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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of ACES
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April 2017 E-Alum Report

ACES Award of Merit Luncheon

The College of ACES Alumni Association is pleased to announce the 2017 ACES Award of Merit winners.

The 2017 ACES Award of Merit Winners include:

  • Leon C. Corzine – B.S. ’72 Ag Mechanization of Assumption, IL.  President of LPC Farms, Inc.
  • Robert A. Easter – Ph.D. ’76 Animal Sciences of Mahomet, Illinois; President Emeritus University of Illinois & Emeritus Professor.
  • John P. McNamara – B.S. ’76 Ag Sciences, M.S. ’78 Dairy Science of Pullman, WA. Emeritus Professor at Washington State University and Consultant for McNamara Research in Agriculture Firm.
  • Keith D. Parr – B.S. ’78 Ag Sciences of Elmhurst, Illinois; partner in Locke Lord, LLP.
  • Robert J. Wyffels – B.S. 77 Crop Science of Geneseo, IL; co-owner, vice president of production at Wyffels Hybrids.

The ACES Award of Merit Luncheon will be held:

  • Date:  Monday, April 17, 2017
  • Location:  I-Hotel & Conference Center
  • Time:  11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
  • Cost:  $30.00

Deadline extended to April 10, 2017 online.

ACES Family Academies Summer 2017

The College of ACES Alumni Association will host the ACES Family Academies program on July 13-14, 2017.  Participants can check in on the evening of July 12. Alumni are invited to bring youth ages 8-13 years old to campus for a 2 day educational experience while spending time together on the University of Illinois and College of ACES campus.

Participants will enjoy the college experience living in a residence hall, eating in the dining facilities and participating in educational classes on the College of ACES campus. This program will give you an opportunity to relive and share your college days as well as create new memories with your little Illini.

We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to return to campus with your children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews to share in this experience!

Registration Deadlines: Registration is open now until May 15 for ACES alumni. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today! Registration will open if space allows for non-alumni from May 15 to June 1.

Register Today!

Cost:  $195.00 per person

Volunteers will be needed to assist with the programming as hosts, photographers, moderators, etc. Volunteer Registration can be found online

We look forward to seeing you on campus this summer!

Special Thanks to Farm Credit

Special thanks to both 1st Farm Credit Services and Farm Credit Illinois for sponsoring the ACES Family Academies program for the second year!  This program has grown and expanded due to their event sponsorship to help provide an opportunity to for ACES alumni to engage with their alma mater, provide an opportunity for youth to learn about agriculture and provide a family experience! 

Pictured:  Left Photo:  Tina Veal and Derek Weber, BS '00, 1st Farm Credit Services
Right Photo:  Tina Veal and Rod Stoll, BS '89, Farm Credit Illinois

Big Ten Ag Alumni Reception in Washington DC

In the spirit of institutional cooperation, the Big Ten schools with agricultural programs are once again gathered our alumni and friends in the Washington, D.C. area for a special event at the National Press Club on Monday, March 6, 2017.

We enjoyed the fellowship of alumni and friends from the colleges of agricultural sciences and natural resources representing Michigan State University, The Ohio State University, The Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, Rutgers University, University of Illinois, University of Maryland, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska, and the University of Wisconsin.  Reconnect with college deans, administrators, faculty and staff from your alma mater.

Thank you to all who attended and helped us to welcome our new Dean, Kim Kidwell to the College of ACES and the University of Illinois! Special thanks to the Washington DC Illini Club and our alumni leadership that have helped us to promote our events in DC!

More photos


ACES in Places: Eckerts

The College of ACES Alumni Association invites you to join us for an ACES in Places event.

Share your Illini Spirit in Belleville, IL at Eckert's Belleville Country Store & Farms. You will have an opportunity for a hayrack ride (weather permitting) of the farm, enjoy wine and food pairings from some of our ACES alumni, network, meet Dean Kim Kidwell and enjoy a short program from the College of ACES.

Special guests include: Dean Kim Kidwell, College of ACES Dean

We hope you will join us for an evening to network and celebrate agriculture with the College of ACES.

We look forward to an evening to share Illini Spirit!

Date: Monday, May 1, 2017

Location: Eckerts Belleville Country Store & Farms
951 S. Green Mount Road, Belleville, IL

Time: Registration 6:00 p.m.
Program will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Cost: $15.00/per person
Special thanks to Eckerts for offsetting the cost of the event.

Register online by Friday, April 21, 2017 -


Save the Date for another ACES in Places event scheduled in 2017 and an opportunity to meet Dean Kim Kidwell! 

  • June 6 - ACES in Places:  Lawfer Dairy, Kent, IL

Watch for more information to come!  We look forward to seeing you in 2017!

James Holderman Recognized as Chicago Illini of the Year

Congratulations to Judge James F. Holderman Jr., ’68 ACES, JD ’71 for being recognized as one of the 2017 Chicago Illini of the Year award recipients. Judge Holderman was recognized on Tuesday, March 6 at the University Chicago Club Chicago Illini Reception.

Appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by President Ronald Reagan in 1985, Judge James F. Holderman Jr. enjoyed a distinguished 30-year career as a federal judge, including seven years as Chief Judge. During his tenure, Judge Holderman presided over more than 10,000 cases, including some of the region’s highest profile cases, such as those involving the Chicago Cubs and former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. After retiring from the bench in 2015, he joined JAMS (previously known as Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services) as a mediator, arbitrator and trial consultant.

Leading organizations such as the American Bar Association, American Inns of Court and the Chicago Bar Association have recognized Judge Holderman for his varied contributions to the legal community, which includes authoring law review articles and book chapters, directing legal education seminars and teaching at law schools. For 22 years, Judge Holderman served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Illinois College of Law where he held the title of the James C. Wood Distinguished Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law, a topic on which he is regarded as one of the nation’s foremost judicial experts. Most recently, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner honored Judge Holderman with the 2017 Order of Lincoln award, which is the state’s highest honor for professional achievement and public service.

A native of Morris, Ill., and married to Paula Hudson LAS ’76, Holderman is a proud “Double Illini,” having earned both his undergraduate degree in agriculture as well as his law degree from Illinois. He is also a past president of the College of Law’s Board of Visitors

Pictured above:  LtoR: Marise Robbins-Forbes, Kim Morton, Rita Francis, Honorable Debra Walker, Jon DeMoss, Bill Francis, Judge James Holdermann, Kim Meenen, Sheila Fowler, Kurt Hansen and Tina Veal

More photos

NEW ACES Career Achievement Award

The College of ACES Alumni Association is excited to announce a new alumni award for this year!  The ACES Career Achievement Award was created in 2017 by the College of ACES Alumni Association to recognize graduates from the College of ACES who have had exceptional professional achievement and/or made extraordinary humanitarian contributions.  This award is separate and distinctive in that it places emphasis on career achievement only, while Award of Merit focuses on profession, community and University of Illinois service.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Is a graduate of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) or a predecessor college (College of Agriculture or the School of Human Resources and Family Studies/Home Economics) receiving a bachelors, masters and/or doctorate degree(s) AND
  • has contributed significantly to his/her profession, industry, and/or the greater community; OR
  • has a record of outstanding personal and professional accomplishments; OR
  • has made extraordinary contribution via volunteer or humanitarian efforts resulting in meaningful or life-changing impacts for a significant population.
  • Award of Merit recipients are not eligible for this award.

Nominations are due June 1, 2017.

Learn more

Young Alumni and Family Spirit Award Nominations Due May 15

Visit the ACES Alumni Association website for downloadable & PDF fillable applications.

Outstanding Young Alumni – Due May 15, 2017. Each year the College of ACES Alumni Association honors up to three outstanding graduates of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement, or through outstanding leadership or service have significantly enhanced or improved the lives of others.

ACES Family Spirit Award – Due May 15, 2017. This award recognizes those family members who have demonstrated their support of the College as alumni and/or current students

Companies seeking Ag alums with an MBA

There is a big demand for candidates with ag backgrounds and an MBA, according to Elizabeth Chominski, Director of Graduate Business Career Services at Illinois’ College of Business. If you’ve ever considered getting an MBA, now is the time. Your connection to the College of ACES coupled with the network of employers seeking MBA students through the College of Business, puts you in a valuable position to take your career to the next level.  

And you won’t find a better return on investment because the Illinois MBA offers an Illinois x 2 Scholarship to Illinois alums with at least two years of full-time work experience. The Illinois x 2 Scholarship includes a 50% tuition reduction to the full-time MBA program. Learn more at  You can also schedule a time to talk with Serena Hoff, Associate Director of Admissions, by simply clicking on this link:   

ACES Tassel Turn

Registration Due no later than May 8, 2017

It's time to celebrate! We are pleased to invite ACES graduates and their families to a complimentary reception at Memorial Stadium's Colonnades Club. The ACES Alumni Association along with the ACES administrators, faculty and staff will be on hand to congratulate the College of ACES graduates and their families as well as welcome them to the ACES Alumni Association! Graduates, please wear your cap and gown.

Great photo opportunities await you at Memorial Stadium! Premiere access to the columns and field view will be moments you won't want to miss!

Graduates will receive a free ACES Alumni T-shirt and green screen photo as a gift from the ACES Alumni Association!

Date: Sunday, May 14, 2017
Time: 11:30-2:30pm 
Where: The Colonnades Club at Memorial Stadium (on the corner of First Street and Kirby Avenue)

Register online

Have you Dined at the Spice Box?

The Spice Box is a student-run restaurant associated with the University of Illinois Hospitality Management Program.

Each Spice Box meal has two menu selections, a Prix Fixe four-course meal option and a special two-course meal option. Prices vary by meal. Specialty wine and beverages are available. Meals are held Wednesdays and Fridays during the semester.

Reservations are available in half-hour time slots at 5, 5:30, 6, 6:30, 7 p.m. Please call 217-333-6520 to reserve your table today.

Upcoming Dates:

  • March 29 - A Night Out in Morocco
  • March 31 - Sunday Family Dinner in Paris
  • April 5 - A Bite of France
  • April 7 - A Taste of the Illini

Learn More

U of I Day at the Capitol

After 19 long months, the state of Illinois budget crisis drags on—and there’s no clear path to funding higher education in this state.

The University of Illinois is feeling the effects of the chronic uncertainty. It’s challenging to recruit elite faculty and students. It threatens crucial research grants and creates a less-than-ideal environment for students.

Defend the U of I’s future and let legislators know that another year of budget inaction and massive cuts is unsustainable.

Join fellow alumni and University leaders at the University of Illinois Day at the Capitol.

Summary of Events:
11:30 a.m.: Registration
Noon: Lunch and advocacy training
1:30 p.m.: Visits with legislators
3:30 p.m.: Adjournment

View photos from last year’s event.

Illinois Connection is the University of Illinois Alumni Association’s legislative advocacy network. To learn more about how you can voice your support for the U of I as an Illinois Connection advocate, visit the University of Illinois Connection advocacy page.

Join Illinois Alumni Insiders

You can count on us to help you stay connected with the University of Illinois.

Join the University of Illinois Alumni Association’s new virtual advisory panel—Illinois Alumni Insiders—and help shape future alumni programs and services by sharing your needs, wants, values and preferences with us.

To be eligible for this program, you must:
• Have earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
• Be between 36-55 years of age
• Live in the U.S.

As an Illinois Alumni Insider, you will …

Be Heard: Share your opinions on what it means to be part of the Illinois alumni community.

Be in the Know: Learn how your feedback is being implemented by your UI Alumni Association.

Win Illini Prizes: For every survey you complete, you will be automatically entered into a drawing to win prizes such as Illini apparel and merchandise, Illini Visa gift cards and more!

Learn More

Join the Illinois Marathon

Join the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon on April 20-22, 2017 in Champaign-Urbana!

Celebrating the 150th Year of the University of Illinois, this will be a race you will not want to miss! 

Learn More

$60 for 60 Years

As we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the College of ACES Alumni Association we reflect on the storied history of our ACES Family. The traditions we’ve shared over the past 60 years have allowed us to impact student success, recognize alumni achievement, and provide timely programming for our alumni and friends of the College of ACES.

Today, we are proud of each and every one of our 37,204 alumni living across Illinois, throughout the US, and in every corner of the world.

We’re proud to have awarded over 380 members of our family with Young Alumni Recognitions, Family Spirit Awards and the Award of Merit – the highest award our college can bestow. 

Each and every day, we are honored to connect with, and serve, our alumni; and share in our Orange and Blue ACES pride!

Learn more about the $60 for 60 campaign.

Join the 4-H Alumni Association

Were you a member of 4-H?  The University of Illinois Extension, Illinois 4-H, and the Illinois 4-H Foundation invite you to join the newly formed Illinois 4-H Alumni Association. A free life-time membership is available online @ We hope your 4-H memories bring a smile to your face. We're creating memories daily with today's 4-H members.

Upcoming Events

May 3, 2017                                       Easter Investiture Ceremony

April 17, 2017                                     Award of Merit Luncheon & Funk Banquet

May 1, 2017                                        ACES in Places: Eckerts, Belleville, IL

May 4, 2017                                        SAC Professional Development Trip

May 10, 2017                                      U of I Day at the Capitol, Springfield, IL

May 13, 2017                                      U of I Commencement

May 14, 2017                                      ACES Commencement /Tassel Turn 11:30-2:30 p.m. (May 14)

May 15, 2017                                      Young Alumni & Family Spirit Nominations Due

May 15, 2017                                      ACES Alumni Board of Directors Meeting

June 6, 2017                                       ACES in Places: Lawfers Dairy, Kent, IL

June 12-16, 2017                                NAADA Conference, Columbus, Ohio

July 13-14, 2017                                 ACES Family Academies

August 12, 2017                                 4-H Hall of Fame, Orr Building Illinois, State Fairgrounds 4-6pm

August 29-31, 2017                            Farm Progress Show, Decatur, IL

September 8, 2017                             ACES College Connection – tentative

September 9, 2017                             Salute to Ag Day


For more event announcements, including regional alumni events, visit All events are on campus unless specified.

Update Your Email Address

Do you have an updated email address on file? Do you have an email you prefer to receive correspondence too? Did your email address recently change?

We want to stay connected to you!

All invitations to events and college updates will be sent via email only. Please update your email address to stay connected today!

With the rising cost of postal mail, email communication is a cost effective way for the ACES Alumni Association to stay connected and provide updates, event announcements and invitations to you as our alumni. Please feel free to share your email address with us by sending it to

Stay Connected on Social Media

Online social networking is a great tool to stay in touch with alumni and friends from the College of ACES! We want to stay connected to you!  We post regular updates about activities, alumni profiles, on campus happenings, etc!  Stay connected with us!

ACES Alumni Association hosts the following groups online:

ACES Alumni Facebook -

College of ACES Facebook -

Twitter -

Linked In -  

YouTube -

Flicker -

Instagram -

Share your Class Notes

Check out Class Notes online -

Be sure to share any special times in your life with the ACES Alumni Association to keep your fellow alumni updated! Newly married? New job? Promotion? New book? New baby? We hope to hear from you.

Share your Illinois story for the UI Sesquicentennial

Do you have a favorite University of Illinois memory to share at the UI Sesquicentennial celebration? As the University of Illinois Alumni Association creates a Welcome Center for 2017, the Student Life and Culture Archives is collecting and cataloging objects and images that capture the essence and diversity of your Alma Mater experience.

Looking for an Illini Network?

Looking for an Illini Network? Join the University of Illinois Network! Stay up to date with the University of Illinois activities, events near you or join a local Illini Club!
The Illini opportunities await you! Get involved!