University of Illinois System

Distinguished Service Medallion 1998


Dr. Ikenberry served as an outstanding president of the University of Illinois for sixteen years, from 1979 to 1995. Dr. Ikenberry was awarded the Medallion at Commencement at Urbana-Champaign, May 1998.


Board of Trustees Minutes
May 14, 1998

1998, to Stanley O. Ikenberry


Dr. Stanley O. Ikenberry is recommended as the recipient of the Trustees' Distinguished Service Medallion for 1998.

Great universities require support from many sources in order to thrive:  good faculty, good students, generous benefactors, devoted alumni, a wise governing board, and support from the public. In addition to these things, an essential requirement for a great university is presidential leadership. The history of great universities has always been the history of great educational leaders.

The University of Illinois has been blessed with a tradition of outstanding presidents. Among those is Stanley O. Ikenberry, currently president emeritus and regent professor of the University of Illinois. He served as president of the University for sixteen years, from 1979 to 1995.

During these years Dr. Ikenberry established the University of Illinois at Chicago, by consolidating the former Chicago Circle and the Medical Center campuses into the comprehensive, vital, and exceptional institution we know today as UIC. He added to the facilities of the University in a remarkable and unparalleled way. Major additions to the campuses, such as the Beckman Institute and the Grainger Library at Urbana, and the Molecular Biology building in Chicago are examples of the caliber of new facilities Dr. Ikenberry worked relentlessly to make possible.

The leadership abilities of Stanley Ikenberry have been apparent not only in American higher education but in government and corporate circles as well. His counsel to governors, members of Congress, and legislators has been highly regarded. Further, the partnerships he developed between academe and business and industry through such groups as the Chicago Commercial Club served to inspire important dialog between these groups.

In his current position as president of the American Council on Education, Dr. Ikenberry serves as the major representative voice for higher education in the United States. His work on such important topics as accreditation of institutions and programs, controlling the cost of higher education, and federal legislation to assist colleges and universities has benefited the entire higher education community.

We at the University of Illinois are honored that Dr. Ikenberry has maintained academic affiliations with the University since leaving the presidency of our institution.

Dr. Ikenberry's record of service to myriad organizations is outstanding. He sits on the boards of corporations, museums, social action groups, and many education councils. He has served as chair of the major higher education associations in the country.

For his career of leadership and devotion to our University and to American higher education, the trustees award this Distinguished Service Medallion to Stanley O. Ikenberry. We will be forever grateful to him for his outstanding contributions to the University of Illinois

On motion of Ms. Reese, this recommendation was approved.