Former Ambassador gives $3M to ISU

Jul 26, 2013

Former U.N. Ambassador Donald McHenry has donated $3 million to his alma mater, Illinois State University. McHenry says he is pleased to do for the University what ISU did for him, offer an intellectual transformation. McHenry says he still thinks of himself as a former champion debater more than he does as a co-founder of the NAACP or diplomat:

 “We’d like to think at the time we were a small school and we just loved to take on the Harvards and Yales of the world because we always beat them,” McHenry says.

 McHenry's gift, coupled with $500,000 from the International Paper Company, will establish a Visiting Assistant Professorship in Diplomacy and International Affairs. That is the first such endowed visiting chair in ISU history. McHenry says it will help students have not only exposure to professors who provide a solid grounding in international affairs, but also to those who can offer the guidance of practical experience. Each visiting professor can serve up to two years.  McHenry grew up in East Saint Louis with a single mother who encouraged education. He says he hopes the professorship will inspire students to see possibilities and become engaged leaders.