University Housing Receives 1.7 Million Dollar Gift

University Housing at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has received a $1.7 million estate gift from alumna and University Housing retiree, Marilyn. This extraordinary gift will be used to establish the Marilyn Michal Fund for the Illinois Residence Hall Association, fund student scholarships and awards for the Central Black Student Union and the National Residence Hall Honorary, and further cultivate University Housing student-centered experiences with emphases on academic achievement, personal development, and global awareness.

“We are incredibly grateful to receive a contribution of this magnitude,” said Alma R. Sealine, executive director of University Housing. “This profoundly generous and optimistic gift will enable University Housing to continue providing experiences that enhance the growth and development of our students and create the conditions essential for student engagement and active learning outside the classroom.”

Marilyn Michal graduated from the University of Illinois with a bachelor’s degree in management from the Gies College of Business in 1963 and a master’s degree in education in 1970. During graduate school, she served as a resident hall advisor. Her work with students evolved into a 35-year career in University Housing, where she retired as the assistant director of Residential Life for University Housing in 1999. 

“This gift illustrates the innate passion and dedication of University Housing staff and acknowledges the value of the on-campus residential experience,” said Danita M. B. Young, vice chancellor for student affairs. “Ms. Michal’s generosity will change lives and shape futures for years to come.”

"This is wonderful news for Student Affairs and for University Housing, but most of all, it is our students who will benefit from this gift,” said Robert J. Jones, chancellor of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. “This investment will help more students to explore all we have to offer here, but it also pays tribute to the critical and often unrecognized role Housing staff have in preparing Illinois students for a lifetime of service and success.” 

University Housing is an essential element of the Illinois experience. Serving as the on-campus home for over 11,000 students, University Housing communities—26 residence halls and three apartment communities—are designed to inspire academic and personal success during college and beyond. 

About Student Affairs

Student Affairs at Illinois promotes global leadership, offers health and wellness initiatives, and facilitates cross-cultural engagement. Through relevant programming and services, progressive facilities, and vibrant living-learning environments across campus, Student Affairs creates an experience that empowers students to achieve their greatest potential personally and academically. Learn more about Student Affairs at studentaffairs.illinois.edu.

About “With Illinois”

“With Illinois” is the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s largest campaign ever, with the goal of raising $2.25 billion in gifts to support Illinois students, faculty, research, and infrastructure. The world is a better place “With Illinois.” Learn more about “With Illinois” at with.illinois.edu.