Associated Colleges of Illinois


Associated Colleges of Illinois supports member colleges and universities by advancing independent liberal arts and sciences education and helping underserved students succeed in college, career and life.

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Malik Johnson participates in the ACI Peer Mentoring Program at Rockford University’s Men of Color Mentorship Program. Johnson is a computer science major who also plays on the university’s football team. A first-generation college student, Johnson says the Rockford program has taught him about time management, plus he’s learned study and business skills he applies in school and on the job. Watch as he describes his experience at Rockford and in the mentorship program.

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ACI Virtual Benefit Reception Features Students, Business and Government Leaders

Annual Benefit raises more than $76,000

ACI raised more than $76,000 at this year’s Benefit Reception, a virtual event because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Student speakers who benefitted from ACI’s scholarships and programs were joined by business and government leaders. All urged online viewers to donate to ACI, which provides scholarships and targeted programs primarily to first-generation, low-income students enrolled at ACI’s 26 member college and universities.


The program was hosted by Rob Johnson, president of Rob Johnson Communications, Chicago, and a former Chicago television news anchor. Virtual Benefit Reception gifts to ACI can be contributed through April 30.


It’s a big challenge for many first-generation and low-income students to earn a college degree and achieve career success, said Lyn Bulman, ACI board chair, opening the program. ACI helps by improving graduation rates for first-generation, low-income students and by providing financial aid. She noted that ACI’s member colleges and universities contribute $3.75 billion in value annually to the state’s economy, and more than 24,000 ACI alumni are employed by Illinois 148 largest companies. Plus, ACI schools provide more than 60 percent of the state’s nurses and teachers, Bulman said.


“Investing in ACI provides value to our schools, to our students, and to our state. And the needs have never been greater,” Bulman said.



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Associated Colleges of Illinois is a not-for-profit corporation exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are tax deductible as provided by law. ©2021 Associated Colleges of Illinois

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