Education & Schools
Governor Quinn Opens $18 Million "Building One" on Western Illinois University Riverfront Campus and Announces New Funding PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Nafia Khan   
Tuesday, 17 January 2012 13:23

Hundreds More Jobs to Result from Administration's Announcement of $38 Million in Capital Funding for Phase II of Moline Campus Expansion

MOLINE – January 17, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today joined local officials at Western Illinois University (WIU) to open the $18.4 million "Building One" at the school’s Riverfront Campus in Moline, a facility that will house the university’s undergraduate programs in the Quad Cities. In his third visit to the campus since the project was announced, Governor Quinn also announced the release of an additional $38 million in state capital funds for the next phase of the Moline campus expansion that will create hundreds of jobs and triple university enrollment when complete. The Governor stood alongside WIU President Jack Thomas to open the new building and announce additional funding.

“Investing in higher education is one of the best investments a state can make because jobs follow brainpower,” Governor Quinn said. "The Riverfront Campus will help create jobs now and help students and communities by creating economic and job opportunities for generations to come."

The $18.4 million "Building One” project transformed the former John Deere Technical Center, donated to WIU by the John Deere Corporation, into the new Riverfront Campus. The two-story, 60,300-square-foot energy-efficient and environmentally friendly building will be submitted for a LEED Silver designation and includes new classrooms, instructional and computer laboratories, offices, faculty and student lounges, and a reception and work area. The project was supported by a $12.5 million investment from Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program and created approximately 125 construction jobs. It was administered by the Capital Development Board, which oversees state-funded, non-road construction projects.

Governor Quinn’s announcement today of $38 million in new construction funding will support Phase II of the Riverfront Campus project, which includes a new classroom and administrative building. This expansion is expected to create more than 260 construction jobs. Bidding is scheduled for June 2012 with completion by mid-2014.

Despite having a regional population of more than 350,000 people, WIU-Quad Cities is the only public university in northwestern Illinois. The expansion is expected to generate a construction impact in excess of $125 million and support more than 100 permanent new jobs at WIU-Quad Cities.

“We are the only public university in the Quad Cities, and today's announcement for Phase II of the Riverfront Campus means expanded public higher education opportunities for the residents of the region,” said WIU President Jack Thomas. “We remain committed to providing outstanding educational experience to the Quad Cities and we are excited about the prospect of moving forward with Phase 2 of the Riverfront Campus.”

According to the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, the annual economic impact of WIU-Quad Cities with a current enrollment of 1,360 students and 100 faculty and staff is over $10 million annually. A new 3,000-student, three-building campus will raise that value to more than $50 million annually and will double the number of college graduates to 500 annually.

Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! program includes $1.5 billion for higher education, including $788 million for public universities and $400 million for community colleges. The overall $30 billion program is expected to create 439,000 construction jobs.


2012 Robert D. Blue Scholarship Application Available Online PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Karen Austin   
Tuesday, 17 January 2012 13:22

DES MOINES, IA (01/17/2012)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald reminds Iowa students that the application for the 2012 Robert D. Blue Scholarship is available online at All Iowa residents who plan to attend college in Iowa for the 2012-2013 school year are eligible to apply.

"Over the years we've helped hundreds of Iowa students meet their college costs with this scholarship," Fitzgerald stated. "Awards are based on financial need, academic achievements, written recommendations and an original essay. Last year, seven outstanding students representing seven counties were chosen to receive awards. Each of the recipients went on to attend a different Iowa college or university."

The Iowa Centennial Memorial Foundation awards the Robert D. Blue Scholarship to Iowa students attending college in Iowa. Governor Blue created the Foundation in 1949 to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of Iowa's acceptance into the union. At that time, a scholarship fund was established to encourage the youth of the state to attend Iowa's fine colleges and universities. In 1990, the Foundation officially named the scholarship to honor the late Governor Blue.

Robert D. Blue Scholarship applications are only accepted online through May 10 at The winners will be announced during the summer. Those who would like more information on the Robert D. Blue Scholarship should visit the website, or call the treasurer's office at (515) 242-5270.

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Mackenzie Oak Selected as Hall Director at Illinois College PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Elizabeth Findley   
Friday, 13 January 2012 09:45

JACKSONVILLE, IL (01/12/2012)(readMedia)-- Mackenzie Oak of Taylor Ridge has been chosen to serve on the residence life staff at Illinois College for the 2012 academic year.

Oak, is the daughter of Kevin and Cynthia Oak of Taylor Ridge. She is a graduate of Rockridge High School.

Hall directors, or HD's, serve the college in many capacities: implementing, developing and operating the Residential Life program within their building, and serving as role models for their staff and students. HD's are responsible for creating an environment that promotes positive academic and social experiences.

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success.

Local students make Deans' List for fall semester 2011 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by readMedia   
Friday, 13 January 2012 09:29

ROMEOVILLE, IL (01/11/2012)(readMedia)-- Lewis University announces Dean's List honorees.

Brett Busch is a resident of East Moline, Ill.

Bryce Lough is a resident of Orion, Ill.

These students were among those honored on the Lewis University Deans' List for fall semester 2011.

To be eligible for this honor, students must have completed a minimum of 12 semester hours of credit with a grade point average of 3.25 out of a possible 4.0.  Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally aware, and socially responsible graduates. The ninth largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit for further information.



MILWAUKEE, WI (01/11/2012)(readMedia)-- The following local students have been named to the Dean's List for the fall 2011 semester at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis:

Mikhaila Norton of Bettendorf, IA. Norton is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.

Alexa Hackfort of Bettendorf, IA. Hackfort is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations.

Thomas Grabow of Davenport, IA. Grabow is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.

Matthew Noe of Rock Island, IL. Noe is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance.

Bradley Whan of Coal Valley, IL. Whan is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering.

Marquette University is a Catholic, Jesuit university that draws its more than 11,500 students from all 50 states and more than 75 different countries. In addition to its nationally recognized academic programs, Marquette is known for its service learning programs and internships as students are challenged to use what they learn to make a difference in the world. Find out more about Marquette at

Treasurer Fitzgerald Reminds Teachers to Register for Free Pencils PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Michael Fitzgerald   
Tuesday, 10 January 2012 16:02

Teachers must submit their requests for pencils before the April 1st deadline

DES MOINES, IA (01/10/2012)(readMedia)-- Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald wants every second and third grade teacher in the state to take advantage of the free pencils being offered through Prepare for the Basics program. This no-cost program, which provides pencils for students to use during the Iowa Assessment Test, supplied over 12,800 students with pencils during the 2010-11 school year. "Any teacher interested in participating in the program has until April 1st to submit their requests," stated Fitzgerald. "I really hope all teachers take advantage of this program. It is a small gesture of appreciation for all they do."

The Prepare for the Basics program also provides information to families about College Savings Iowa, the state's 529 plan that is designed to give them an affordable way to save money for college. "Families who begin saving early are better prepared to meet the educational needs of their children. Any little bit that can be saved now will offset what has to be borrowed in the future," Fitzgerald said.

College Savings Iowa lets anyone – parents, grandparents, friends and relatives – invest for college on behalf of a child. Iowa taxpayers can deduct up to $2,975 in contributions per beneficiary account from their adjusted gross income in 2012* Investors do not need to be a state resident and can withdraw their investment tax-free to pay for qualified higher education expenses including tuition, books, supplies and room and board at any eligible college, university, community college or accredited technical training school in the United States or abroad.** For more information about College Savings Iowa, go to or call 1-888-672-9116.

Teachers who would like to take part in the Prepare for the Basics program can register online by visiting and clicking on the financial literacy tab. Materials should be requested at least two weeks prior to testing to ensure timely arrival and will be delivered directly to the participating schools. Supplies are limited, so early registration is advised.

* Adjusted annually for inflation. If withdrawals are not qualified, the deductions must be added back to Iowa taxable income.

** Earnings on non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax on the earnings, as well as state and local income taxes. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.


Investment returns are not guaranteed and you could lose money by investing in the plan. Participants assume all investment risks as well as responsibility for any federal and state tax consequences. If you are not an Iowa taxpayer, consider before investing whether your or the designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state's qualified tuition program.

For more information about the College Savings Iowa 529 Plan, call 888-672-9116 or visit to obtain a Program Description. Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information are included in the Program Description; read and consider it carefully before investing.

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