Byron Tucci

Byron Tucci '66

Tucci Gift Establishes New Endowed Professorship

February 17, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – University alumnus and benefactor Byron Tucci has established a new endowed professorship for Illinois Wesleyan University. The gift will be announced by President Richard F. Wilson today at the annual Founders’ Day Convocation. It is the latest gift in the University’s Transforming Lives capital campaign.

Endowed professorships celebrate the combined talents of professors who excel in teaching and scholarly activity, said Wilson who added, “Endowments allow our faculty to remain on the leading edge of their fields and bring new knowledge into the classroom for students.”

Tucci, a 1966 Illinois Wesleyan graduate with a double major in business administration and economics, said supporting the professors is imperative for the long term health of universities. “There have been many outstanding people in my life,” said Tucci, “but the personal contact with the professors at Illinois Wesleyan served as a model for me that I have drawn upon throughout my life. It afforded me focus, direction, discipline, and the hard work ethic that led to success in business.” Tucci pointed to such faculty members as Greg Gardner, a retired accounting professor who took an interest in him while he attended IWU and he continues the relationship today. “The professors at Illinois Wesleyan made education personal,” he said.

A managing director of Wells Fargo Advisors in Bloomington, Tucci has been a long-time supporter of Illinois Wesleyan, serving on the Leadership Giving Board for decades. He is also a member of the Illinois Wesleyan Associates and the Preston Wood Society of the University Giving Club.

The new professorship Tucci is establishing is a direct response to the challenge presented by Honorary Campaign Chairs Chuck and Jay Ames. “I think having quality faculty attracts quality students. It’s a cycle. You've got to have that quality on both sides of the spectrum,” said Chuck Ames.

The Byron S. Tucci Professorship brings the number of endowed professorships at Illinois Wesleyan to 11. The appointment of a faculty member to this professorship will be made at a later date.

Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960