Millikin University - Decatur, IL
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At the check presentation held March 19 at Caterpillar's Decatur plant are, from left, first row: Millikin student Mohand Aalsaleh of Saudi Arabia; Marilyn Davis, Millikin's Chief of Staff and Board Secretary; Carmen Aravena, Director of Millikin's Center for International Education; Millikin students Dominic Hart of Australia, Jordan Moxey of the Bahamas, and Tom Pardo of France; and Millikin's Interim President Rich Dunsworth. Second row:  Caterpillar Factory Managers Dwight Stewart, Rick Moore and Adam Mize; LeAnn McQuellon, Caterpillar Business Support Manager; and Mark Siwiec, Caterpillar EHS Manager.

On Tuesday, March 19, the Caterpillar Foundation made its second payment of $1 million to Millikin University as part of the Caterpillar Foundation's $7 million pledge made in 2011. This charitable investment is specifically earmarked for construction and renovation to transform Aston Hall into a Center for International Education on the university's campus.

In 2011, Caterpillar Inc. Chairman and CEO, Doug Oberhelman, a 1975 Millikin graduate, announced a charitable investment of up to $11.5 million toward Millikin's "Transform MU" capital campaign, the largest show of support in Millikin's history.

The investment, made both by the Caterpillar Foundation and personally by Oberhelman and his wife, Diane, will support the creation of a new university center that will house the Oberhelman Leadership Development Center, help renovate Millikin's oldest residence hall to create a Center for International Education and double the number of students supported by the university's Long-Vanderburg Scholars Program for minority students.

The $1 million check presented March 19 by Caterpillar Decatur's General Manager Walt Hupe is designated for Caterpillar's committed total of $3 million to help renovate and develop the new Center for International Education, which will provide housing for international students and serve as a home for multicultural affairs staff, international programs, study abroad and global awareness.

Millikin University Interim President, Rich Dunsworth; Director of the Center for International Education, Carmen Aravena; Chief of Staff and Board Secretary, Marilyn Davis; and four of Millikin's international students attended the check presentation at Caterpillar's Decatur office to express their support of the project: Jordan Moxey of the Bahamas, a biology major; Dominic Hart, an exercise science major from Australia; Mohand Aalsaleh of Saudi Arabia, a pre-pharmacy major; and Tom Pardo, an international business major from France.

"Thanks to the generosity of Caterpillar and the Oberhelmans, the new Center for International Education will serve a vital role in enhancing a critical area of our university mission – to prepare our students for democratic citizenship in a global environment," says Dunsworth. "Our students are going to work in an environment, far more diverse than any previous generation has. To not only achieve professional success in tomorrow's expanding global workplace, but to have a life of meaning and value, we must understand the world around us. The development of the Center for International Education is a vital piece in developing that understanding."

Millikin's partnership with Caterpillar extends back nearly six decades to 1955 when the company made its first investment in the university.


Creation of the Oberhelman Leadership Development Center - $6.5 million
Total funding to create the Oberhelman Leadership Development Center on the second floor of the new University Center includes a $3.5 million challenge matching grant by the Caterpillar Foundation to match donations made by Caterpillar employees and retirees, as well as $3 million donated personally by the Oberhelmans, for a total gift of $6.5 million. The proposed center will be home to more than 100 student leadership organizations, including student government, Greek life and the multicultural student council. Emerging and seasoned student leaders will have the opportunity to share their resources and practice leadership, management, marketing and technical skills. The new Center will include student organization and development areas, collaboration rooms and three flexible laboratory areas.

Creation of a new Center for International Education - $3 million
The Caterpillar Foundation has also committed $3 million to help create a new Center for International Education through the renovation of Aston Hall, originally built in 1907. The proposed center will complement the academic experience, offering a variety of cultural, educational, social and recreational programs for students. Plans for the Center provide for residence hall space for up to 70 international and domestic students, faculty offices, a lecture/conference hall, two "smart" classrooms and a resource room.

Challenge gift for donors to the new University Center - $1.5 million
The Oberhelmans have also committed to a $1.5 million personal challenge matching grant for potential donors to the new University Center. To date, Millikin has secured $1.1 million from other donors in response to the Oberhelmans' challenge.

Expansion of the University’s Long-Vanderburg Scholars Program - $500,000
The Caterpillar Foundation is also investing $500,000 in MU's Long-Vanderburg Scholars program, which recognizes high scholastic achievement among historically underrepresented students by providing scholarship support and development opportunities. The program will double from 60 to 120 students in a four-year period.

The $85 million "Transform MU" campaign was launched in May 2010 and will revitalize the east side of Millikin's campus, as well as make significant advances in creating new student scholarships, increasing endowment and faculty development funds, and improving infrastructure. To date, the campaign has raised $65.3 million dollars.

For more information, visit the campaign website at
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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL