Why We Give

Dr. Ginny Boynton Boynton

Dr. Virginia “Ginny” Boynton, WIU professor of history, established the Richard D. and Janet L. Boynton History Honors Thesis Award endowment in honor of her parents to recognize and reward an outstanding undergraduate honors thesis each semester.

“I wanted to attach my parents’ names to something permanent, and something they would be pleased to be associated with,” said Boynton. “They were great and loving parents, always supportive of my educational endeavors.” She continued, “I regard this endowment as way to both pay tribute to my parents and reward an outstanding student in our department.”

“I’ve been contributing to history scholarships and various other areas since I came here as an assistant professor in 1995,” Boynton said. “My chair at the time, Gordon Kirk, came to my office with a payroll deduction card and told me about the departmental scholarships and how they are supported. Dr. Kirk and the other former chairs have managed the history department endowment very well, and I wanted to give to an area that had yet to be addressed.”

Tate Lindahl Lindahl

"I enjoy the performing arts. It's really nothing more profound than that." Those are the words of Tate Lindahl, a retired Western Illinois University administrator and Macomb resident, whose seven-figure bequest will support the much-anticipated Western Illinois University Performing Arts Center.

"I have always felt that the most important part of a performance, aside from the performers themselves, comes from the ambiance of the performance space," he added.

A longtime supporter of the arts at Western, Lindahl began his tradition of generosity by giving artwork to the University in the early 1980s. Five Rembrandt prints, considered the most valuable items in the WIU Art Gallery's permanent collection, were gifts from Lindahl.

"When I purchased the pieces for the gallery, my goal was to bring some historically significant pieces to WIU for use by students, faculty and the community," Lindahl said. He has also contributed works by Georges Rouault, Gatja Rothe, and Francisco Goya.

William “Dr. B.” and Jacquie Brattain Brattains

A scholarship to benefit transfer students from Hancock, McDonough and Schuyler counties has been established by William "Dr. B" and Jacquie Brattain.

"We have known for some time we wanted to establish a scholarship," said Dr. B. "We explored a lot of ideas and kept coming back to transfer students. It seems more and more students are spending time at a community college before coming to Western, and many could use the financial assistance. We are hoping to help address that need."

"Our ties to WIU are deep and our family has many connections. Jacquie and I are so pleased to be able to help out in this way," said Dr. B.

John Distefano Distefano

A demonstration by Dr. Mandeep Singh to the College of Business and Technology Advisory Board resulted in incremental funding in a “project that provides the unique opportunity to impact both course content as well as the approach to teaching which I believe can make a differential impact for hundreds (if not thousands!) of students.”

These are the words of CBT alum John Distefano ’80, principal at Ernst & Young, LLP and one of Consulting Magazine’s top 25 consultants for 2012. “I was very fortunate that most WIU professors recognized and were very patient with my non-traditional way of learning,” he continued. “This project has the opportunity to help deliver standardized content and structured learnings through a digital channel that can be customized and individualized by each student.”

“It’s great for Kim & me to see that supporting this project gives us the chance to impact young adults in a way that hopefully contributes to future success,” said Distefano.

“In addition to the personal support we are providing,” he continued, “I’m very grateful that Ernst & Young is also providing a strong financial contribution through our firm’s matching gifts program.”

George Hermann Hermann

George Hermann, a former teacher, coach, professor, graduate coordinator and department chair at Western Illinois University, established a graduate scholarship in kinesiology for WIU sport management majors.

"It's fun for me to share," said Hermann. "I enjoying giving some of my resources away and seeing someone benefit from them."

Hermann came to Western in 1967 to teach physical education in what was then the College of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER). During his 20-year tenure at WIU, he served as assistant/associate/full professor, graduate coordinator for men's physical education, graduate coordinator for College of HPER and associate chair and chair of the men's physical education department. Hermann was instrumental in developing the sport management program in 1972. Today, Western's program is one of the oldest and most established in the United States.