Throughout its 100-plus years, the McKinley Foundation at the University of Illinois has sought to live out socially conscious convictions via social justice work and human service.

The McKinley Foundation was named after US Senator William McKinley, a well-known humanitarian and benefactor in this community and at the University of Illinois. The Foundation Building was built at the height of the Depression and dedicated in 1930.

McKinley Foundation and Church are known for their efforts in social justice:

  • Civil rights and racial equality advocacy in the 50s
  • Involvement in the Vietnam Peace movement and military draft resistance in the 60s
  • Resettlement of Laotian refugee families
  • Founding and providing a day care for low-income families (now The Marilyn Queller Child Care Center)
  • Developing and operating a clothing exchange to support refugee families, students, and the community
  • Fully including gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people in the life of the church
  • Housing the Men’s Winter Emergency Shelter
  • Sponsoring other community churches

Most recently, the Foundation housed the Tap In Leadership and Tutoring Academy, currently houses the G.O.A.L.S. Teen Mother Enhancement Program, and operates Presby Hall, an environmentally state-of-the-art, LEED-certified green student residence.

Nominees Sought for 2014 Awards Print E-mail

With such a strong focus on social justice and human service, we seek to identify, recognize, and honor student and community groups and individuals with the McKinley Foundation Social Justice Award. The award is accompanied by a $500 gift to the organizations selected and, in the case of the individuals chosen, to an organization of their choice.

This award will recognize a student individual, an individual from the community at large, a student organization, and a community organization each of which demonstrates exceptional dedication to advancing a cause of social justice locally, nationally, or internationally; and their work to increase awareness of injustice issues and significantly improve the circumstances of those who have suffered unfair treatment.

Application Procedure

We invite nominations of individuals or groups who meet the described criteria. Self-nominations are encouraged. Nominations are due by 5:00 PM on January 17, 2014.

Complete a nomination form (available here) describing how you, your organization, or the person or organization you are nominating fits the criteria listed above. You may include references to goals; descriptions of the activity(s); and the outcome(s)—the impact locally, nationally, or internationally.

Send completed nominations to:

Awards Committee
McKinley Foundation
809 South Fifth Street
Champaign, IL 61820

Or submit it electronically to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Essays will be judged by a committee and the recipients will be notified by January 24.

Questions? Call Keith Harris at 217-344-0297 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .