Excellence in Leadership Awards

About These Awards

The Chicago Illini Club, friends and family of Vicki Lynn Merkel, and the Willard Broom Leadership Fund sponsor three awards to recognize outstanding seniors.

Nominators, please address the following in your nomination:

  1. Describe in detail how the nominee has made a significant impact on the quality of campus and/or community life.
  2. Describe how the nominee's contributions to campus and/or community life demonstrates exceptional leadership.


About the Sponsors

Chicago Illini Club

The Chicago Illini Club is a regional affiliate of the University of Illinois Alumni Association. With more than 50,000 alumni in the greater Chicagoland area, the Club promotes the welfare of the University by demonstrating loyalty to the institution and supporting its educational purposes. In keeping with these goals, the Club established an endowment for the Excellence in Leadership Award and also supports the James Newton Matthews Scholars program.

Family and Friends of Victoria Lynn Merkel

A member of the Class of 1987, Victoria Lynn Merkel was known for her energy, creativity and genuine care for others. She was very active in the Greek system and her sorority. She served on the Illini Union Board and was elected Ma-Wan-Da and Senior 100 prior to her accidental death in her senior year. This award was established in her memory by her parents and family.

Willard Broom

Willard Broom’s dedication to students is truly what he is remembered for by students, alumni and co-workers alike. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1972 and began his exemplary career serving students by advising numerous student groups. He directed orientation programs for new students and the first student leadership conference. Later, he served as Director of Student Activities. Along with Willard’s responsibility in the Dean of Students office, he taught a leadership class, Ed Psych199, for more than 20 years.

Procter & Gamble 

Procter & Gamble (P&G) supports leadership opportunities on campus. Illinois alumni employed with P&G continue to value the leadership skills acquired during their college years at the University of Illinois, skills that have helped them contribute to their company and community.