Excellence Everywhere

Excellence Everywhere

Feb 3
Kendra Courson, Director for Special Events

This week wraps up a month of Jonathan Baldwin Turner (JBT) interviews. I am fortunate I get to participate in these interviews as they are some of the most rewarding hours I spend each and every year.

Jonathan Baldwin Turner was a pioneer of agriculture education in Illinois. Turner’s dedication and leadership were influential in the passage of the Morrill Act, establishing a framework for the land-grant system of agricultural institutions throughout the US. Because of his instrumental role in conceptualizing the land-grant university system, Turner was selected as a namesake for the scholarship program.

In person interviews (and Skype interviews) have taken place over the past several weeks on campus as well as at the Illinois Business Center in Naperville. Approximately 130 highly qualified prospective students have been interviewed and, boy, have there been some exceptional young people. I am constantly amazed by the intelligence, humility, and insight of these outstanding students as well as the experiences they have had during high school. I have also been fortunate to interview students and then work with them after they have arrived on campus.

Last week’s trip to Naperville was quite an event. Over 50 students (a record) were interviewed by College of ACES faculty, staff and alumni. The day began at 5:00 a.m. and ended around 8:00 p.m. for those making the trip from campus. It was definitely a long day but all of us involved left feeling privileged for the opportunity to get to meet so many exceptional students. Another treat for us and the students/parents was we were joined by Illinois basketball great Dee Brown. Dee is currently serving in an administrative role with the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. And, not much has changed in the past 10 years since he was the star point guard for Illinois: he still loves the school, still wants to share experiences with prospective students and wants to help in any way.

Dee Brown discusses opportunities at Illinois with prospective students and their parents.