University of Illinois  

Laboratory High School   

 Alumni Newsletter

November/December 2014


Dec. 22, 2014
Holiday Party at Kenney Gym with an afternoon run (3 p.m.), open basketball, (4-6 p.m.)  and Papa Del's at 6 p.m.

April 11, 2015
Uni Gala at Pear Tree Estates, Champaign

Coming in 2015

1985 Reunion (Organized by Ursula (Hess) Calef
Sept., 2015

2005 Reunion (Organized by Casey Spitz)

Join us!
 From the Director


Dear All:

I am writing again to share this fall's disappointing news about Uni's financial situation. General State Aid (GSA), which comprises roughly half of our income, has been declining significantly in recent years. GSA has decreased 11 percent each of the last two years, with an 11 percent cut this year.

While we believed we had planned for these reductions, thorough

analysis by Uni's Budget Manager, Mike Adams, suggests Uni will

experience a significant budget shortfall by $190,000 or more this

fiscal year.


Even more unsettling, we have recently come to a fuller understanding of an accounting error that has resulted in $1.05 million deficit that has grown over recent years in a moribund 2012 account that was no longer being monitored. This debt is owed to the University, and University officials and Uni staff are working together on feasible ways to retire the debt.

We are working diligently to put the necessary safeguards in place to ensure this can never happen again, and exploring possible sources of new income.

To those ends, I have asked for an exhaustive audit of our

income/expenditures and business practices for the period in question; the Office of University Audits began their work on Nov. 10. Further, I will be forming a budget task force to make certain we have wide participation and transparency as we move forward with understanding our current budget situation and identifying the steps needed to bring that budget back into a healthy balance.


I am 100 percent committed to ensuring that Uni continues to provide a world-class education to its students and maintains the unique educational environment that is so valued by Uni faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni and friends alike.


Please contact me with any questions or input on this extremely important matter.


Jeff Walkington


 From the Advancement Office

Innovations in Learning Campaign moves forward

Uni is moving forward with our Innovations in Learning campaign,

A rendering of the new Active Learning classroom. Construction will begin in room 106N during winter break.

including the construction of an Active Learning classroom in room 106N and professional development for teachers. This campaign is inspired by the University of Illinois Chancellor's strategic plan. Chancellor Wise's plan includes a university-wide focus on transformative learning experiences - something Uni has been doing for decades.


A group of faculty from across disciplines meets regularly to plan for this first Active Learning Classroom.  A College of Education class that focuses on designing active learning spaces visited to assess the building for renovations, and a workshop on "A New World of Learning" took place for faculty in October.


The first phase of the classroom work will begin during winter break.  Fundraising for the project started last January.  Two alumni and several current parents have already donated $250,000 in gifts and pledges. Uni alum George Will gave $100,000 to the campus, of which $50,000 is going toward this project. Fundraising will continue for the next 5-8 years.


Uni parents Charlie and Julie Shapland are Chairs of Innovations in Learning and sponsors of the Gala.



Alumni news
Medrow collection displayed at City Building


A collection of Hopi Kachina figures, collected by the late Charles Medrow (Uni Class of '52), was displayed at the Champaign City Building in November.  The figures were recently donated to Uni High by Irene Medrow.


Uni partnered with The University of Illinois Native American House staff and professor of American Indian Studies Dr. Matthew Gilbert to bring the collection to the public during Native American Heritage Month.


Medrow collected the figures in the 1980s. 


Class of '74 reunion

The class of 1974 recently held their 40th reunion at Uni. 


If you would like to organize a class reunion - or find information about one in the works - please contact Advancement Director Marianne Downey. 




Theo Gray ('82) publishes new book

Uni Library Specialist Paul Kotheimer discovered a BoingBoing book review of the book "Molecules, The Elements and Architecture of Everything," by 1982 Uni alum Theo Gray.   Check out the review and the book! 

From the Online Gargoyle

Find out what's happening at Uni

The Gargoyle, Uni's student-run news source, has an updated web site courtesy of the Web Programming class. Please visit the new site! 

Currently, students are talking about the much-appreciated 


You can keep up with Uni news on the Uni High Gargoyle Facebook page and the Uni High Gargoyle Twitter feed.  All of these are maintained and updated by Uni's dedicated student journalists.