Personal Giving Stories


CEE and Fighting Illini to Benefit

Hughart_lg.jpgNancy Herman left Lockport, Ill., for the U of I in 1956, and Lyle Hughart came to campus from Streator, Ill., around the same time. Little did they know that their time here would literally set the stage for the rest of their lives. The two met at a fraternity/sorority social event and graduated in 1960. They married that same year—and the rest, as they say, is history.

In gratitude for the role Illinois has played in their lives, they recently established a seven-figure bequest that—after the second one of them passes away—will fund the “Nancy M. and Lyle W. Hughart Endowed Chair in Civil and Environmental Engineering” (CEE). Their gift plan also provides funds for future expansion of teaching facilities in CEE as well as scholarships for CEE students and engineering students who are also varsity athletes. “Lyle had to work his way through college, and he always dreamed of being able to help a civil engineering student facing similar challenges—so that’s what we did,” states Nancy.

The couple used a combination of cash and appreciated securities to set up a charitable gift annuity (CGA) that will fund their scholarships. “The significant tax savings and higher income we’ll receive for the rest of our lives made the CGA a win-win situation,” Lyle says. “Great faculty teach students critical thinking and how to break down a project or task into achievable steps. It’s very competitive, so we want to do what we can to help attract and retain the best possible teachers and scholars.”

“We hope our story motivates everyone who believes Illinois helped them be successful to do as much as they can to make sure future generations have the same opportunities we did,” concludes Nancy.


The U of I Foundation gift planning staff is pleased to answer your questions and offer assistance at any time. Please contact the Foundation to learn more.



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