Endowment for Forensics

Letter About the Endowment

Dear Forensics Alumni,

Thank you for attending the recent Forensics Alumni Reunion! The turnout was excellent. We wanted to take this opportunity to encourage you to continue to re-establish your relationship with the ISU Forensics program by attending camp, work weekends, tournaments ISU hosts, or other events when you are available. Even if you are not able to make it back to ISU regularly, we wanted to remind you of another way you can help support forensics.

As we learned at the Official Alumni Reception, the Forensics budget is no longer being supported at the same levels that it has been in the past by the Student Fee Board. In fact, the Forensic Union’s budget was decreased dramatically for the next academic year. While anger is certainly a justifiable response to this situation  we would instead like to view it as an opportunity – to transform the way the program has traditionally been funded. As a result of this decision, Dr. Kevin Meyer, the Director of Forensics, and Dr. Larry Long, Director of the School of Communication, are working closely with university administrative allies to secure a safe and reliable source of funding for the program.

In the mean time, as alumni of the oldest and most successful student organization on campus, the question that must be asked is, “What can we do to help?” What can we do as a group of concerned alumni to ensure that the legacy that we all worked so hard to create can go on at the same level of excellence for the generations of students yet to come?

The encouraging news is that the Forensic Advisory Board, comprised of concerned former competitors and coaches, has established The Endowment for Forensics Fund for the purpose of ensuring resources for the growth and success of the program. Here’s how it works: for approximately every $25,000 that we can deposit into this fund, the Forensic Union will receive $1k back on an annual basis, in perpetuity. The more money we can raise, the securer the future of the program becomes. Ultimately, we hope to build an endowment that will provide over $50,000 for the program. It’s as simple as that.

As an alumni group, we are currently behind some of our biggest rivals in terms of support. For example, Bradley University, Western Kentucky University, University of Alabama, University of Michigan, Harvard, and UNLV all operate from a strong financial foundation, established in part by their alumni members. It’s time that we step up as a group and offer our financial backing as well.

The students won’t stop fundraising (remember those car washes and selling candy?), and the coaching staff will continue their relentless fight to nail down more funding on campus. In addition to offering our emotional support and cheerleading skills, as a group we can come together and help alleviate some of the economic stressors that are bogging down the future of our beloved program.

We are all responsible members of our communities; we give to our places of worship, non-profits and social movements, political candidates that inspire us, and now we’d like to ask you to consider the Illinois State University Forensic Union when your family makes donations to important causes each year.

One anonymous donor has already committed $20,000 towards the inaugural funding of the endowment. We humbly ask, “Can you help as well?” The Forensics Advisory Board is certainly cognizant of the fact that we are still recovering from the longest recession in American history. Not everyone is able to give at this time, but in the future – when you might be able to – please keep the program in consideration. No donation is too big or small.

If you are interested in making a donation to the endowment, please click here.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

  • Tom Adamson ’91, Development Chair, Forensic Advisory Board, former Director of Forensics
  • Craig Cutbirth, Forensic Advisory Board, Emeritus Director of Forensics
  • Bill Semlak, Forensic Advisory Board, Emeritus Director of Forensics
  • Elighie Wilson, Forensic Advisory Board, former Director of Individual Events
  • Michael Kirch, Forensic Advisory Board, former Director of Individual Events

Choices for Giving to Forensics

Endowment for Forensics

To give to the Endowment for Forensics, please click here.

Thanks to an anonymous donor, we now have an Endowment for Forensics. The endowment is an open fund, so anyone can contribute to it. By giving to the endowment, your donation will continue to help forensics each year by accruing earnings. Although it will take several years for the endowment to grow to the point where it might start to replace our dependency on other sources of funding, having an endowment provides us a light at the end of the tunnel and will eventually allow us to become a self-sufficient program.

Our goal is to build the endowment as quickly as we can by encouraging alumni to give to this fund. The primary objective is to secure our long-term future by continuing to roll earnings from the principle back into the endowmeent until the fund reaches the point where it can sustain the program.

The link above will allow you to contribute online. If you would like to send a check, please write the check to “Endowment for Forensics” and send it to CAS Director of Development, Steph Sellers, at Campus Box 3060, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-3060. If you have any questions, please do not hesistate to contact the Director of Forensics.

Restricted Foundation Account for Forensics

To give to the Restricted Foundation Account for Forensics, please click here.

This account focuses on short term needs, since 100% of this fund is available immediately for the team to use in paying for travel and other operating expenses. Although building the endowment is our first priority, if you would rather have your contribution put to immediately use this account will allow for that. Online contributions can be made at the link above. Checks can be made out to “ISU Forensics” and sent to the Director of Forensics, Campus Box 4480, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-4480. Please call if you have any questions at (309) 438-8447.

Other Ways to Contribute

If you would like to volunteer your time by judging at a tournament, helping with coaching, donating airline miles to the team, or through other means, please contact the Director of Forensics.

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