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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of ACES
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E-Alum Report September 2015

Congratulations to the ACES Alumni Award Winners

ACES Alumni Award Winners

The College of ACES College Connection was held on Friday, September 11 at the Hilton Hotel and Conference Center. Over 200 alumni and friends joined to celebrate the College of ACES and recognize several alumni and friends that were recognized by the College of ACES Alumni Association. Those recognized during the evening include:

ACES Outstanding Young Alumni Award

  • Karen A. Corrigan, B.S. '97 Crop Sciences of Goodfield, IL
  • Adam P. Rochman, B.S. '01 FSHN of Chicago, IL
  • Danielle R. Waterworth, B.S. '02 ACE of Kansasville, WI

ACES Family Spirit Award Winner

  • The Robert L. Randall Family

Friend of ACES

  • Orion Samuelson

This year the College of ACES Alumni Board of Directors incorporated an alumni speaker to the evening. Robert Easter, President Emeritus of the University of Illinois, shared many of the milestones the College of ACES has met during his tenure from student to President during his years at the University of Illinois. It was a pleasure to hear his history of the college and remember our college history.

To view photos:

View Award winner videos:

University Announces Robert A. Easter Fund

Robert A. Easter

The University of Illinois announced the establishment of a permanent endowment fund that will create the Robert A. Easter Chair in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. During the ACES College Connection, Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson shared that pledges totaling over $2 million have been raised and additional gifts are sought.

Future Deans of the College of ACES will hold the chair. It will serve not only as an enduring legacy to Easter's service to the University and ACES, but also a lasting reminder of his leadership and commitment to advance Illinois agriculture.

Dr. Easter has devoted his career to service at the University of Illinois. He served as Head of the Department of Animal Sciences, Dean of the College of ACES, and Interim Provost and Chancellor, before assuming the responsibility of President in 2012. In his roles mentoring graduate students, interacting with industry and stakeholder groups, conducting groundbreaking research in swine production and nutrition, and accepting the challenges of administrative positions, Dr. Easter has exemplified integrity, professionalism, and humility, Chancellor Wilson noted.

The College of ACES appreciates all those who generously contributed to the fund. Continuing to grow this endowment is a priority of the College of ACES. To learn more about supporting the Robert A. Easter endowed fund, please contact theCollege of ACES Office of Advancement or call 217-333-9355.

Orion Samuleson Named first Friend of ACES

Orion Samuleson

The College of ACES Alumni Association and the College created a new award entitled the Friend of ACES. On September 11, 2015 at the ACES College Connection, we recognized the first recipient of this award for the many hours of dedication and loyalty he has given to the College of ACES and beyond.

Many of you know this honorary alum of the University of Illinois - Orion Samuelson, one of the country's most prolific broadcasters and long considered the "voice" of agriculture, has been named the first recipient of the ACES Alumni Association Friend of ACES award. Samuelson is the agribusiness director of WGN-Radio, Chicago, and vice president of WGN-Radio and WGN-TV, Chicago.

Samuelson has given generously of his time and resources to the University of Illinois and the College of ACES over the span of his career in broadcasting. He has directed thousands of dollars in private support to Illinois and ACES through his public speaking engagements at such venues as the State Fair Sale of Champions and the College of ACES tent at the Farm Progress Show. Through his regular broadcasts with WGN radio, Orion has referenced ACES programs and advocated for their support for decades.

Among his many honors, Samuelson was named a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. He received the Lincoln Medal, the highest award bestowed by the State of Illinois. He has also been awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Illinois.

His lifelong commitment to agriculture has been recognized by numerous organizations in all segments of agribusiness. He has received the American Farm Bureau Federation Distinguished Service Award, the National 4-H Alumni Award, and the Honorary FFA American Farmer Degree. As a tribute to his service to the agricultural youth of Illinois, former Governor Jim Edgar changed the name of the Junior Livestock Building on the state fairgrounds in Springfield to the Orion Samuelson Junior Livestock Building.

Samuelson's more than 60-year career in agricultural journalism (55 years with WGN) has afforded him many unique, and often quite varied, opportunities. On the campaign trail of the presidential race in 1960, he was asked to speak privately with then-Senator John Kennedy about farm issues of the day. Three years later, he was the announcer on air at WGN when word came that Kennedy had been shot. He has met seven presidents and had dinner at the White House during the Nixon administration.

On the less formal end of the spectrum, Samuelson said a highlight of his career was being the announcer for the WGN Barn Dance. "When WLS signed off as a farm station, I thought it would be a shame to let the Barn Dance die so we brought it to WGN and, from 1960 to 1969, I got to meet some of the greats of the business."

Samuelson often speaks to agricultural youth clubs, and he said, "I always tell young people, if you don't remember anything else I've said, remember this: You can't dream big enough. As a kid sitting on a three-legged milking stool in Wisconsin, I never would have believed the life I had in front of me."


Orion, yours is a "big" life of exemplary service to the field of agriculture and to the thousands of people across the country who benefit from your wit, wisdom, and expertise. Thank you for all you have done for the University of Illinois and our college - we are proud to name you our very first Friend of ACES.

ACES in Places: Barber & Oberwortmann Horticulture Center

Horticulture Center

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

Share your Illini Spirit in Joliet, IL at the Barber & Oberwortmann Horticultural Center. The facility is a 12,000 square foot facility located adjacent to the Bird Haven Greenhouse. You will have an opportunity to tour the green houses, enjoy dinner and a short program from the University of Illinois College of ACES.

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

When: Thursday, October 15, 2015

Where: Barber & Oberwortmann Horticultural Center
227 N. Gougar Road, Joliet, IL 60432

5:00 p.m. - Tour of greenhouses
6:00 p.m. - Buffet Dinner 
7:00 p.m. - Program 
8:00 p.m. - Wrap Up

Cost: $25.00 per person

RSVP by Friday, October 2, 2015 at 5:00 p.m.

Register online:

For questions or assistance, please contact the University of Illinois College of ACES Alumni Association at 217-333-7744

Award of Merit Call for Nominations

The University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences alumni bring honor to themselves and their alma mater through many ways. The ACES Alumni Association celebrates alumni who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement, or through outstanding leadership or service have significantly enhanced or improved the lives of others. Nominate an outstanding alumni today! Nominations are due October 15, 2015.

Thanks for Visiting Illinois at the Farm Progress Show

ACES Alumni Association at the Farm Progress Show

The University of Illinois had a strong presence at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, IL on September 1-3, 2015. We were pleased to meet many alumni and friends of the College of ACES during the three days. The College of ACES Alumni Association provided stickers for alumni during the three day event that said "I am Proud to Be An ACES Alum" and gave out ACES Alumni shopping bags to those that stopped to visit. We had a wonderful time greeting alumni and hearing where our alumni are today! The University of Illinois tent also hosted Orion Samuelson's morning show each day and had University of Illinois President, Timothy Killeen join us on Wednesday. Many of our department staff were also on hand to visit about the college, answer future students questions and visit with alumni about current research.

Thank you for stopping in to say Hello!

To see more photos visit:

Board Openings on the ACES Alumni Board of Directors

The ACES Alumni Board is seeking three ACES Alumni Board positions on the ACES Alumni Board of Directors beginning in December 2015.

Nominees must have received a degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

The Board of Directors meets four times per year on a week day. This year's elections will occur during the December board meeting of the ACES Alumni Board of Directors, December 4, 2015. Most of the meetings are held on campus, unless otherwise decided by the executive board.

Board members are expected to serve on a committee(s) to further the mission of the ACES Alumni Board of Directors. Standing committees are: Nominating Committee, Alumni Engagement, Award & Recognition, and Student Engagement. Additional committees are established on an as needed basis. These committees meet via conference calls between board meetings.

  • District 5 Director - The nominee must also reside in one of the following counties: Adams, Brown, Cass, DeWitt, Logan, Macon, Mason, Menard, Morgan, Moultrie, Piatt, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler or Scott. 
  • District 7 Director - The nominee must reside in one of the following counties:Alexander, Bond, Calhoun, Christian, Clinton, Fayette, Greene, Jackson, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Randolph, St. Clair, Union and Washington. 
  • Young Alumni Director - Chicago - Responsible for representing recent ACES graduates in the Chicago area. He/she communicates the needs and concerns of these alumni to the ACES Alumni Association Board of Directors. The director also provides leadership to programming that offers current students a better understanding of what the Alumni Association is and better defines the benefits of membership and how the Alumni Association functions.

The nominating committee requires the following information:

  • A letter outlining why the alumnus or alumna wants to serve in this capacity and the skills or experiences that the alumnus or alumna will bring to the Board of Directors.
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • One letter of reference and two additional names which may be contacted.

More information can be found online about these positions:

Applications can be submitted by October 16, 2015 to Tina Veal, ACES Alumni Director, 124 ACES Library, Information & Alumni Center, 1101 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801

Ag Comm Huddle Reunion

Ag Comm Huddle Poster

Date: Oct 24, 2015

Time: 8:30 am - 10:30 am

ACES Library, Information and Alumni Center
1101 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana

Complimentary event includes coffee, doughnuts and story sharing with agricultural communications faculty, students and staff.

Lulu Rodriguez

U of I Homecoming 2015

U of I Homecoming 2015 Graphic

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign warmly invites you to return to Alma Mater each year for Homecoming.

Typically held in October, Homecoming at the U of I is the longest continuously running such collegiate event, beginning in 1910 and marking its 100th anniversary in 2010. The occasion has taken place in each of those 100 years, with the exception of 1918, when the event was canceled because of the exigencies of World War I.

Homecoming's original concept – designed by two University of Illinois students, Clarence Foss Williams, Class of 1910, and W. Elmer Ekblaw, Classes of 1910 and 1912 – was to offer an annual event geared specifically to alumni and centered around a football game. Its inaugural launch was an unqualified success, drawing more than 10,000 participants. UI enthusiasm for Homecoming has not dimmed since.

While in some ways Illinois has cherished and maintained certain Homecoming traditions, it has also moved forward across the century, finding new ways to celebrate and new causes for pride in the institution, its students and its alumni. Innovations that have sprung up over the years include the parade, pep rally, Homecoming Court, tent parties and many additional campus activities. The latest Homecoming tradition to evolve is iHelp, a volunteer event begun in 2006 by the Student Alumni Ambassadors of the UI Alumni Association, in which more than a thousand University students and alumni give back to their communities each year.

Illinois Homecoming 2015 takes place on the week of October 18 - 24. Please join us in celebrating long friendships, ongoing learning and the ever-promising future of the University of Illinois.

More information can be found online:

Field & Furrow 80th Annivesary Celebration

Field & Furrow Graphic

You are Invited to join current Field and Furrow members, fellow alumni, staff and faculty in celebration of Field and Furrow's 80th Anniversary. A full weekend of events are scheduled for November 6-7, 2015 in Urbana-Champaign. Register online by November 2, 2015 at A block of rooms is reserved at the iHotel (reference you are with Field and Furrow event). Please direct any questions to Megan Ward or 217-333-8198.

Schedule of Events

Friday, Nov. 6 

6:00 - 10:00 p.m. Field & Furrow Arrival Reception, iHotel, 1900 S. First St. Champaign 

Saturday, Nov. 7 

9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Turner Hall Renovation Tour I (offered twice this day)

Come see the renovated lobby, crop and soil science teaching laboratories! Parking will be available in the ACES Library circle lot. Enter Turner Hall through the west entrance facing the ACES library. We know many of you have supported this project and welcome you to see the finished project. Classes started in these labs this fall. Phase I is completed! Phase II planning begins this fall. Fundraising is 80% completed.

11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Lunch - Illinois Football Game Watch (Illini vs Purdue Away Game), Memorial Stadium 77 Club (Enter through Gate 16 on the west side of Memorial Stadium)

Join fellow Field and Furrow alumni and current members for lunch while we watch the Illini play Purdue on the many screens in the 77 Club (indoor viewing space overlooking the field). Current members of the club will have their SASES posters on display so you can view their presentations as well as information about the Field and Furrow club activities.

2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Turner Hall Renovation Tour II 

If you missed the morning tour, catch a shuttle from Memorial Stadium after lunch. Parking is also available in the ACES Library circle lot. Enter West doors facing ACES Library. Come see the renovated lobby, crop and soil science teaching laboratories! We know many of you have supported this project and welcome you to see the finished project. Classes started in these labs this fall.

6:00 - 10:00 p.m. Field and Furrow Banquet and Silent Auction, IHotel

Celebrate the 80th! Reconnect with your old friends from Field and Furrow, meet the current members and view the full collection of achievement books. After reminiscing, we invite you to participate in the silent auction to raise funds for field and furrow student travel to the national and regional SASES conferences.

ACES Class Notes

ACES Class Notes Graphic

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.

New University of Illinois Alumni Association Website

Preview of the New University of Illinois Alumni Associaiton website

The University of Illinois Alumni Association recently unveiled a brand-new website for graduates of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign: This interactive online destination is designed just for UI alumni and acts as a virtual gateway to the UI Alumni Association. Visit often for the latest Alumni & Campus Stories, Upcoming Events, Alumni Awards announcements, Illinois Connection Calls to Action, EXPLORERS tours and more!

Calendar of Events

  • October 2 - Registration due for ACES in Places: Barber & Oberwortmann Horticultural Center, Joliet
  • October 15 - ACES Award of Merit Nominations Due
  • October 15 - ACES in Places: Barber & Oberwortmann Horticulture Center, Joliet, IL
  • October 23-25 - U of I Homecoming Weekend
  • October 24 - Ag Comm Huddle
  • November 6-7 - Field & Furrow 80th Anniversary
  • December 4 - ACES Alumni Board Meeting

Join us on Social Media

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!

Join one of our many groups for the College of ACES, ACES Alumni Association or University of Illinois to keep up to date with current activities or to reconnect with your alma mater!

ACES Alumni Association hosts the following groups online:

Update Your Email Address

Email me

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 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

Looking for An Illini Network?

Alumni Network Map

Have you joined 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!

Support the ACES Alumni Endowment

The ACES Alumni Association launched a campaign to create an endowment fund that will help us sustain our existing programs and activities as well as provide funds that give us opportunities to create and grow new points of connection for you and other alumni. We need your help to continue the tradition of making lifelong connections with all alumni who graduated from the College of ACES in the past as well as future graduates! 

To continue alumni efforts and expand, make a gift by contacting us at 217-333-7744. Thank you for your support!