University of Illinois I-Mark






Uni High enjoyed a year of energetic activity!

The long-awaited Strategic Visioning report was released, and it provided a roadmap to a more secure future while committing to the excellence that has defined Uni for nearly a century. We expect the first step—a governing board to assume mission-oversight responsibilities—will be accomplished this year. We are grateful to the committee that worked on Uni’s Strategic Visioning, and to the alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and students who contributed valuable feedback after the document was published.

The Innovations in Learning initiative is on schedule. Our first active learning classroom has been expanded with a breakout room for student discussions, and our second active learning classroom, featuring high tech, was completed this summer. The school has launched planning for a renovation of the 1962 chemistry lab in summer 2018.

In addition to our improvements in facilities, we continued to grow an ever-changing, advanced curriculum. Teaching and learning included more hands-on projects in every department this year, from science projects in partnership with community gardens to a three-week trip to Japan funded by a grant from the Japanese government.

Our alumni continue to be integral to the success of Uni. During our inaugural alumni week in April, more than 200 alumni held reunions, attended the annual Uni Gala, and participated in an afternoon of “Alumni Agora” presentations. We had many memorable moments as the past intersected with the future.We received great support from alumni this year, including a major donation and estate gift from David Frankel (’76) to enhance connections between Uni students and University professors, and the establishment of a major endowment by the Ang family to enhance teacher salaries and professional development. Gala attendees even donated more than $15,000 toward teacher wish list items!

Our students continue to engage and excel, as Uni students have always done. Swimmer Ema Rajic broke two alltime Illinois state records and competed in the Olympic trials. Fourteen students went to the All-State Music Festival. The 61 May graduates were all accepted to outstanding four-year colleges, and five were National Merit Scholarship winners.

As we head into our portion of the University’s fundraising campaign, we appreciate the support from so many of our parents and alumni, and look forward to sharing our vision of sustainable and state-of-the-art programs for the future.

We are honored to have you as part of our Uni family and hope you enjoy this year’s highlights in our Annual Report calendar.

Sincerely yours,

Jeff Walkington, Ph.D.



of current parents made a gift to the school in 2016-17.


gave the suggested donation of $3,750 or more.



97 years of academic excellence begins in 2018

3 Nobel Prize winning alumni

4 ExploraVision International Championships, including 2017

19 students visited Japan as guests of the Japanese government

429 Alumni made a gift in FY17

5 national merit scholarship winners

11 students qualified as National Merit Semifinalists

14 students selected for ILMEA All-State Music Festival

9:1 students student to teacher ratio

0 snow days this year

15 average class size

100 student households contributed $3,750 or more

69 percent of students participate in student athletics

8 Faculty/Staff members with a PH.D.

322 2016-17 enrollment

100% student population accepted in 4-year schools

61 graduates in 2017

36 colleges enrolled

32 Average ACT score for class of 2017

234 alumni, parents and friends attended the Uni High Gala


Jeremy Hobson (‘99) was honored as the school’s Rising Star award recipient this year. The award recognizes Uni High alumni who have demonstrated leadership in their field, in service to the school or the community. As the inaugural Rising Star Award Recipient, Hobson spoke at the Uni High Graduation ceremony May 20. Hobson co-hosts NPR’s “Here and Now,” where he frequently features our own college counselor, Lisa Micele, as a guest. Before joining “Here and Now,” Hobson hosted the Marketplace Morning Report. He was also a reporter for Marketplace Washington, D.C. and New York City, where he covered Wall Street and its impact on ordinary Americans during the financial crisis of 2008.


The 2017 Max Beberman Distinguished Alumni Award recipient was Richard Newmark (’57). Newmark set a great example in his professional career through leadership, scholarship and publications. He continues his leadership roles in the community in the areas of education and the environment. His contributions to community, public service, and civic activities are emblematic of the Uni High mission to encourage citizenship and influence the educational community. The award was established by the University of Illinois Laboratory High School in honor of the late Max Beberman, a Uni math teacher. Max is remembered as being a truly wonderful teacher whose forte was enabling students to “discover” for themselves the new math ideas for which he is famous.

Left: Richard Newmark addresses the 2017 Gala;

Right: Newmark celebrates at the Uni Gala with his wife, Jean (left) and classmate Peggy (Rose) Shulman (‘58.)

Uni High Gala

Uni’s first-ever ReUNIon week was held April 6-8, and included an all-1950s reunion as well as decade reunions for other classes. The annual Gala was April 8, where 234 guests gathered to honor this year’s Max Beberman Distinguished Alumni award recipient Richard Newmark. The event also marked the 70th reunion of the Uni High Madrigals, and decades of Madrigals came together to serenade the event. The evening also featured student project demonstrations and a teachers wish list event, which raised more than $15,000 toward items requested by Uni faculty for their classrooms. Mark your calendars for April 14 to attend the Uni High Gala 2018.


Uni reached new heights in our efforts to help students stay active and healthy. The P.E. program added an archery unit thanks to grants, donations, and the willingness of the P.E. teachers to spend a Sunday becoming certified instructors. Sixty-nine percent of our students participated in schoolsponsored athletics, and many more pursued athletic passions outside of school. Swimmer Ema Rajic broke two all-time Illinois state records as well as competing in Olympic trials, runner Arielle Summitt won her second state title in track, and runner Annemarie Michael was one of only 26 students in the state to be named to the All- State Academic team. Junior Camden Coleman broke his own Uni High record twice in the 200 m, and junior Noah Blue scored his 1000th point in basketball.

Left: Callie Bruce (‘17) plays in her last season of Uni soccer; Right: Underclassmen learn the basics of archery during a sports day in P.E.


As an introduction to a typography unit, students in Two Dimensional Art were asked to express their name in a font that reflected either their cultural background or one they admired. One student suggested the format of the US flag, which spoke to the political questions so much in the news during early 2017. It was decided that the red stripes of the flag would be replaced with red lettering displaying the students’ typographical selections. The US flag is the format for a public visualization of the multiple ethnicities and cultures attending University of Illinois Laboratory High School.


Uni teachers continued to explore active learning possibilities, from a mock presidential election held in conjunction with the County Clerk to the sophomore English Dérive writing project, which allowed students to consider psychogeography while getting some valuable outdoor time. Subfreshman science students met with leaders of local community gardens to analyze problems and present proposals for solutions. Subbies also designed solar cars as part of an NSF-funded POETS (Power Optimization for Electro- Thermal Systems) project, where Uni served as a test site for the lesson plan. For the second year, many freshman teachers participated in a fourth-quarter interdisciplinary project focused on the Boneyard Creek. During their second semester of senior year, ten students also pursued independent projects as part of the Senior Project class.


Uni students continue to be passionate about the Fine Arts, with widespread participation in music, theater and visual arts. Students this year participated in the fall play, “Arsenic and Old Lace,” the spring musical, “Wind in the Willows,” various student-led productions and a Thespian production. Orchestra and chorus are popular options for many students at every grade level, and musicians have options for other types of ensembles, such as jazz bands. Our musicians also succeed in competitions, including the 14 students this year who participated in the all-state music festival. The third floor is an ever-changing gallery thanks to several visual arts classes and clubs. Our fine arts teachers are genuinely committed to bringing the arts alive for all of our students.


We had another successful week of Agora Days in February, with every type of class imaginable taught by students, staff, alumni, parents and community members. This year course selections included a new Cultural Awareness (CA) class category, inspired by the Multicultural Parents Advisory Group (MPAG).The goals for implementing the CA classes was to help create a more positive learning environment for students of all backgrounds, and to give students valuable skills and experiences. Some examples of this year’s Agora CA classes were “Exploring the Cultural Diversity in Different Regions in Africa,” “Bollywood Dance,” and “Native American Games."


Uni students participated in a Japanese exchange program, “Kakehashi Project — The Bridge for Tomorrow,” thanks to the efforts of Japanese teacher Mari Innami. The program was funded by a grant from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Nineteen Uni students enjoyed a three-week stay in Japan in December, while twenty-three Japanese students visited Uni in November. Both groups of students enjoyed homestays in their host countries and participated in valuable cultural exchanges. Uni is proud of the foreign language department’s commitment to bringing languages to life for our students.

Left: Uni students welcome the Kakehashi Exchange participants from Japan in front of Uni.


In a wonderful collaboration with alumni, Uni offered an “Alumni Agora” series of classes one afternoon during Alumni Week in April. The classes allowed current students to hear from Uni alums about their personal and professional journeys after graduating from Uni. Many alumni generously shared information about their careers, their research and the life secrets they have uncovered. The sessions ranged from a presentation on diseased plants to how to manage the transition to college to what alumni wished they had known while they were at Uni.

The Uni High Alumni Association is an independent organization founded and run by alumni from the 1960s to the 2010s. The alumni association connects alumni with each other and with the school, and hopes to give Uni the support that such a unique institution deserves.


Left: Allen Harper (‘52) shared his experience as a rocket scientist,

Right: Adam Tiouririne spoke to students about crisis management, successful storytelling, and analyzing “Trumpish.”



Share your success stories with us.

Get involved and reacquainted with Uni.

Give to one of our funds that inspire you. Your gift will inspire a new generation of success stories.

Make a gift to Uni


Jeff Walkington, Uni High School Director

David Bergandine, Uni Teaching Associate – Chemistry

Barry Dickerson, Alumni Parent

Matthias Grosse Perdekamp, Current Parent

Earle Heffley, Current Parent

Wen-mei & Sabrina Hwu, Current & Alumni Parents

Janet LeRoy, Alumni Parent

Vikram Luthar, Current Parent

Elizabeth Majerus, Uni Teaching Associate – English

Ben Leff ‘01, Uni Teaching Associate – Social Studies

Christine Payne ’71, Uni High Alumni Association Liaison

Marianne Downey, CFRE, Uni High Director of Advancement

Joshua Hall, Uni High Assistant Director of Advancement

Carol Lombardi, Advancement Communications Staff

Share this report:


The 2016-2017 Uni High Annual Report was produced by the Uni High Advancement Staff, articles written by Carol Lombardi, and design created by the University of Illinois Public Affairs Creative Services team.

This webpage was created by Uni High students Julian Montague and Austin Chen in their World Wide Web class under the instruction of Joel Beesley.