CUSF offers you several opportunities to support our schools. Whether you prefer to give to our general fund (allowing us to use your gift where it is needed most), a specific program, or a targeted need, we appreciate your support!
Support the Work of CUSF All Year
A gift to either the CUSF General Endowment or the 365 Club makes it possible for us to continue elevating excellence in CU classrooms throughout the year.
Pass-through/Specific Gifts for our Schools
CUSF encourages private investment in our classrooms and/or by subject area and can direct funds that are compatible with our mission and the school districts’ gift acceptance policies. The Foundation directs thousands of dollars each year to various programs, subject areas, schools and special needs within the district.
If you have a specific gift in mind, be it funding for a field trip, classroom supplies, playground equipment, an after school program or booster support, contact the foundation office at 217-398-2873 for more information.
CUSF is proud to be a Valued Partner member of GuideStar, sponsored by Philanthropic Research, Inc., a public charity. Click on the GuideStar logo to visit its website — a resource dedicated to improving the efficacy and credibility of non-profit organizations and providing information to assist donors in making sound decisions. Although some information is available to you via membership, our current 990 and organizing information is available at no charge on this site.
Learn about our restricted fund opportunities:
IDEA Grants stand for INVEST, DEVELOP, ELEVATE, ACHIEVE. We have four categories of IDEA grants that range from $250.00 – $5,000.00. Proposals are submitted by teachers and are selected based on classroom innovation, creativity, and student ownership of learning.
Gift of Music Grants are made possible by the generosity of a private donor with a passion for music to support and enhance music education experiences for Unit 4’s Kindergarten through 12th grade students.
Gift of the Fine Arts grants are made possible by the generosity of a private donor with a passion for the arts to support and enhance fine arts education experiences for District 116 Kindergarten through 5th grade students.
Krannert Youth Series Grants Susan Sargeant McDonald was the founder/developer of the Krannert Center Youth Series. Rich McDonald, her husband established this endowment in her memory to support Champaign Unit 4 or Urbana School District #116 student attendance at Youth Series events at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
Houston Book Grant The Chester and Nadine Houston Book Grant helps teachers who need books for their classroom libraries with grants up to $250.
Vincent O. Greene Grant To honor Mr. Greene’s passion, CUSF established this grant to enhance education in the area of financial literacy, math, business, accounting, finance or similar fields of study. The grants are available to k-12 grade level teachers. Project proposals for up to $4,000.00 will be considered.
District 116 STEM Fund, science, technology, engineering and mathematics grants.
Hester Suggs Fund, grants that expand the Arts and Humanities for African-American children in Champaign Unit 4.
And we’re adding new grant opportunities all the time!
Student Scholarships & Awards
The CUSF Difference Maker Scholarship, sponsored by Busey, Horizon Hobby and Orange Krush Foundation was established to honor students who have served their school and community through either work, volunteer service and advocacy and have demonstrated school spirit with a high level of engagement in their high school.
Ben Watts Memorial Scholarship was established by friends, family and classmates of Ben Watts to honor his memory. Ben Watts, a 1980 Central HS grad, played football for the legendary Tommy Stewart and was a co-valedictorian of his class. He was the father of Olivia Watts, CHS Class of 2017, and Samuel Watts, CHS Class of 2019. Two awards will be given to a Central HS graduating senior boy and girl who are planning to attend a college or university. ($1,000 each)
The Drew Adams Memorial Scholarship was created by his friends and family to preserve and honor the life and legacy of Drew Adams. Drew was an exceptional student, athlete, friend, and community member who unexpectedly passed away in 2020. He graduated from Central High School a few days before. Drew epitomized hard work, loyalty and compassion. In everything he did, he not only enjoyed success, but enjoyed the activity from beginning to end. Whether it was sports, academics, or other activities, Drew always had a smile on his face. This scholarship is intended to reward a student who displays similar characteristics to Drew. May his legacy last forever. Long Live Drew Adams.
Fuller Hamilton Hope and Prosperity Scholarship benefits graduating seniors at Centennial, Central or Urbana High Schools who attended Booker T. Washington Elementary School for Kindergarten through 5th grade.
Goal Getters provides scholarship funds for high achieving students participating in the Goal Getters Program to pursue a post secondary education. The Goal Getters program provides academic and behavioral guidance, mentorship, social emotional learning opportunities, family focused activities and positive community experiences to a select group of Unit 4 high school males.
The Greg Chew Scholarship was established in honor of longtime Urbana High School Drama Director and teacher Greg Chew. This award recognizes a student who demonstrates passion for the fine arts through participation in UHS performances, extended service and dedication to clubs or groups in the fine arts. The student given this award will receive $1,000.00 to pursue a major in an art related field after graduation.
Judge Fred Green Memorial Scholarship Fund Judge Fred Green was a lifelong resident of Urbana and graduated from Urbana High School in 1941 where he was a standout basketball player. After serving in the Army in the South Pacific during World War II, Fred continued his basketball career at the University of Illinois where he was a member of the Illini’s 1949 Final Four team. After graduating from the U of I Law School, Judge Green served with distinction in the Illinois Judiciary for 42 years. A $1,000 scholarship will be awarded each spring to a graduating UHS senior who demonstrates leadership qualities in both their academic and athletic endeavors and plans to attend college.
Keegan Bannon Memorial Scholarship Fund This scholarship is dedicated to the memory of Keegan Bannon an extraordinary Central High School student who passed away unexpectedly in 2010. Keegan’s love of academics, sports and music along with his determination to excel with dedication to a variety of friendships are central to this award. This scholarship was created to reward a graduating Central High School senior who through determination, positive attitude and hard work has exceeded expectations in academics and extra-curricular activities such as music, sports, student government, or other school activities. (approx. $4,800)
The Michael Hartter Scholarship Fund was established in honor of Central High School Class of 1995 graduate Michael Hartter. When Michael was a student at Central he enjoyed participating in a wide range of activities including baseball and football as well as show choir and madrigals, earning letters in both academics and sports. This scholarship is given to a graduating senior who has maintained a grade point average of “B” or better; participated in 2 – 3 years of extra-curricular activities; held leadership roles or served on organizing committees; demonstrates a good temperament and plans to attend a 2 or 4-year college ($1,000).
North End Scholarship The North End, for many years, has been considered the heart of the African American community in Champaign-Urbana. African American owned businesses and churches are predominantly located in the North End, and it is still the residential, cultural and business center for many African Americans living in Champaign- Urbana. This scholarship was established to provide opportunities for minority students with connections to the North End in Champaign-Urbana public schools to pursue higher education and to further their life goals and aspirations. Qualifying students must be a graduating minority student from Unit 4 or District 116, show academic promise as evidenced by their grade point average and plan to attend a public college or university. The scholarship is awarded to one graduating minority senior from Urbana and one graduating minority senior from Champaign public schools who demonstrate financial need and academic promise ($750 each).
Perrino Scholarship Fund This scholarship was set up in honor of Dan Perrino, who led the music programs at Urbana High School for four years. After teaching at Urbana High School, he served as an assistant professor, administrator and associate dean at the University of Illinois College of Fine and Applied Arts. This scholarship is for Urbana Middle School and Urbana High School band or orchestra students to attend summer music camps. ($1,900).
Urbana Community Music Education Scholarship Michael and Cynthia Loui, parents of an Urbana High School music program alum established this scholarship after seeing their own children benefit from private music lessons and involvement in the Urbana High School band program. This scholarship fund supports private music lessons for an Urbana High School band or orchestra student/s. Eligible students must be current or incoming Urbana High School band students, demonstrate a commitment to band or orchestra (participated at least 1-2 years in middle school or high school) and demonstrate financial need as determined by Urbana District 116 eligibility guidelines for free and reduced lunch ($1,000).
Support teacher recognition
Amberg Award Fund The Urbana Board of Education established the Amberg Excellence in Teaching Recognition Chair in 2003 to mark Gene Amberg’s 10th year as Superintendent of the Urbana School District and to honor his leadership and dedication to children and educators throughout his career. An annual stipend is awarded to a selected Urbana teacher who exemplifies excellence in teaching every three years.
Support specific school programs
Centennial Athletic Fund, purchases physical education equipment at Centennial HS.
Jeffrey Kaufman Memorial Fund, develops and maintains the “Jeff Kaufman Fields” at Yankee Ridge Elementary
The Champaign Central High School Alumni Scholarship was established to recognize the legacy of Central High School in Champaign. Students who are the child or grandchild of a Central High School alumni are eligible to apply for this scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to a student/s who participated fully in the opportunities that Central High School has to offer and exhibits school spirit and pride in being a Maroon with a commitment to maintaining their connection to Central High School beyond graduation. Awards range from $500.00 -$1,000.00.
The Champaign Centennial High School Alumni Scholarship was established in 2019 by the Classes of ’73 and ’74 to honor graduating senior/s who participated in activities embodying Charger spirit and pride. Students will have demonstrated leadership and community service through their time at Centennial. Awards range from $250-$1,000.
The Urbana High School Alumni Scholarship is maintained by the Urbana Alumni Association and manages its own funds for distribution to Urbana High School students. Visit Urbana-Alumni.com to learn more.