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

Donor Profile

Wallace (prof. ’73-’01) & Denise (AM ’82) Hendricks

hendricksWally Hendricks provides a different perspective on his time spent at LER, as a professor at the school from 1973 to 2001. He taught Quantitative Methods for HR, and Human Resources Economics, taken by almost every student at the time. His wife, Denise (AM ’82) was connected to LER as both a graduate and the head of non-academic personnel at the University. Among other gifts, they donated funding for the conference room in the new recruiting suite.

They still keep in touch with many current and former LER faculty and a number of their PhD students who have gone on to academic jobs. They keep up with some of the master’s students through social media outlets, Facebook and LinkedIn. Wally’s fondest memories of his time at LER are of graduation and families’ appreciation to see their children achieve success. He recalls, however, that the annual potluck dinner when students all brought dishes from their home countries was the best event of the year.

Wally and Denise believe that without outside help, it is difficult for the program to remain outstanding. The necessary funding is unlikely to come from internal sources as LER is a small, graduate-only program. Wally believes that LER is one of the best opportunities for students in social sciences to apply their training and achieve huge success. Wally elaborated by saying, “People who are trained in this area often move up to high positions in corporations and government due to their understanding of the relationships that need to be fostered for entity to succeed. For example, many University presidents have had a human resources background.”