Creating our future “With Illinois”

Creating our future “With Illinois”

Oct 18
Kim Kidwell, Dean of the College of ACES

On October 13, 2017, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign launched its most ambitious philanthropic campaign in our history: we will raise $2.25 billion by 2022 to help build the future of this university. As I witnessed the mesmerizing launch of the “With Illinois” campaign in the State Farm Center, my mentor, Dr. John Laughnan father of “super sweet corn,” flashed across the screen. It took my breath away to see the man who sparked my love for plant breeding being honored as one of the most influential contributors in the history of this campus. In that moment, I realized that everything I have accomplished in my career I have done “With Illinois.”

With Illinois validating my potential, I embarked on a journey towards understanding scientific discovery as a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin. With Illinois as my foundation, I embraced the opportunity to build an incredible wheat breeding program at Washington State University that still sets the standards of excellence for varieties grown in that region. With Illinois in my heart, I embraced the opportunity to return to my alma mater to lead the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) to the next level of excellence, knowing that the essence of extraordinary is alive and well here.

“With Illinois” we all are creating pathways toward living our best lives through the amazing discoveries that we make that transform lives, by inspiring the next generation to be the change they wish to see in the world, and by engaging to better our communities. As part of the “With Illinois” campaign, ACES aspires to raise $200 million to support transformative opportunities within every department and unit across the college. We will use these resources to develop leadership training, to support faculty endowments, to build cutting-edge infrastructure, and to create new programing designed to meet current and future talent needs in our industries. This is our moment to stand shoulder to shoulder with our alumni, donors, friends, and supporters to set the stage for manifesting a vibrant future for our college. 

We have outstanding examples to demonstrate that the College of ACES is investment-worthy: please visit or click here for a printable PDF. With opportunity, we translate possibility into reality.

With Illinois, and your help, we will ensure a vibrant future for the College of ACES. Please join our ACES Advancement team and myself by embracing the opportunity to contribute time, energy, and/or resources towards making this campaign a success.