Dear Members of the Elmhurst College Community,
Since the summer we have been waging an all-hands campaign to persuade Gov. Pat Quinn and the Illinois General Assembly to restore funding for the Monetary Award Program, or MAP, which provides crucial assistance to need-based students at Elmhurst College and across the state. Our lawmakers have heard that resounding message. As you know, they voted last week to restore $205 million in state funding for MAP grants to cover the spring semester.
This is a tremendous victory not only for some 820 MAP-eligible students at Elmhurst College, but for all 138,000 students in Illinois who depend on MAP grants to keep them in school, fund their education and realize their dreams.
I am writing to thank faculty, staff, trustees and, especially, our students and their parents for writing, e-mailing, petition signing, public speaking and traveling to Springfield to take our position to the Legislature and Governor. I am very proud of the success you have achieved.
A special thank you goes, as well, to the Student Government Association for its active support of the cause by recruiting students to help and by approving funds for stamps. This outcome was an affirmation of the work put into a strategic campaign of advocacy, publicity and lobbying by the entire College community, from MAP students and their families to their friends, faculty, administrators and trustees.
I pledge to continue our energetic efforts to keep the pressure on lawmakers—not just to follow through on their commitment to fund the MAP program this spring, but also to find a permanent source of full funding in all the years ahead, so that our students and their parents can plan for college safe in the knowledge that the state of Illinois is doing its part to support higher education.
S. Alan Ray