School of Labor and Employment Relations – Illinois Advancement
Labor and Employment Relations building

Fiscal Year 2023 Update

School of Labor and Employment Relations

Celebrating the impact of your generosity

On behalf of the students, faculty and staff, thank you for your generous support of the School of Labor and Employment Relations. Your gift makes a powerful impact at LER – whether for scholarships, building enhancement, research, or faculty support. There has never been a greater need for well-trained human resources and labor relations leaders. Our graduates are entering the workforce at a pivotal time, developing and implementing new policies that affect employees worldwide. We’re proud of our alumni and their role in the modern workplace and our faculty, who continue to produce cutting-edge research for a better tomorrow.

Thank you for your generosity and commitment to LER.

Cory Hatfield
Signature Cory L. Hatfield
Director of Development and Alumni Relations

FY 2023 By the Numbers

Thanks to your support during this past fiscal year, the School of Labor and Employment Relations continues to be transformed, resulting in:

Dollars Raised1,465,361 Dollars Raised

Donors350 Donors

First-Time Donors44 First-Time Donors

Gifts from small to large166 Gifts Between $1 and $100

*Data as of 8/1/23.

FY 2023 Highlights

Your support has helped us continue to elevate the values that make Illinois distinctive: a sense of boundless aspiration, collaboration, and a global perspective.

Graphic image reading "Celebrating 75+1 Years" with an image of the Labor Employment Relations Building in the background.

75th+1 Anniversary

LER celebrated the 75th anniversary of the School one year late in 2022. We welcomed back alumni from the class of 1964 to 2022. With 50 students receiving scholarship support this semester, our reception was well-attended, and the conversations were plentiful. Following that reception, alumni participated in a leadership panel discussion on the future of work.

The evening celebration began with Chancellor Robert Jones, who shared the importance and prominence of the School on this campus. To honor our history, we featured a diverse group of alumni and friends to reflect upon our past and look toward the future. We have come a long way since Phillips Bradley opened the Institute in one large room on the fourth floor of Mumford Hall with five students! Read more.

Ingrid Fulmer

Dean Fulmer Receives Derber Professorship

The Milton and Zelda Derber Professorship was created by their daughter, Clara, to honor her parents and the legacy of her father. Professor Milton Derber was a faculty member at the School of Labor and Employment Relations from 1947 until 1983. He is best known for his groundbreaking contributions to the field of labor relations and his book, “Labor in Illinois: The Affluent Years, 1945-80.” He also served as Interim Director of the then-Institute in 1951.

Dean Ingrid Fulmer received the Derber Professorship in December 2022. Her research expertise is in the areas of human resource management and organizational behavior. She is managing current projects focused on compensation system design, pay communication and transparency, organizational human capital, and management of former employees. Read more.

Professor Daniel Newman standing and smiling as he is named the Inaugural Martin Wagner Professor.

Wagner Professorship Award to Professor Dan Newman

The Martin and Nell Wagner Professorship was funded by the School and several committed alumni to honor Wagner’s legacy in employment and labor relations. Professor Wagner was a labor arbitrator and scholar whose career included nearly 25 years with the then-Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations. He served as director from 1958 to 1968, then remained on the faculty until 1982, beginning one of the nation’s first doctoral programs in industrial relations in 1966.

In March 2023, Professor Daniel Newman was named the Inaugural Martin Wagner Professor. Professor Newman, who holds a joint appointment with the School and the Department of Psychology, included a beautiful tribute to the past professor and a heartfelt thank you to those who have supported him throughout his career. Read more.

Rachel and Luke Weaver smiling and standing outside with their two children.

Weaver Family Establishes Scholarship Endowment

During his time at LER, Luke made lifelong friendships and created relationships with faculty and staff who supported him and helped create a strong HR network. After applying for numerous roles, it was a connection made at LER that helped land an opportunity with Pepsico. “After graduating from LER and starting with PepsiCo, I never dreamed that I would have the career experience I have had to date,” he says.

After almost 15 years, Luke partners with business leaders to continue making PepsiCo a great workplace. Since her time at the university, Rachel has led finance teams, most recently with PepsiCo’s supply chain organization. Outside of work, the Weaver Family focuses their time and resources on charitable causes within their community. Read more.

Continue Your Support

Your continued support ensures the School of Labor and Employment Relations remains a place where progress and innovation can flourish. Find your passion and help us dream even bigger!

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See More Impact

Philanthropy has benefited students, faculty, and staff in many ways. Browse the list below to learn more about how your impact can be felt across campus.

© 2023 University of Illinois Board of Trustees