Phil's Day 2013: The importance of 'Phil'

BY GUEST COLUMN | APRIL 22, 2013 5:00 AM

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I grew up on a fifth-generation family farm north of Peoria, Ill., as the eldest of four children. Like many families, our budget was tight, especially during the farm crisis of the early 1980s. I was essentially responsible for the cost of my education, and student loans and scholarships made it possible for me to attend the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign.

Those scholarships changed my life. They allowed me to expand my worldview and participate in remarkable educational experiences. They also launched me on my journey from farm girl to president of the University of Iowa Foundation.

That journey — from dreams to accomplishments — is what our second Phil’s Day is all about. “Phil” stands for “philanthropy,” and this event celebrates all those who donate to the UI, as well as all those who benefit from private support.

Our keynote speaker for this year’s Phil’s Day understands the true meaning of transformative educational opportunities. Named by Business Week as “one of the world’s most influential headhunters,” Janice Ellig is a 1968 UI graduate with more than 20 years’ experience as a senior-level corporate executive who currently is co-CEO of Chadick Ellig, an executive search firm in New York City. She also is a very generous UI giver and mentor, and she has established a scholarship for women students in the College of Public Health’s master of health administration program.

It is visionary philanthropists such as Janice who invested in my dreams — and who invest in yours, too — and I hope you will have the opportunity to hear her speak about her “Life with Phil” on May 2 at 1:30 p.m. in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber.

As you walk to her lecture and move throughout campus that day, you probably will notice all of our Phil’s Day “tags.” These stickers, posters, and gold ribbons highlight buildings and programs made possible by donations, and they also represent people who give, or benefit from, private support.

They are a tangible reminder that the results of philanthropy are all around you — whether you are walking into a facility that Phil built, working with a faculty member who Phil funded, or participating in a project that Phil created.

Phil helped make me who I am today — and I know that Phil will help you discover who you are meant to be as well. Together, we can celebrate the life-changing power of philanthropy during Phil’s Day 2013.

Lynette L. Marshall
President and CEO of the UI Foundation

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