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Gala 2020 update

We have made the difficult decision to cancel this fall's Gala due to the pandemic.  Although we are unable to hold the Gala this year, we are already planning and anticipating the Century Celebration - our 100th birthday - in 2021.

An enthusiastic committee is planning a celebration worthy of Uni's 100th year for Oct. 9, 2021. Consider this our first "Save-the-Date" notice for what promises to be a spectacular celebration and an opportunity for generations of Uni alumni, faculty and staff to join together to celebrate the past and look ahead to the next century of innovation and exploration. 

Stay tuned to our newsletters throughout the year for details on Uni's Century Celebration in 2021!

 
   
 
 
 
 
 
Uni meets "With Illinois" campaign goal with unprecedented support

When the University of Illinois launched its most ambitious fund-raising campaign ever, With Illinois, Uni embraced the challenge by setting a goal of raising $10 million through alumni and parent donations. 

We are pleased to announce Uni High recently met their With Illinois campaign goal! This achievement was made possible through unprecedented support from our amazing Uni community and the leadership of our Uni High With Illinois Campaign Executive Board.

We would like to take this opportunity to recognize our With Illinois Campaign Executive Board Members:

  • John Finch (’52), Honorary Chair
  • Janet (‘72) & David (’73) Peshkin
  • G. Blaine Garst (’74)
  • Irene Strohbeen (’74)
  • Catherine (‘94) & George (‘95) Gruschow
  • Tony Khan (’01)
  • Charlie & Julie Shapland, Uni High alumni parents

This goal would not have been realized without the efforts of the former Uni High Advancement team: Marianne Downey, former Director for Advancement, and Josh Hall, former Assistant Director for Advancement.

What a wonderful way to wrap up 100 years of Uni High! We look forward to this continued tradition of giving for the next 100 years.

THANK YOU!

Janet Kroencke, Director and CAO for Advancement

 
   
 
 
 
 
 
Uni High update from Interim Director Elizabeth Majerus

As we begin a new school year, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Uni, like so many schools around the US and around the world, to rethink what it means to be a school. And yet, Uni remains a community, committed to challenging and engaging our students.

Uni teachers worked hard over the summer to prepare for this unprecedented year. Our faculty participated in a series of professional development workshops in June and August, focused on remote learning resources, active learning practices, problem-based learning, and peer-to-peer skill- and resource-sharing. We created a Health and Safety Task Force to help keep Uni abreast of evolving research on COVID-19 and its implications for schools. At the end of July, that group determined that the safest thing for our students and faculty was beginning the school year with all-remote learning. By the time school began, all of the local public high schools in Champaign-Urbana were also planning a remote first quarter.

Our faculty has been working hard in the weeks since school began to make school as engaging and meaningful as possible in this all-remote context. It’s a balancing act, creating classes that inspire and challenge students, without overwhelming them. We know that our students need the normalcy, connection, and inspiration that school provides, but we also understand that time and energy spent on school in this remote context is not equivalent to time and energy spent in our usual in-person school setting. As 2020-21 proceeds, and we strive to strike this balance in ways that are beneficial for the majority of our students, we will be seeking regular input from students and families.

Throughout this unpredictable and often difficult process, though, the support of our larger community has been invaluable. Funds from Uni’s Innovations in Learning campaign have enabled us to both provide our teachers with the technology resources they need to improve their remote classrooms and to offer technology support to students, in the form of Internet resources for families and loanable technology for students. These efforts have been facilitated to a great extent by our newly hired half-time Coordinator of Equity and Public Engagement, Valerie O’Brien (who also teaches in the English department half-time). Establishing the Coordinator of Equity and Public Engagement this year represents the first time in my more than twenty years at Uni that we have a staff member working on issues of equity, inclusion, and public engagement as a central aspect of their job, and I feel confident this investment will help Uni to do even better work serving our whole community and all of our students.

 

 
   
 
 
 
Uni grads in the news

 

Uni alum Langston Allston was recently featured in The News-Gazette for his mural featuring a message of "supporting community through passion and empathy".

Recent Uni grad Camden Coleman made the news for trying out for - and joining - Vanderbilt's football team without ever having played football before.

 

Know of a Uni grad in the news?  Please let us know so we can feature them in the newsletter!