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School of Labor & Employment Relations University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Donor Profile

Ron Sipiora, AM ’77

Senior Vice President, BPI Group

Sipiora“People helped me, now I try to help people.” This is how Ron Sipiora, AM ’77, Senior Vice President, BPI Group, explained why he supports LER. He was able to get support from the school and alumni and felt that it was important to give back so that others would enjoy the same resources. He spoke fondly of his pride in the LER program, and how it helped him accomplish wonderful things.

Ron believes that LER has done a great job educating students because the curriculum provides a strategic platform for their future, rather than giving specific, transactional skills.  He highlighted this by saying, “[The] basis of theory is great because it is sustainable; learning how to do a task is not.”  Three specific courses that he remembered and found to be most useful were Collective Bargaining, Labor Economics, and Statistics.  He identified Statistics as being the most utilized skill after graduation.  “In a world of big data, I still go back to what I learned almost 40 years ago.”

Through his work with the Human Resource Management Association of Chicago he is able to stay in contact with numerous LER alumni. He says that the LER network does not fall apart after graduation, but often strengthens as alumni participate in a tight professional network.

Ron emphasizes that he and his wife were drawn to the planned giving option at LER because the support could continue indefinitely. They plan to transfer funds to the school from their estate and fund the future of LER even after they are gone. Ron suggests that, “a lot of our alumni have done well, and should look at planned giving as a possible vehicle to help fund the future success of LER.”