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Jesse "Tony" Clements Scholarship fundraising kickoff

Campus Recreation and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Illinois have announced fundraising efforts to endow the Jesse “Tony” Clements Scholarship. This memorial scholarship has been established by friends and family of Tony to honor his unique legacy and extraordinary passion, contributions, and commitment. Campus Recreation will partner with the College of Applied Health Sciences to award the Clements Scholarship annually to an undergraduate student who is involved in a leadership position with Campus Recreation and who is enrolled in Recreation, Sport and Tourism.

Tony Clements was, and still is, a distinctive idol in the Campus Recreation world. With Campus Recreation at Illinois, he worked his way up from overseeing intramurals and community programs, to director of the department, at age 30, in 1979. He held that position until his retirement in 2008. His most visible impact as an administrator was the renovation of Campus Recreation Center-East (CRCE) and the renovation of IMPE that created the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC), along with the thousands of students and staff members he impacted in is 30+ years.

Tony was active in the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA), having served as President in 1988-89. He was presented NIRSA's most prestigious recognition, the NIRSA Honor Award, in 1996. He also received the University of Illinois Chancellor's Academic Professional Excellence Award in 2002. Tony was also the interim CEO of the United Way of Champaign County, a stand-up comedian, motivational speaker, local radio personality, the official scorer for Illini men’s basketball, and was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches’ Association’s Hall of Fame as a Friend of Basketball.

A friend and mentee of Clements', Janet Kroencke, states “We have all heard a version of the saying 'success is not achieved without the help of others.' Tony Clements was my friend, my mentor, and that person who took the time to see my unique potential, helping to guide me in my path toward success. For many years, Tony shared his inherent ability to see the promise and possibility in students when they may not have seen that in themselves. Simply put, Tony’s influence on students has made this world a better place by developing strong professionals and leaders through his mentorship. This award will continue providing our future leaders the support necessary to succeed, and Tony’s influence and generosity will remain relevant beyond his lifetime. “ 

Donations to the Clements Scholarship may be made online at giving.illinois.edu.  For more information, please contact the Office of Student Affairs Advancement at 217-244-8060 or email: studentaffairsadvancment@illinois.edu.