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ACES supporters step up to reach ‘With Illinois’ goal early

URBANA, IL. – Eighteen months ahead of schedule, the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) surpassed its $200 million With Illinois campaign goal.

“This is remarkably good news, considering how challenging 2020 was in so many regards. We are touched and truly humbled that ACES alumni and other generous supporters continue to stand with us to ensure bright futures for our students and the communities we serve,” says Kim Kidwell, College of ACES dean. “Endowments, annual private gifts, gifts of farmland, unrestricted support, and other funding platforms are essential resources that help us advance important work to improve people’s lives.

“We are confident that the strong support of ACES – including outreach through Illinois Extension and 4-H – will continue to expand as more people realize what we do and why it matters. We are forever grateful for the loyal, dedicated people who partner with us to make good things happen in the world.”

With Illinois is the most ambitious philanthropic campaign in University of Illinois history. Launched in summer 2017, the five-year campaign is “essential to support our students, faculty, research, and infrastructure,” Chancellor Robert Jones says.

“While meeting this goal is an amazing step, our work continues,” says Kimberly Meenen, ACES assistant dean of advancement. “We hear time and time again that those who support us will continue to give of their time, talents and resources, and they encourage others to do the same.

“Because of the statewide budget situation and the many challenges of 2020, this is especially needed and especially meaningful.”

Learn more about opportunities to support the College of ACES at or call the College of ACES Office of Advancement at 217-333-9355.

Private and perpetual financial support ensures that land-grant universities like Illinois continue to be places where progress and innovation flourish, despite challenges with state funding.

During 2020, ACES kept in touch with supporters through phone calls, emails, the monthly e-newsletter, and even a handful of online Dessert with the Dean and 4-H chat events featuring the coveted Bevier Café cookies and caramels from an Illinois 4-H alumnus.

“Connecting is so important,” Kidwell says. “We miss our alumni and so many others who believe in and act on behalf of ACES. We can’t wait for the day when we can join together safely on campus and in communities around the state.”