UIC Athletics announces $250,000 gift to establish third-largest endowed scholarship

Al Ronan stands at a podium.
Al Ronan

The University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) Athletics Department announced today a $250,000 commitment from football letter winner and two-time alumnus Al Ronan (’69 & ‘70) to establish the Al Ronan Family UIC Athletics Scholarship Fund.

The Al Ronan Family UIC Athletics Scholarship Fund is the third-largest endowed scholarship gift in program history. It will support student-athletes who demonstrate financial need, academic merit and athletic excellence, who will be recognized annually as “Ronan Family Scholars.”

“Al understands firsthand the transformative impact of the student-athlete experience and shares our commitment to providing opportunities and preparation for lifelong success,” said Director of Athletics Michael Lipitz. “We appreciate his longstanding support and are grateful for this scholarship that will forever bear the Ronan Family name.”

Ronan has been a donor to and steadfast supporter of Flames Athletics for more than 40 years. In addition to his philanthropy, he has been a leading volunteer through the UIC Athletics Scholarship Golf Classic committee, Athletics Advisory Council and ‘Pass the Torch’ mentorship program.

“My dream has always been to help UIC student-athletes access a high-quality education and athletic experience ever since I helped the department introduce its first annual scholarship golf outing in 1993,” Ronan said. “I’m proud that tradition has lived on for the last 28 years and urge all of UIC’s student-athlete alumni to give back in a way that is meaningful to them. Scholarships funded by the generosity of alumni and friends are what our beloved university needs and will enable our athletics leadership to continue to recruit and compete for championships at the Division I level.”

After graduating from Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Ill., Ronan attended UIC to play football and earn his undergraduate degree in political science and his master’s degree in public administration. His career in Illinois politics has spanned five decades, first as a State Representative in the Illinois General Assembly, and then as a lobbyist. Ronan is the proud father of two daughters and has two grandchildren. 

“Al’s philanthropic leadership demonstrates his confidence in UIC Athletics and commitment to our student-athletes’ academic, athletic and personal success,” said Mike Bamonti, senior associate athletics director and director of advancement. “We thank the Ronan Family for selflessly lighting the way for generations of future Flames.”

For information on how to enhance the impact of the Al Ronan Family UIC Athletics Scholarship Fund, or to support UIC Athletics via a gift to the Flames Athletic Fund, please contact Bamonti at mbamonti@uic.edu and visit www.uicflames.com/faf.  All gifts support UIC’s 300 student-athletes and 18 varsity teams.

UIC Athletics has now raised over $16 million toward its $23 million goal for IGNITE: The Campaign for UIC, which is 82 percent of the way to its $750 million goal in support of university priorities.

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