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EIU Foundation Names 2012 Outstanding Members

Dec-12-2012

Three individuals have been recognized as outstanding members of the Eastern Illinois University Foundation for 2012:  Alan Baharlou and June Giffin, both of Charleston, and Dennis Spice of Champaign.

This award is bestowed upon individuals who demonstrate the ideals of membership in the Foundation through their volunteer service to the Foundation and to the university’s academic and athletic programs, providing the leadership, expertise and knowledge essential for the work of its advisory and governing boards, administrative councils and committees, and its executives-in-residence programs.

Alan Baharlou

Although he retired from Eastern in 2005, Alan Baharlou continues to remain active and involved with the university.  In addition to teaching off-campus courses, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Academy of Lifetime Learning offered through the School of Continuing Education.  He and his wife, Carlene, established the Baharlou Service Award in the College of Sciences to recognize faculty members with records of distinguished service.

Baharlou served as chair of the Department of Geology/Geography during 22 of the 25 years he taught at EIU.  He was recognized with several awards during his teaching career, including being named the university’s faculty laureate in 1999.

That same year, he also won the prestigious Ringenberg Award, which is the highest award presented by the College of Sciences and recognizes an individual who has performed exceptionally during his or her academic career.

The School of Continuing Education honored Baharlou with the Paul Overton Award, which is given to someone who has provided exemplary long-time service to off-campus students.  He is also the recipient of the Roger Whitlow Award, given to an adjunct faculty member who has made an important contribution to SCE off-campus students and programs.

As a young woman, June Bubeck Giffin attended EIU, living in Pemberton Hall, and was active in women’s sports including

June Bubeck Giffin

volleyball, badminton and field hockey.  She met her husband, Jim, before graduating in 1946 with her bachelor’s degree in business education.

In 1971, after taking time away from Eastern to teach and begin raising her family, she began work as a substitute teacher in the EIU Lab School.  She later worked as an office manager, first in Eastern’s Philosophy Department, then in the Management/Marketing Department.  She eventually migrated to Old Main and the Department of Grants and Research, working there from 1981 until her retirement in 1993.

Giffin has served as an avid volunteer throughout the EIU campus and Charleston community for many years.  Behind the scenes, she and her late husband, who was the founding dean of Eastern’s College of Business, served as a “welcome wagon” to faculty and hundreds of students who crossed their paths in the classroom, as student workers, as renters, and students in need.  The couple willingly helped any student desiring an education, and adopted many as surrogate children and grandchildren.

The couple also established both the Elsie and Erson Giffin and the Jim and June Giffin scholarships through the EIU Foundation.

Giffin’s current efforts center mostly on Eastern’s Peace Meal Senior Nutrition Program, the Tarble Arts Center, as an usher for the Doudna Fine Arts Center, as a member of the EIU Annuitants Association, and as a volunteer annuitant for the EIU Foundation at the Neal Welcome Center.

Dennis Spice

Dennis Spice serves as president of Institutional Advisors, Ltd., a consulting firm he began in 1995.  His many other accomplishments since receiving his bachelor’s degree in management from Eastern include serving as founding partner and managing member of Open Prairie Ventures I, LP, a $40 million capital fund that focused on investments in Midwest-based seed and start-up companies.  He was a member of the board of directors of Infoblox, Cernium, Eagles.net, ReVas, Innovative Security Systems Inc. and Computrol.

Further, he was a managing partner of Prairie Capital Partners, which leased equipment to companies in the Midwest; a managing director in Agrarian Capital, a private equity firm focused on agricultural industry investments; and an investor and adviser to harVestco Agricultural Properties.

As a nationally recognized expert, Spice has testified on pension and investment issues before the Department of the Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service, the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., and the Illinois General Assembly.

Prior to founding his own company, Spice was the executive director of the State Universities Retirement System of Illinois (SURS).  He joined the system in 1980 and was appointed director in 1991, a position he held until 1995.  Previously, he was employee benefits manager at EIU.

Over the years, Spice has given countless hours of service to EIU.  He recently agreed to serve on the newly formed School of Continuing Education Bachelor in General Studies Degree Alumni Board.  He has also served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, the School of Business Advisory Board for six years, the School of Technology’s Advisory Board for 11 years, and on the Foundation Board of Directors for five years.

He and his wife, Linda, established the Spice Entrepreneurship Fund at EIU in 2002, supporting projects that promote the spirit of entrepreneurship for the School of Business and School of Technology.