Every month the Administrative/Professional (A/P) Council highlights an A/P staff member through a series of questions as another way for the Illinois State community to connect. This month, readers can get to know A/P staff who were recently elected to Representative positions on A/P Council. Wilma Bates, Director of Development, College of Education & the Lab Schools, was elected to serve as the Awards Representative.

Awards Representative: Wilma Bates

Job title/position

Director of Development for the College of Education and The Lab Schools

What are your responsibilities in this role?

Represent and support the COE and Lab Schools as the development (fundraising) liaison in pursuing major gifts of $25K and above from alumni, supporters, friends, and foundations. I work closely with the COE Dean to identify funding priorities and opportunities for donors and then strategically plan and connect with donor prospects that have a desire to support ISU. This requires traveling to visit with donors and prospects around the state and the country. 

How long have you been an employee at ISU?

I have been at ISU for eight years.

What do you love most about working at ISU?

Being able to support and help donors reach their philanthropic goals and seeing the impact that scholarship support has on our students. So many educators received scholarships when they were students, and it is important for them to give back. It is rewarding when it all comes together and when a donor meets a student recipient of a scholarship, it is a magical moment for both the donor and student.  

What is one fact about yourself that might surprise people?

I love to visit art museums and local bookstores when I travel.   

When you’re not working, what are you most likely doing?

Spending time with my husband, Richard; traveling to visit our sons, Keita or Kai; taking walks with our Maltipoo, Quincy; reading; watching basketball; taking walks along the lakefront in Chicago; visiting museums.

What is your favorite spot on campus?

I love the view from the 2nd floor of the Bone Student Center (BSC) that overlooks the campus.  

What quote most inspires you? Why?

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”—Joseph Campbell  

I believe we all start out with a plan of how we want or think our life will be, and things happen. Priorities change, and life gets in the way, but it can be hard to let go of the blueprint we have in our minds, that we have held on to for so long. Once we can let go and accept and embrace the changes, I believe we find success and joy in the beautiful reality of our lives.