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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of ACES
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April 2018 E-Alum Report

Celebrating Home Economics at the University of Illinois

On Friday, April 20, the College of ACES celebrated the 45th Anniversary of the Home Economics/SHRFS Alumni Association and the 75th Anniversary of the Child Development Lab. Over 50 alumni attended the day with a luncheon and a program. Speakers included Dean Kim Kidwell, Dr. Shelly Nickols-Richardson, Dr. Sue Koerner, Brent McBride and from alumni Bill Francis and Annie Murray Easterday.

Tours followed of the newly refurbished Pilot Plant, Food Labs, Bevier Cafe, Spice Box, Child Development and Early Childhood Development Labs and the Doris Christopher Hall Family Resiliency Center and TAP (The Autism Program) program and ended the day with a High Tea.

Many thanks for all who attended this special event to celebrate the rich history of the College of ACES and the foundation that Home Economics gave to us today.

View photos from event

Video of History

ACES in Places: GRO Horticulture - May 30th

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

Share your Illini Spirit at GRO Horticulture in Union, IL. GRO Horticulture Enterprises, Inc. began in 1985 specializing in large-tree planting and transplanting.  Today, 30 years later they have the largest fleet of tree-moving equipment in the Midwest.  Since 1989, the nursery has grown to a total of 250 acres and now includes a wide variety of shade trees, ornamental trees and evergreens.  Join us for a tour of this facility and see a tree spade transplanting demonstration, owned by Greg Oltman, B.S. '72 Horticulture.  Dinner and a program will follow off-site at the Pinecrest Golf Club.

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.

Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2018

5:15 PM                                 Registration
5:45 PM                                 Welcome
6:00 PM                               Tree Spade transplanting demonstration
6:30 PM                               Hayrack tour of the Nursery
7:00 PM                                Conclude and head to Pinecrest Golf Club
7:15 PM                                  Dinner & Program
8:30 PM                                  Conclude

GRO Horticulture Enterprises, Inc.
14440 Marengo Road
Union, IL  60180

Pinecrest Golf Club
11220 W. Algonquin Road
Huntley, IL  60142

Cost: $30.00

Registration Deadline:  Wednesday, May 23, 2018

We look forward to seeing you!



ACES in Places: Research Park - June 4th

Save the date!

Join us in Champaign, Illinois on Monday, June 4, 2018 for an ACES In Places event at Research Park at Granularbeginning at 5:30 p.m.   Granular is one of the first companies to apply Silicon Valley technology expertise to the agriculture industry, utilizing software and data science to transform farming, increase transparency, and enable new ways of doing business. 

Join us as Granular opens their new space in Research Park and hear from a panel of agricultural companies about why they chose Research Park for their company and the connections to the University of Illinois.

Since its doors first opened in 2001, Research Park has provided growth and development for the University in the form on research, outreach, and influential advances in technological fields. 

Stay tuned for more information on the events page and a registration link for this ACES in Places event!

ACES Family Academies Registration Available

The College of ACES Alumni Association is once again hosting the ACES Family Academies program on July 12-13, 2018, on the College of ACES campus! Alumni may bring youth ages 8-13 years of age with them to this hands on educational event at the University of Illinois.

Participants will enjoy the college experience living in a residence hall, eating in the dining facilities and having a tailgate, and participating in educational classes on the College of ACES campus. This program gives you the 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 annual opportunity to return to campus with your children, grandchildren, nieces, or nephews to share in this experience!

Register online at Deadline to register is June 1, 2018.

Registration will be on a first come, first served basis.

Cost: $195.00 per person

Learn more.

Award of Merit Luncheon

On April 9, 2018 the College of ACES Alumni Association recognized five outstanding alumni as the 2018 Award of Merit winners. These individuals have made a significant impact in their careers and their communities.

  • Sam R. Eathington - B.S. ’91, M.S. ’92, Ph.D. ’95 Agronomy of Chesterfield, MO; Chief Scientist, The Climate Corporation 
  • Eric H. Jackson - B.S. ’83 Ag Economics of Minneapolis, MN; Chief Executive of Pipeline Foods 
  • David W. Mies - B.S. ’70 Ag Sciences, M.S. ’71 Plant Breeding of Mahomet, IL; Consultant Global Plant Breeding
  • Donald L. Moffitt - B.S. ’69 Ag Education of Gilson, IL; Retired Assistant Director, Illinois Department of Agriculture; Retired, Illinois State Representative  
  • John G. Reifsteck - B.S. ’77 Ag Economics of Champaign, IL; Chairman of the Board and President, GROWMARK, Inc.

View videos (or picture album) of the award winners here!

Maschhoffs Event a Success

On March 20th, ACES alumni, students, and friends gathered at The Maschhoffs in Carlyle, IL.

Thank you to Julie Maschhoff (B.S. ’86 ACES) and Bradley Wolter (B.S. ’97, M.S. ’99, Ph.D. ’02 ACES) and the rest of the staff of The Maschhoffs for opening their facility for the evening and teaching us about their company, ongoing research, and development.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the evening! Stay tuned for future ACES in Places events.

View photos

Chicago Illini of the Year

On April 3rd, Tommy DiSanto (B.S. ’87 ACES) was recognized as one of the recipients of the 2018 Chicago Illini of the Year award. 

A soybean options trader by day, DiSanto doubles as one of the nation’s most respected names in country music and Chicago hospitality.

From the trading pits of the Chicago Board of Trade to his ownership of Joe’s on Weed Street and Joe’s Trackside, Chicago’s only off-track betting facility, DiSanto has employed and mentored many fellow Illinois alumni over the past three decades. He regularly sponsors Illini events at his Chicago-area establishments, a hospitality portfolio that also includes Bub City, Joe’s Live Rosemont, and Three Dots and a Dash.

DiSanto’s passion to support various Chicago causes, such as Lurie Children’s Hospital, the Greater Chicago Food Depository and Chicago Children’s Charities, is matched only by his spirited commitment to the University. A member of the Centuria Circle of the U of I Foundation’s President’s Council, DiSanto is particularly connected to Illinois Athletics and has endowed a golf scholarship.

Congratulations Tommy!

View Photos

ACES Tassel Turn

All families are invited to join ACES graduates at the ACES Tassel Turn event, a cake and punch reception, in between the two ceremonies from 2 – 4 p.m at the Colonnades Club in Memorial Stadium.  Registration is open for families to register. This event is sponsored by the College of ACES Alumni Association and all graduates will all receive a green screen photo with the alma mater and an ACES Alumni t-shirt. 

We look forward to welcoming graduates to the ACES Alumni Family!


ACES Commencement Date Set

Join us to celebrate our new alumni! The ACES Commencement Date has been set!

ACES Convocation:
Sunday, May 13, 2018
5:30 pm State Farm Center

Learn more:

Young Alumni, Family Spirit, Career Achievement - Nominations Due

Three ACES Alumni Award opportunities await!  Do you know a deserving ACES alum to be nominated today?!

Nomination due May 15th, 2018

ACES Outstanding Young Alumni Award

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.

Guidelines for Nomination:

  • Nominees must have received a bachelors, masters or doctorate degree from the University of Illinois College of ACES.
  • Nominee must be under the age of 40 on January 1, 2018.
  • Nominee should be able to attend the ACES College Connection Weekend, September 8th-9th to accept the award.
  • A minimum of two letters of reference and a maximum of four, in support of the nomination. One letter of reference should be from a University of Illinois faculty or staff member. Names and addresses must be included on reference letters.
  • Attach resume of nominee (no vitas please).

ACES Family Spirit Award

The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Family Spirit Award recognizes those family members who have demonstrated their support of the College as alumni and/or current students. Selection will be based on, but not limited to a display of sincere dedication to the College of ACES and significant connections to the College and University. Awardees will be honored during the ACES Alumni Weekend activities in Fall 2018.

Guidelines for Nomination:

  • Nominee should be able to attend the ACES College Connection Weekend, September 8th-9th to accept the award.
  • A minimum of two and a maximum of three letters of reference, in support of the nomination. Either the nomination or one letter of reference must be from a University of Illinois faculty or staff member. Name, addresses, and email addresses must be included on reference letters.
  • Nomination packet

ACES Career Achievement Award

The University of Illinois College of ACES Alumni Association 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.  Distinctive from the Award of Merit, which recognizes an individual’s combined body of work, this award recognizes a more focused, exceptional contribution or achievement.

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.

Can be recognized at ACES College Connection Weekend September 8-9 or if the recipient is unavailable to attend, another appropriate time and location for recognition will be determined.

The selected individuals will also become Round Barn Society members and will be pinned when receiving their recognition. 

Nomination forms can be found online:

Upcoming Events

  • May 12, 2018                U of I Commencement
  • May 13, 2018                ACES Tassel Turn, 2-4 pm Colonnades Club
  • May 13, 2018                ACES Commencement, 5:30p.m., State Farm Center
  • May 14, 2018                ACES Alumni Board of Directors Meeting
  • May 15, 2018                ACES Young Alumni, Family Spirit and Career Achievement Award Nominations Due
  • May 30, 2018                ACES in Places:  GRO Horticulture, Union, IL
  • June 1, 2018                 ACES Family Academies Registration Due
  • June 4, 2018                 ACES in Places:  Research Park at Granular, Champaign, IL
  • July 12-13, 2018           ACES Family Academies
  • September 7, 2018        ACES College Connection
  • September 8, 2018        Celebrate Food and Agriculture Day (Formally Salute to Ag Day)
  • November 2-4, 2018      U of I Dads Weekend

** ACES in Places events TBD** - watch for more information

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.


Update Your Email Address

Do you have an updated email address on file? Do you have an email you prefer to receive correspondence to? 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

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.

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 -

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!