Dear Colleagues,

By now, I hope you have all read President Killeen’s message sharing the Governor’s announcement to release $500 million in state funding for the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) and the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN). This is exciting news for the future economic prosperity for our state, and it is also a cause for celebration for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and our entire community.

The DPI and IIN partnerships and initiatives that our faculty and staff are building will have an enormous impact here. From building our data sciences infrastructure to renovating Altgeld Hall to expanding NCSA in support of cutting-edge computing as well as investments that position our leadership in quantum to expanding our capacity to lead in quantum science to growing opportunities for our entrepreneurial faculty and students to bringing new businesses to our Research Park to bolstering our public engagement programs, this announcement today in Chicago will directly result in new jobs, new educational opportunities and new economic development right here at home.

Today’s announcement marks a major step forward in bringing public and private partners together to invest in the future of our state in ways that will drive a global economy. And as President Killeen also noted, one exciting new private investment was announced today in the form of a $10 million gift from our Board of Trustees Chair Don Edwards and his wife, Anne. Both are Gies College of Business graduates and their gift will support scholarship initiatives in that college as well as support for athletics and new investments in DPI and IIN. We are grateful to Don and Anne for their generous gift, which exemplifies the support expressed by our alumni and friends for these new endeavors.

This is an exciting day for all of us here at Illinois.


Robert J. Jones

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