A gathering 76 years in the making, LER celebrated the 75th anniversary of the School one year late, thanks to COVID. We welcomed back alumni from the class 1964 to 2022. The celebration included events from Thursday through Saturday, capped off with an Illini football win.

The Alumni Awards Reception, honored Dan Spaulding, MHRIR 00, with the Distinguished Alumni Award. Will Murphy, MHRIR 12, received the First Decade Achievement Award. Both were joined by family members and friends along with alumni, faculty, and staff to recognize their achievements.

Alumni, faculty and scholarship partners joined us for a coffee meet-and-greet with Dean Fulmer on Soderstrom Plaza, followed by the Scholarship Reception in the Wagner Education Center. With 50 students receiving scholarship support this semester, our reception was well-attended with lively conversations. 

The afternoon featured a leadership panel discussion on the future of work. Participants included alumni Allen Reid, CHRO of Materion Corporation, Pat Walsh, VP and Head of HR for Oil-Dri Corporation of America, Andrea Frohning, CHRO of Patterson Companies, and Dan Spaulding, CHRO of Zillow Group. They were joined by AFL-CIO Secretary/Treasurer Pat Devaney. The panel was moderated by alumna Erin Mies of PeopleSpark Consulting. 

Read panelist bios here. The panel content is on YouTube here.

The evening celebration began with Chancellor Robert Jones, sharing the importance and prominence of the School on this campus. To honor our history, we featured a diverse group pf alumni and friends to reflect upon our past and look towards the future. In addition to Dean Ingrid Fulmer, speakers included: Dr. Carl Soderstrom, Bruce Carmichael, AM 76, Joyce Ingram, AM/JD 81, Dan Spaulding, MHRIR 20, Patrick Walsh, MHRIR 05, Kai Shen, MHRIR 17, and Princess Draine, MHRIR 21. It was an amazing presentation with a consistent theme: The School has changed the lives of everyone who entered the program.

Read the Speaker highlights here. The talk is available on YouTube here.

The celebration ended on Saturday, with a student-run tailgate prior to the Illinois home game against Virginia. Everyone went home in a great mood following an Illini victory – the perfect end to a wonderful weekend!