Lou Liay Spirit Award (Est. 1997)

Bestowed upon alumni by the University of Illinois Alumni Association on behalf of the University of Illinois. The award is presented to those who have consistently demonstrated extraordinary spirit and pride in support of the University, the Alumni Association, and related organizations, exemplifying a positive image of their Alma Mater while inspiring loyalty and pride in their fellow alumni. The award is named after Lou Liay, EDM ’62, executive director of the UI Alumni Association from 1983-1998.

2016 Recipients

  • Dr. Kenneth Schmidt, ’65 LAS, MD ’67 UIC

    Dr. Kenneth Schmidt has been an ardent supporter of the University of Illinois and its mission.

    Since 1995, Schmidt has been a member of the President’s Council and the University’s donor recognition program, as well as the University of Illinois Foundation, the University’s independent fundraising organization. In addition, he is a Golden Life Member of the University of Illinois Alumni Association.

    In 1999, then-Illinois governor George Ryan appointed Schmidt to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. As a member of the 13-member governing body, to which he would be reappointed to a second six-year term in 2005, Schmidt sat on the Executive Committee, chaired the Committee on Academic Affairs (2002-09) and served as the Board’s acting chairman (2002).

    An Edwardsville, Ill., native, Schmidt has spent nearly 50 years in the medical profession. He currently is a senior attending physician at the Dept. of Medical Imaging at Holy Family Medical Center in Des Plaines, Ill. Schmidt resides in Chicago’s northwest suburbs with his wife, Maureen.

Past Recipients

  • 2015

    • Gayl Pyatt, ’64 LAS

  • 2014

    • Michael L. VanBlaricum, ’72 ENG, MS ’74 ENG, PHD ’76 ENG

  • 2013

    • Edwin C. Lennox III, ’90 ENG, MS ’92 ENG, MS ’97 ENG

  • 2012

    • Frederic G. Nearing, ’48 ENG

  • 2011

    • Alan L. Puzey, ’74 ACES

  • 2010

    • Samuel N. Darby, ’62 FAA

  • 2009

    • John Menees, ’52 ENG

  • 2008

    • Denis Lougeay, '66 ENG, MBA '68

    • Denruth Barre Lougeay, '65 ED, EDM '68

  • 2007

    • Norman Beasley, ’58 DSSWV

    • Mary Jane Beasley

  • 2006

    • John S. Ellison, ’64 ACES

  • 2005

    • Carol Keiser Long, '68 ACES

  • 2004

    • David G. Powless, '75 BUS

  • 2003

    • Marie L. Johnson, '54 LAS, MS '58 ED

  • 2002

    • Dan Perrino, '48 FAA, MS '49 FAA

  • 2001

    • Larry L. Fischer, '74 ACES

  • 1998

    • William Branom, '54 MEDIA

    • Henrietta Branom Knecht, '27 LAS