Personal Giving Stories

Honoring a Legacy and Supporting UIS Students into the Future

Dr. Stephen J. Schwark

Charitable gifts have a remarkable capacity to touch the lives of those they support, those they honor, and even the donors who provide them. Through a gift in his will, Dr. Stephen J. Schwark, professor emeritus of Political Science and Global Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS), is honoring a colleague and impacting future students.

When Dr. Schwark and his wife, the late Dr. Elaine Rundle-Schwark, arrived in Springfield in the late 1980s, they were impressed by the “company” they found themselves among—many of whom were founding faculty at Sangamon State. As Dr. Schwark developed the global studies program at what is now UIS, he grew close to colleague David Everson. “Even though he taught American politics, he and I became good friends,” Schwark jested.

After Professor Everson passed away in 1999, his wife, Dr. Judith Everson, requested a memorial fund be established to provide library materials for UIS’ Capital Scholars Honors Program.

Dr. Schwark supported the program from its inception. “I not only wanted to teach the Capital Scholars, I also felt Political Science should be heavily involved and supportive,” he said. When considering how he could make a significant contribution, Schwark established a provision in his will to benefit the UIS David Everson Memorial Fund for Capital Scholars Library Materials.

Both Drs. Schwark and Everson recognize that libraries aren’t static institutions—and neither are the learning styles of exceptional students like the Capital Scholars. So, the fund’s use has been broadened to include enhancing the library’s services more inclusively.

Schwark’s future gift to the Everson fund not only honors his former colleague but empowers the library to support emerging teaching and learning methods campus-wide, enabling UIS to enhance library services for its best and brightest students.


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