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University of Illinois Springfield
MottoLeadership Lived
TypePublic university
Established1969; 52 years ago (1969)
EndowmentUS$20.4 million[1]
ChancellorKaren M. Whitney
PresidentTimothy L. Killeen
Academic staff
Students4,146 (Fall 2020)[3]
Location, ,
United States
ColorsDeep Navy and White
NicknamePrairie Stars
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IIGreat Lakes Valley Conference

The University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) is a public university in Springfield, Illinois. The university was established in 1969 as Sangamon State University by the Illinois General Assembly and became a part of the University of Illinois system on July 1, 1995. As a public liberal arts college, and the newest campus in the University of Illinois system, UIS is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. UIS is also part of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the American Council on Education. The campus' main repository, Brookens Library, holds a collection of nearly 800,000 books and serials in addition to accessible resources at the University of Illinois Chicago and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campuses.

The University of Illinois Springfield serves 4,146 students (Fall 2020) in 30 undergraduate degree programs, 20 master's degree programs, and a doctorate in Public Administration. The university was once one of the two upper-division and graduate universities in Illinois, but now accepts freshmen, transfer, and graduate students.


Sangamon State University

In 1967, the Illinois General Assembly created a Board of Regents to operate Illinois State University and Northern Illinois University, as well as a third unnamed institution in Springfield. In 1969, Governor Richard Ogilvie signed into law a bill officially creating Sangamon State University. It originally operated as an "upper-division" university—that is, a university that offers only the last two years of undergraduate education, as well as graduate work. The first classes were held on September 28, 1970 at First Methodist Church in downtown Springfield. In October, SSU began offering classes in the current campus location near Lake Springfield.

Sangamon State aimed to be a "truly pioneering segment of public education" through a spirit of openness, innovation and adaptability.[5]

The school grew steadily over the years. Its first permanent building, Brookens Library, was dedicated in 1976, and its Public Affairs Center and first dormitories opened in 1980.

Transition to the University of Illinois System

In 1995, Governor Jim Edgar signed a bill which abolished the Board of Regents and merged SSU with the University of Illinois system. On July 1, SSU officially became the University of Illinois at Springfield. Naomi Lynn, the last president of SSU, became the first chancellor of UIS.

Establishment of a four-year general education program

In 2001, it admitted freshmen for the first time in an honors program called the "Capital Scholars". On September 8, 2005, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved a new general education curriculum, making UIS a full-fledged four-year university for the first time. Freshmen were slated to be admitted under the general education curriculum beginning in fall 2006.[6]


The Colonnade
The Colonnade

The University of Illinois at Springfield is located six miles southeast of Springfield, occupying 740 acres of prairie land adjacent to Lake Springfield and Lincoln Land Community College.[5] In 1841, the land was acquired by Thomas Strawbridge Jr., a prosperous saddler and harness maker in Springfield. The Thomas Strawbridge homestead, constructed around 1845, still stands on the south edge of the University of Illinois at Springfield campus and was restored in 2012.

Today, there are three easily identifiable areas on campus: Legacy Campus, SSU Permanent Construction, and the University of Illinois era.

SSU permanent construction

The first permanent construction on campus, Brookens Library was completed in 1976 and the Public Affairs Center, was completed in Fall of 1980.[5] These buildings were the first part of a master plan of 1970 - 1971 that called for an "urban campus" surrounded by restored prairie land, free of all vehicular traffic and easily navigable by pedestrians. All permanent campus buildings would be located within a "ring road", now known as University Drive. The Public Affairs Center also houses Sangamon Auditorium, a 2,018 seat concert hall and performing arts center built in 1981. It occupies the entire second level of the Public Affairs Center.


Online degrees

The University of Illinois at Springfield has been offering online courses and degrees since 1999.

Student Life

Student Union

The Student Union is the focal point of campus and student life and is the heart of the university campus, a place where students, along with faculty and staff, can spend time with friends, collaborate on academic and leadership activities. The building opened January 14, 2018.[7]

Student Newspaper

The UIS Journal is the weekly student newspaper of the University. Its circulation is 2,000 per week.[8]

Greek Organizations




Main article: UIS Prairie Stars

Official athletics logo.
Official athletics logo.

UIS athletic teams are known as the Prairie Stars, and compete in the NCAA Division II's Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC). UIS joined the GLVC in October 2008 and became a full-fledged Division II member on Aug. 1, 2010. The Prairie Stars were formerly members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the American Midwest Conference (AMC). Women's sports include basketball, cross country, cheerleading, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball; men's sports include baseball, basketball, cheerleading, golf, soccer, track & field and tennis.

Notable alumni

Notable faculty

See also


  1. ^ "University of Illinois-Springfield | University of Illinois Springfield | Best College | US News". Retrieved 2015-07-18.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "University of Illinois Springfield sees positive trends, despite slight decrease in overall enrollment". 2020-09-20. Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  4. ^ a b "UIS Enrollment". Retrieved 25 Oct 2020.
  5. ^ a b c "History of SSU-UIS: 1970-1971 – About - University of Illinois Springfield - UIS". 1969-09-01. Retrieved 2015-07-18.
  6. ^ "UIS Chronology | Archives and Illinois Regional Archives Depository". Retrieved July 18, 2015.
  7. ^ About UIS Student Union, University of Illinois - Springfield. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  8. ^ About UIS Journal, UIS Journal, University of Illinois - Springfield. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
  9. ^ "Cheri Bustos". The Washington Post. 25 December 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  10. ^ "Oliver Darcy". CNN Money. 3 May 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  11. ^ a b NNDB. "University of Illinois at Springfield". Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  12. ^ Illinois Secretary of State's Office. "Vince DeMuzio" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-02-16. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  13. ^ "Karen A. Hasara". The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. Archived from the original on 8 October 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  14. ^ "Al Lewis (columnist)". The Denver Post. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  15. ^ "Milton J. Nieuwsma". The Society of Midland Authors. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  16. ^ University of Illinois at Springfield. "UIS alum named White House press secretary by President Bush". Retrieved 2007-11-30.

Coordinates: 39°43′44″N 89°37′04″W / 39.729021°N 89.617656°W / 39.729021; -89.617656