The College of Education and University High School received a transformational $5 million estate gift commitment from an alum who wishes to remain anonymous. The commitment is among the largest planned gifts in university history.

A portion of the future funds will support an existing scholarship for University High School students who, like the donor, demonstrate a spirit of inquiry and creativity. Additional funds will also benefit the College of Education, with the goal of elevating the role of the teacher in society through enhanced selection and training of teachers. Future funds may also be used to boost teaching talent through research and advocacy.

“The donor’s commitment speaks to the value of the Illinois State University experience and demonstrates a desire to see the University and our students succeed. We’re incredibly grateful for the donor’s trust, vision, and investment,” said Illinois State University President Terri Goss Kinzy.

“We are honored to be on the receiving end of the donor’s generosity,” said University High School Principal Andrea Markert, M.S. ’03. “We’ve already seen the influence of scholarships on our students who go on to pursue higher education degrees with greater confidence and added financial security.”

There are currently 28 scholarships for University High School students, many of which were provided by U-High and Illinois State alumni whose student experience motivated them to give back.

Provost Aondover Tarhule said the gift presents an exciting opportunity for the College of Education.

“Thanks to this amazing investment, the College of Education will be well positioned for the future and able to continue to deliver the level of academic excellence for which is has become known,” said Tarhule.

With this gift, the donor joins Illinois State University’s Heritage Society, a group dedicated to providing for the University’s future through deferred or planned gift commitments. Together the Heritage Society has entrusted more than $105 million in future funds to the University, with giving designations ranging from scholarships and student support to faculty and facilities.