its members. Burwell has served on and volunteered with numerous industry and community organizations, including the Phillips 66 Marketer’s Technology advisory board, Children’s Discovery Museum board, Central Illinois Regional Airport Master Plan advisory council, Heartland Bank and Trust Company board of directors, and HBT Financial, Inc. board of directors. Additionally, Burwell has served as a member of the board of directors for the Illinois State University Foundation since 2003.

Karin (Struck) Burwell ‘90, M.S. ‘94

Karin (Struck) Burwell was inspired by her parents and their volunteer work in their community. She embraced that lifestyle and was involved in many service activities throughout high school and college. At Illinois State University, Burwell pledged Alpha Gamma Delta in the spring of 1987. After graduation from Illinois State, Burwell returned to the Chicago suburbs and taught special education while pursuing a master’s degree at Concordia University in River Forest. In the fall of 1992, she returned to Bloomington-Normal to complete her master’s degree at Illinois State, graduating in December of 1994. Burwell has served as an advisor to the Beta Omicron Chapter of Alpha Gamma Delta since the fall of 1992. She currently wears the honor of Arc with Diamonds for her years of service to the fraternity. In the fall of 2014, Burwell began working at Rader Family Farms. She leads the field trip team by educating thousands of children each season through the pumpkin patches. Giving to the community has been at the heart of Burwell’s devotion. In the past, she has served on the Trinity Lutheran Church Board of Lay Ministry as curriculum and instruction chair, the Trinity Lutheran School Board, a guild member of the Children’s Discovery Museum, and a volunteer reader in the reading program at Trinity Lutheran School.

The Division of Student Affairs is currently seeking nominations for the next Hall of Fame class. Visit to learn more about how to nominate alumni who are deserving of this prestigious award. Nominations are due Wednesday, December 1.