Distinguished Service Award (Est. 1972)

Bestowed upon alumni, faculty, staff and friends by the Illinois Alumni Association on behalf of the University. The award is presented to individuals or couples whose consistent, exceptional and meritorious service to the University of Illinois has made a significant impact on the institution’s overall welfare and the advancement of its mission.

2018 Recipient

  • Michael T. Tokarz, ’71 LAS, MBA ’73

    Chicago-area native Michael (Mike) Tokarz is chairman of the Tokarz Group, a private New York City-based merchant bank. Prior to founding his namesake firm in 2002, Tokarz spent 17 years with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, a private equity firm where he handled diverse leveraged buyouts, restructurings and dispositions. He began his professional career in 1973 with Continental Illinois National Bank & Trust Co.

    Tokarz’s commitment to his Alma Mater has been consistent and substantial. In addition to being a current board member and former chairman of the University of Illinois Foundation, he is one of five corporate members of the IllinoisVENTURES Board of Managers. In fact, he has shepherded the 18-year-old technology investment firm, which was created to help commercialize University of Illinois technologies.

    At the University’s Gies College of Business, Tokarz co-chaired Investing in Excellence: The Campaign for Business Education at Illinois. This $75 million effort aims to construct the new business instructional facility and double the college endowment for named chairs, programmatic initiatives, research and student scholarships and fellowships. Tokarz, a past recipient of the College’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and MBA Achievement Award, personally donated $7.5 million to the ambitious campaign.

     

Past Recipients

  • 2017

    • Colleen Callahan Burns, ’73 ACES

      Leader in public service and agricultural communciations and administration
  • 2016

    • Jane Phillips Donaldson, ’65 LAS, MS ’67 MEDIA

  • 2015

    • Dale H. Flach, ’59 ED, EDM ’64 ED

      Assistant Dean for Student and Alumni Affairs at the UI College of Medicine
  • 2014

    • Thomas D. Vogelsinger, ’73 BUS, MBA ’74

  • 2013

    • Mary Kay Kretch Haben, ’77 BUS

  • 2012

    • Paul Koch, ’66 ENG, MS ’68 ENG

  • 2011

    • Lester McKeever, ’55 BUS

  • 2010

    • Merle L. Mulvaney, ’58 ACES

    • Janet Turney Mulvaney, ’58 ACES

  • 2009

    • Ed McMillan, ’69 ACES

  • 2008

    • Carol Keiser-Long, ’68 ACES

  • 2007

    • Lila Jeanne “Shorty” Eichelberger, ’49 ACES, MS ’52 ACES

  • 2006

    • Alice Campbell, JD ’43 LAW

    • Bob Campbell, ’54 BUS

  • 2005

    • Ann Khan, '80 LAS

    • Shahid Khan, '71 ENG

  • 2004

    • Roger Plummer, '64 ENG

  • 2003

    • Trudy Gassmann Reynolds, 58 EDU

    • Richard W. Reynolds, '53 ENG, MS '58 ENG

  • 2002

    • Howard C. Humphrey, '59 BUS

  • 2001

    • Albert Wohlers, '39 LAS

  • 2000

    • Phyllis Welsh Hallene, '51 LAS

    • Alan Hallene, '51 ENG

  • 1999

    • Richard J. Faletti, '47 LAW

  • 1998

    • Russell "Ruck" W. Steger, '50 MEDIA

  • 1997

    • Gayl S. Pyatt, '64 LAS

  • 1996

    • Ralph C. Hahn, '51 ENG, MS '52 ENG

  • 1995

    • Erwin Small, '55 VET MED, DVM '57, MS '65

  • 1994

    • William D. Engelbrecht, '66 MEDIA, MS '72 MEDIA

  • 1993

    • Dean E. Madden, '43 ENG

  • 1992

    • William H. Lycan, '24 LAS, MS '26 LAS, PHD '29 LAS

  • 1991

    • George William Howard III, '56 LAS, LLB '59

  • 1990

    • Virginia Coultas Sharp, '40 ACES, MS '54 ACES

  • 1989

    • John E. Cribbet, JD '47

  • 1988

    • Frederic B. Hoppin, '41 ACES

  • 1987

    • Joseph Antonello Jr., '43 BUS

  • 1986

    • Jane Hayes Rader, '54 LAS

  • 1985

    • Orville G. Bentley

  • 1984

    • Roger B. Pogue, '41 ENG

  • 1983

    • Carl & Mary Jane Neer, '33 LAS & '33 EDU

  • 1982

    • Timothy J. Nugent Robert D. Heath, '50 BUS, Posthumously

  • 1981

    • Daniel J. Perrino, '48 FAA, MS '49 FAA

  • 1980

    • Charles E. (Chuck) Flynn, '34 MEDIA, AM '40 EDU

  • 1979

    • Kenney E. Williamson, '66 BUS

  • 1978

    • Charles Merriam

  • 1977

    • Paul K. Bresee, '23 ACES

  • 1976

    • Charles C. (Chick) Evans, '60 ENG, MS '61 ENG

  • 1975

    • Timothy Swain, '31 LAS, LLB '33

  • 1974

    • C. E. (Chilly) Bowen, '22 BUS

  • 1973

    • None given

  • 1972

    • Royal (Rooney) Stipes, '27 BUS