The $160 million Illinois Renaissance for the State Farm Center is the largest project undertaken by the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics to date. It is an aggressive but necessary step towards accomplishing our mission to compete for championships.

Nevertheless, the overriding funding need will still be to meet the rising education costs. We will strive for championships, but our primary goal will always be to educate our student-athletes and prepare them for life after college. The best facilities in the world are meaningless without the funds to provide for every team's academic needs.

Total education costs for Illini student-athletes during the 2011-12 fiscal year topped $9.8 million. I FUND contributions for the same year were under $7.7 million.

Illini Nation will need to unite together in order to complete the State Farm Center renovation. However, we will also need to continue to unite behind our student-athletes through the I FUND. These are two separate funding requirements and we need your assistance with both.

We encourage you to partner with us on the State Farm Center Renaissance and enjoy the new premium seating opportunities, but we also ask that you begin/maintain/upgrade your support for the education of Illini student-athletes through the I FUND. As with current practice, all seating in the renovated State Farm Center, including premium seating options, will be allocated based upon I FUND priority standing. For more information on I FUND levels and benefits, please contact the Office of Athletic Development in Champaign at 217-333-6277 or Chicago at 312-575-7850.