Transforming lives

Transforming lives

Oct 22
Meg Cline, Associate Dean of Advancement

Each and every day I am reminded of the phenomenal impact our donors have on the lives of people they may never know.  One of these many stories involves Mrs. Arlys M. Streitmatter Conrad.  Recently, the University of Illinois Foundation prepared a video to highlight the impact of Arlys’ gift.  As I watched this video, it brought back a flood of warm memories of time spent with Arlys. 

Arlys was quite a lady.  I will remember her as one of the finest individuals I have had the privilege to know in my professional career.  While Arlys lived in a high-rise condo overlooking Navy Pier in Chicago in the heart of a bustling metropolis, her heart never left the family farm she was raised on in central Illinois.  She was passionate about agriculture, was a tough critic of the use of the English language in its most appropriate form, a staunch advocate for Illinois, and saw the possibilities of how she could make a difference to others through an investment in higher education.   

Arlys’ commitment to her parents, her roots, and acknowledgement of the role Illinois played in shaping her life live on today through her generous support.  Because of Arlys, numerous young people have received scholarships to attend the University of Illinois, have had the opportunity to travel the world,  and experienced  an education they never thought possible.  Faculty in ACES are doing critical work to shape our world that would not have been done without Arlys’ financial support, and faculty and students in the humanities are able to further their scholarship.  

Thank you Arlys, for making a difference.  You did not make a gift – instead, you transform lives every day and your legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of the faculty and students who benefit.