Women's Basketball
UI Benefactors Tim and Sharon Ubben Add Name to SFC Donor Recognition Wall with $2 Million Gift

Jan. 22, 2014

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The Legacy of Illinois Athletics runs deep, passionate, and with as many treasured stories as one can imagine. Each story needs to be told, embraced, remembered, and passed from one generation of Illini to the next. These stories are connected with a common bond, yet independently unique at the same time.

The Donor Recognition Wall at State Farm Center will recognize the great families and individuals making a Leadership Gift to the Illinois Renaissance of State Farm Center. Their support will allow Fighting Illini student-athletes to add their chapter in continuing the legacy. Standing alone, a story may get lost, but when bound together on the Donor Recognition Wall, these names, and the commitment to excellence they represent, will generate a bright spark of energy to inspire and ignite future generations of Fighting Illini.

Tim and Sharon Ubben, who added their family name to the Ubben Basketball Practice Facility in 1998, are the latest Fighting Illini benefactors to add their name to a significant piece of State Farm Center with a $2 million naming rights gift for the Donor Recognition Wall. The Richard T. Ubben Basketball Practice Facility is named to honor Tim's father, Richard, who was a 1929 UI graduate in chemistry. The Ubbens have passionately shown their support of Illinois athletics for many years. This includes not only support of the men's and women's basketball programs, but significant support of the Illinois Renaissance of Memorial Stadium and all UI athletic programs in general.

"Fighting Illini Basketball has, and continues to be, a passionate part of our family life," Tim Ubben said. "Sharon and I recognize that State Farm Center is one of our nation's most prestigious arenas. It hosts countless meaningful activities from graduation and concerts to community and sporting events which all connect and inspire students, faculty, families, and friends."

"Tim and Sharon Ubben have a strong passion for the University of Illinois which is reflected in their extremely generous and long history of supporting Fighting Illini athletics," UI Director of Athletics Mike Thomas said. "The support the Ubbens have so graciously given to Illinois Athletics has certainly made a significant difference in our Fighting Illini athletic programs. In doing so, they have made an impact on our student-athletes by enhancing their experience while at Illinois. We greatly appreciate all they have done for the Fighting Illini Nation and thank them for not only their continued support but for taking a lead with the State Farm Center project."

Fighting Illini Basketball has, and continues to be, a passionate part of our family life. [We] recognize that State Farm Center is one of our nation's most prestigious arenas.
- Tim Ubben

"The generosity and impact from the investments of the Ubben family towards higher education is simply remarkable," said Senior Associate Athletics Director Rick Darnell. "It is truly fitting that this investment by Tim and Sharon Ubben will be recognized by the naming of the Donor Recognition Wall. Their past and present commitments to Illinois athletics, and especially Illinois basketball, have helped inspire so many others to follow their lead."

Tim and Sharon Ubben will be recognized at the UI reception and gathering on Thursday, February 20, 2014 at the LaPlaya Beach & Golf Club in Naples, Fla.

Tim and Sharon Williams Ubben are 1958 graduates of DePauw University. After graduating, Tim Ubben received his M.B.A. from Northwestern University and served in the U.S. Army while Sharon taught school in Elkhart, Ind., and Tampa, Fla.

Tim Ubben founded Lincoln Capital Management, a Chicago-based investment firm, in 1967. When he retired in 1999 as chairman, Lincoln had more than $50 billion in assets under management. Sharon Ubben owned a tour company, Hearts Desire, from 1983 to 1990. Over the years, the Ubbens have been active in the lives of their community and in supporting important causes. Sharon Ubben served as director and president of the University of Chicago Cancer Research Auxiliary Board; as a trustee of the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation; and as mentor for the Boys and Girls Club of Collier County, Fla. Tim Ubben has served on the national board of directors of the Posse Foundation since 2004, founded the Chicago Posse in 1999, and was honored as a "Posse Star" in 2009; as a director of the Boys and Girls Club of Collier County, Fla.; and as director of the Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Naples, Fla.

The Posse Foundation has identified, recruited and trained 5,544 public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential to become Posse Scholars. Since 1989, these students - many of whom might have been overlooked by traditional college selection processes - have been receiving four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships from Posse's partner institutions of higher education. Most important, Posse Scholars persist and graduate at a rate of 90 percent and make a visible difference on campus and throughout their professional careers.

Information on the I FUND

The I FUND remains true to the founding principle of college sports: cultivating and preparing Illinois student-athletes to be leaders in industry, business and community. The I FUND strives to provide the best in support services, athletic facilities and academic opportunities for all Fighting Illini student-athletes. This is only possible through the continued generosity of those private individuals, families and businesses involved in the I FUND program. By providing funding to meet the rising costs of financing each student's education, lifelong fans and loyal alumni are able to connect on a very personal level with Illinois student-athletes and the Fighting Illini athletic teams.

Make an Impact. Leave a Legacy. Join the I FUND team! Call today 217.333.6595 for Champaign or 312.575.7850 for Chicago.