The challenges of pursuing a business education at Commerce are many and the concern of how to finance that education is not the least among them. While a degree from the University of Illinois has always represented an outstanding value, particularly when compared with private institutions of similarly high academic caliber, meeting educational costs remains a formidable obligation for many students and their families. Thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends of Commerce, more privately funded scholarships are available than ever before, giving our students precious freedom to take full advantage of the many opportunities offered at CBA.
In the stories below, we invite you to meet some of the donors who have recently established scholarships at the college and some of the students who have benefited by their generosity.
Receiving from the university and the college. Then giving back again. Just as this is the tale of so many donors to Commerce, so too it is the story of the late Gloria Dauten, whose $50,000 bequest has created the Gloria A. & Paul M. Dauten, Jr., Scholarship Fund, providing need-based scholarships to academically qualified undergraduates enrolled in the College of Commerce.
|Gloria, who died in the spring of 1997 at the age of 70, spent forty years as president of Dauten Enterprises Ltd. By the time she completed her work, her Champaign real estate development and holding company owned forty apartment buildings in Illinois, Florida, and Tennessee. Locally, that added up to somewhere between 150 and 200 units, rented to an annual population which could swell to as many as 400 students. "She probably built between fifteen and twenty buildings over her career," estimates her son Kent Dauten, himself a venture capitalist, who works for Keystone Capital, Inc., in Chicago. "She enjoyed construction, which was a rather unusual side line for a woman in the 1960s. In fact at that time it was unusual for a woman even to be in business." Of course, Gloria did have a partner her husband Paul Dauten, Jr., a Commerce faculty member who taught undergraduate and graduate-level courses in management for twenty-five years and retired as professor emeritus of business administration. Recalls Kent: "She and my Dad were a team in terms of the family business. They collaborated on all major business decisions acquiring new properties, new construction, financing. "|
"I think she really loved the students, and the youthful sense that comes from dealing with kids," her son continues. "There were headaches, but she saw the positive side. She definitely enjoyed her daily interactions and relationships with the students. She took a genuine interest in their personal lives. She was a little bit of a housemother and for many of the students who lived in her properties she was one of the only adults around on a daily basis."
Gloria was also quite active as a sorority alumna. While at Washington University in St. Louis, where she earned a B.S. in accounting, she had belonged to ZTA. She went on to take a characteristically energetic interest in the chapter at the University of Illinois, bringing her special skills to the running of the house (such as the hiring of cooks and housemothers), and she was also involved with the Panhellenic Council. "As a family we lived and breathed the University of Illinois," Kent recalls. While he opted to go East for his education, attending Dartmouth College and Harvard Business School, his sister, Sherryl Marsh, chose to stay closer to home. She graduated from Illinois in 1970 with an A.B. in economics, then followed her mother's footsteps into the real estate business, becoming owner of Marsh Apartments in Champaign. She is married to Roger Marsh, a research engineer at Beckman Institute, who is also a Presidents Council member and an alumnus of the College of Engineering.
Kent notes that his mother thus "had a very close linkage with the university in a number of different ways," adding that she also occasionally served as a guest lecturer, speaking on entrepreneurship to classes in the Executive MBA program. "She would give talks on how she got into business, how she built her business up, and the risks and challenges she faced along the way." Active in professional and civic organizations, she was founder and president of the Champaign-Urbana Apartment Association and Champaign Homes, and served on the boards of a range of institutions including SLM, Bank One, Cole Hospital, and Carle Foundation.
"She was also a huge sports fan, and regularly attended the basketball and football games," Kent recalls. "She obviously had very strong and positive feelings about the university." And these feelings seem to have grown even stronger after her husband died in the summer of 1980, at the age of 65, less than a year after his retirement. Also a generous benefactor of the Fighting Illini Scholarship Fund, she became a Presidents Council member in 1983, and was a recipient of the university's Fred H. Turner Award. She established the Gloria A. & Paul M. Dauten, Jr., Scholarship Fund in 1995 and was elected to membership in the University of Illinois Foundation the following year. "As she looked at the idea of potentially giving, it led her to conclude that the University of Illinois was a natural choice," Kent concludes. "She came to the point in her career and her life where she had created wealth and she became interested in setting up a fund that could help students. She loved the university and it was a natural idea to give back to the university, for it was the source of a lot of her wealth and life experience."
|It was the most bittersweet of triumphs. On the evening of September 13, more than two hundred family members, friends, and colleagues gathered for a dinner in Chicago honoring the establishment of the Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation. However, the man for whom the foundation was named could not be present for the occasion. Harold Eisenberg had died suddenly nine months before. And thus those who knew and loved him rallied to ensure that his name will never be forgotten, and that his memory will be honored by the growing number of people who benefit through the work of the foundation. Among those people is Mark Zimmerman, recipient of the first Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation Scholarship. A CBA senior with an impressive record of community service and a 3.24 grade point average (on the 4-point university scale), Mark already holds his Illinois Real Estate License.|
Said Peter Eisenberg: "During shiva, a number of my father's business partners and associates approached us and suggested we start a foundation. We saw this as an opportunity for all of us to come together and discuss my father's goals and ideals, and to honor those goals and ideals. We also saw it as a way to give back to the institution that gave him his start." Along with the scholarship, the foundation has established a Mentor Program that creates opportunities for college students to spend time with real estate professionals in order to see first-hand how things happen in the real world of business. The foundation is also providing funds to support the state-of-the-art cancer research programs at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where Harold Eisenberg was treated.
"There's a lot of momentum gaining in the foundation, and it's only going to grow," concluded Peter Eisenberg, "It's something that's going to go a long way into the future. There's a lot of dedication to this effort. And we look forward to a long relationship with U of I."
"Our purpose in creating this scholarship fund is to recognize junior and senior students who, while maintaining high academic standards, have also made significant contributions to their college expenses. The goal is to relieve the students from some of the financial pressure so they can turn more of their attention to preparing for the competition in life after college. Our first recipient is a perfect example of our expectations."
-Rick & Maisie Heiken
|Maisie and Rick Heiken, both graduates of CBA, live in Dunlap, Illinois, and work in nearby Peoria. She is a vice president and senior financial consultant for Merrill Lynch and he is a manager in the Business Intelligence Group of Caterpillar Inc. Their lives, leading to CBA and Peoria, began at very different points on the globe. Rick is a native of El Paso, Illinois. Maisie was born and raised in Hong Kong. After|
Rick & Maisie Heiken
|graduating CBA in 1972 with a B.S. in economics, Rick joined Caterpillar. In 1978, he moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he was the district sales representative responsible for Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. About the same time, Maisie joined Caterpillar's headquarters in Hong Kong, where she was responsible for the company's meeting and tradeshow activity in Southeast Asia. They met through their work for Caterpillar, and were married in 1981. When the Heikens returned to Peoria in 1985, Maisie began studies which culminated in 1989 when she graduated from Commerce with a B.S., with high honors, in finance. She joined Merrill Lynch in 1991 and was named vice president in 1996. She is a member of the Merrill Lynch Circle of Excellence, a prestigious club recognizing outstanding performance. The Heikens are members of the Consular Circle of the University of Illinois Presidents Council. In addition to Hong Kong and Dunlap, they have also lived in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Geneva, Switzerland.|
The Edward F. and Maisie L. Heiken Scholarship, established in March 1999, is open to Commerce juniors and seniors majoring in finance or marketing, with a GPA of at least 3.0 (on the 4.0 scale). It provides full tuition and fees for two semesters. Preference is given to students who have completed or accepted an internship, and who have contributed substantially toward their college expenses. In 1989, the Heikens also made the University of Illinois the beneficiary of a testamentary trust. The gift will support the study of international business and cross-cultural management at CBA, and will be funded by an estate distribution.
|The John L. and Ruth B. Morton Award has recently been
established to provide scholarship support to Commerce
students majoring in accountancy and business administration.
"A good many young people can use the help," noted Ruth Morton,
who recently visited the Illinois campus and talked with
InSight about the award, made as a tribute
to her late husband.
John Morton grew up in Champaign and graduated from Commerce in 1937 with a B.S. in accountancy. While at Illinois he played the sousaphone in the U of I Marching Band, as befitted his upbringing in a musical family. An avid swimmer throughout his life, he was also a member of the university swim team. His sisters, Eleanor Busch and the late Louise Ackerman, both attended Illinois as well.
Pictured on the far left is John Morton, with sousaphone.
After graduation, John Morton went to work at Burgess Battery Company in Freeport, Illinois, where he met Ruth Irene Breymann, his future spouse. Eventually, life was to lead them far from the Midwest, to the bright and limitless desert horizons of Arizona. When a lengthy strike paralyzed the Burgess operation, Morton sought work at the U.S. Ordnance Depot in Indiana, then joined the Air Force as a staff auditor in 1942. He was first dispatched to Luke Field, outside Phoenix, followed by stations in New York and Miami. In 1946 he returned to civilian life and to Phoenix, joining the Del E. Webb Construction Co., as an accountant. The timing was phenomenal already a highly regarded construction outfit, the company was soon to embark on the creation of the fabulously successful Sun City concept. On September 1 of that year, he and Ruth were married in Freeport, her hometown. On September 2, they were in Phoenix "No time for a honeymoon!" smiled Ruth, who went to work not long after in the accounting department of Walsh Bros. Office Equipment.
In 1981, after thirty-five years in the company's accounting department, John Morton retired from Del Webb. Ruth also retired from Walsh that year, after a tenure just six months shorter than her husband's. The following January, the Mortons moved from Phoenix to Sun City. Very active in the Lutheran Church, they enjoyed a busy and contented lifestyle for many years. The couple celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary on September 1, 1996. John died the following year, on October 7, 1997.
Long fascinated by the Del Webb phenomenon, Ruth is a member of the board of the Sun Cities Area Historical Society, which is housed in the community's very first model home, built in 1959 and now a registered historical landmark.
Ruth and John Morton
They were also members of the Sun Cities Illini Club, and Ruth has served as club treasurer. She noted that the inspiration for the Morton Award came from an earlier contribution she made to the Walter Breymann Scholarship in History, established in LAS in memory of her late brother. An Illinois graduate, who held Ph.D. ('50) and M.A. ('47) degrees in history and a B.S. ('41) in education, Walter Breymann was a history professor at Drake University in Des Moines. He died in 1994.
"I began thinking, `Why not a scholarship in John's name,
too?'" Ruth observed. "John himself lost his father when he was only
ten years old. His mother taught piano to support the family.
He was the sort of student you would want to give a scholarship to
"Of all the things that Dad had accomplished and all the institutions he had an affinity for and there were a lot clearly it was the College of Commerce at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign that he held closest to his heart." Thus does Rob Reuss explain the feelings his father held toward his alma mater, feelings that inspired the establishment of the Robert P. Reuss Scholarship Fund for the students of Commerce.
Lauded as a pioneer in telecommunications, whose fifty years of experience took him through the industry's incredible, still-ongoing evolution, Robert P. Reuss graduated from the college in 1939 with a B.S. in commerce curriculum. A native of Aurora, he rose to executive posts at Illinois Bell and AT&T, then joined Chicago-based Centel Corporation in 1972 as president and chief executive officer, adding to these titles that of chairman, in 1977. He retired in 1988, going on to serve as a Hyneman Fellow in the University of Illinois Department of Political Science. A director of the University of Illinois Foundation, he also held an MBA from the Graduate School of Business of the University of Chicago, which honored him with its Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1985. A member on a number of corporate boards during his career, he was also a governor of the Midwest Stock Exchange (now the Chicago Stock Exchange) for twelve years, and was active in civic and educational organizations. On August 12, 1997, he lost a valiant, fourteen-year battle with prostate cancer. He died at his home in Naperville, at the age of 79. The following summer, Rob Reuss and his sister, Lynn Ann Bohmer, chose to honor their father's memory by establishing the scholarship, a merit- and need-based award, with preference given to students from the Aurora area.
Robert P. Reuss
|"What better way to have a lasting memorial to Dad than to do
something like this?" queried his son. "He was poor as a church
mouse going to the University of Illinois. He wouldn't have been able
to attend at all if not for the financial assistance he received. I
remember him telling me stories about how he washed dishes with
Lou Boudreau, the great baseball player and that's how
he helped pay for his education." Rob Reuss noted: "Our
family views the scholarship gift as an everlasting and continuing
symbol of his accomplishments and the mark he made on the world.
"I keep coming back to the fact that here was a very accomplished man in his chosen field of telecommunications. He received many awards and honors during his lifetime. He achieved what a lot of us are striving for," his son concluded. "And still, for him, the best years of his life were those he spent at the University of Illinois. The feeling of our family is that the scholarship will give its recipients the opportunity to develop that same kind of affinity for this great institution."
An estate commitment has been made by John C. True (B.S. Accountancy '58), in appreciation of the education he received at the College of Commerce and Business Administration, and in recognition of his parents, John Henry True and Elizabeth Barratt Cullen True, who both graduated from the University of Illinois in 1926. Beginning with the fall 1999 semester, the scholarships are available to CBA freshmen, based on academic merit and financial need, with preference given to students entering the Department of Accountancy. Consideration may also be given to exceptional students in other departments of CBA who demonstrate critical financial need.
|Being a devout Catholic, Albert Vondenbosch enjoys religious imagery. Being a Commerce grad and banker who has had, in his own words, "a wonderful life," he likes to share that imagery, and the joy his success has brought, with others. Last spring he wrote the outline for a speech, detailing periods of his life, for an address he gave at a recent family reunion. Headings include: "Render unto God what is God's and unto Caesar what is Caesar's" and "Build up your Treasures in Heaven." Another title, especially intriguing, is called "Angel Power."||
|Both he and Mildred became members of the University of Illinois Foundation. In June of 1998, the couple celebrated their 65th anniversary with a Mass at the Summit, the community in Asheville, North Carolina, to which they had retired. Many family members were present for the joyous occasion. Sadly, Mildred died on January 19 of this year, a day before her 93rd birthday. Now, a gift from her estate has established The Mildred and Albert Vondenbosch Scholarship Fund, for students in Commerce. "I'm so indebted to the university. I have so many good memories, of alumni and Foundation meetings," says Albert. "It was just natural."|
As president of the Chicago Chapter Illini Club, Albert Vondenbosch (front row, center) helped organize the university's centennial celebration in the Windy City.