Always an Illini: Legacies continue in diverse ways after the tassel turns
headshot of Dave Shockey
Dave Shockey
Marla Todd
July 12, 2021

Once an Illini, always an Illini. This maxim is more than an expression of alumni loyalty for Dave Shockey (Ag Science, ’80; Law, ’83). It is a way of life.

Shockey’s connection to Illinois is far from faded since he graduated from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) in 1980 and from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1983. There are many diverse ways alumni can remain connected with and support the College of ACES, something Shockey embraces.

Serving as president of the ACES Alumni Association, providing donor support, and contributing to the College of ACES Dean’s Advisory Committee are just a few of the ways he has provided support over the past 40 years.

“I derive a great deal of satisfaction from remaining close to the University of Illinois and College of ACES,” Shockey says. “It’s fascinating to come back and see what’s happening in ACES’ departments – things that are impacting the future of our industry.”

Through his personal, professional, and alumni experiences, Shockey finds many people who are incredibly proud to be Illinois alumni. The impact Illinois makes on students and alumni is something he describes as “no accident.”

This Illini pride is one of many reasons that fuel Shockey’s commitment to remain active as an alumnus and encouraging others to find their own way to support.

“Quality programs need private support,” Shockey says.

For him, this support comes in many forms and impacts varied priorities. He especially aims to foster initiatives that were impactful to him as a student, like experiential learning.

Shockey notes that “experimenting a little” is a great way to find unique ways to support meaningful initiatives. In his professional career in estate planning, he reminds alumni to consider the importance of charitable estate gifts. He also believes in the significance of gifts that are more than money, including complete and partial donations of farmland.

“The beauty of it is that most people have the opportunity to give in many different ways,” Shockey says.

He advises other alumni and stakeholders to think about the things that have impacted their own life.

“The University of Illinois is at the top of my list,” he concludes. “If that’s the case for others, it should be at the top of their list, as well.”