CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND)-University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign alumna and University Housing retiree Marylin Michal has donated $1.7 million to the University Housing Program.

The generous donation will be used to establish the Marilyn Michal Fund for the Illinois Residence Hall Association.

The fund will provide student scholarships and awards for the Central Black Student Union and the National Residence Hall Honorary and further cultivate University Housing student-centered experiences with emphases on academic achievement, personal development and global awareness.

“We are incredibly grateful to receive a contribution of this magnitude,” said Alma R. Sealine, executive director of University Housing. “This profoundly generous and optimistic gift will enable University Housing to continue providing experiences that enhance the growth and development of our students and create the conditions essential for student engagement and active learning outside the classroom.”

Michal graduated in 1963 from the university with a bachelor’s degree in management and a master’s degree in education in 1970.

Little did she know, she’d be starting her career during graduate school when she served as a resident hall advisor.

Her work with students evolved into a 35-year career in University Housing, where she retired as the assistant director of Residential Life for University Housing in 1999.

“This gift illustrates the innate passion and dedication of University Housing staff and acknowledges the value of the on-campus residential experience,” said Danita M. B. Young, vice chancellor for student affairs. “Ms. Michal’s generosity will change lives and shape futures for years to come.”

“Congratulations to Student Affairs and University Housing,” said Robert J. Jones, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign chancellor. “This investment not only demonstrates expediential confidence in University Housing, but it also pays tribute to the role housing staff have in preparing Illinois students for a lifetime of service and success.”

University Housing serves over 11,000 students, offering 26 residence halls and three apartment communities.