The Governors State University Foundation was established in 1968 as the University's primary fundraising division.  Officially incorporated as a not-for-profit organization, the GSU Foundation fosters relationships with philanthropic individuals, GSU Alumni, and numerous corporate and foundation partners on behalf of the University. 

Contributions received by the GSU Foundation support academic programs, scholarships for students, faculty development and research, capital improvements to the campus, library acquisitions, technology enhancements, and other special initiatives. 

CEO Message


As I begin my seventh year at Governors State University, I have never been more excited about our future. This remarkable university is continuously evolving to meet the challenges of the future with innovative and renewed spirit while maintaining its tradition of excellence, accessibility, and community partnership. For over 49 years, our mission has been to inspire meaningful education, faculty excellence, and personal and professional success for our students. The Governors State University Foundation supports these efforts by building relationships that transform the lives and legacies of our students and imbues our partners—the gracious collaborators and generous donors who contribute to that transformation and growth—with a sense of satisfaction and pride.

Being faculty oriented and student centered, it is our goal to ensure students have access to scholarships, faculty have the resources that allow them to offer rigorous coursework and conduct their research, and to provide opportunities for our external community to participate as highly valued collaborators for collective impact. Additionally, we strive to enhance our relationships with our 50,000 alumni. It is because of our alumni GSU can stand strong and with our heads up. Our alumni are making a difference in corporate boardrooms, laboratories, classrooms, hospitals, law practices, and many other sectors of industry.

Through our Alumni Association, we provide networking, professional development, mentoring, and leadership opportunities with one another as well as our external contacts. To our engaged alumni, thank you, thank you for your time, advocacy, feedback, and your financial contributions! To alumnus who have yet to participate with us, please join us in propelling the lives of our students forward; help pave the way for them to achieve their personal and professional goals. Your mentoring, volunteer leadership, referral for an internship/job opportunity may prove to be the difference in their success, you may already know that yourself.    

As Vice President of Institutional Advancement and CEO of the Foundation, I intend to build on the successes of recent years by working with the campus community, alumni and friends, public and private organizations, and leaders to ensure that GSU facilitates and contributes to the success of this region. With approximately ninety percent of alumni residing in the local community, it is my goal to unify the area and build a bridge between public, private, and municipal entities for the betterment of all. A public university is a public asset, a convener of ambition and growth that is open to everyone.

In 2019, Governors State will celebrate its 50th anniversary. This milestone will extol GSU’s past and future. As we commemorate the last 50 years of excellence in higher education, we step into our next five decades of distinction. In celebration, we will continue the innovation in which we were established, highlight alumni and students whose persistence lead them to life changing accomplishments, celebrate faculty and faculty emeriti/retirees, and our friends and community members who make us strong. We will ask you to continue and/or join our constituents in building our house of philanthropic support. Whether your passion is for scholarships, academic programs, athletics, alumni, or another area, your annual investment in GSU provides students and faculty with the resources they need to achieve their academic ambitions and career goals. Please—invest in your interest at GSU, all of us participating in giving add up to our student’s greatness.

Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you desire more information, have questions, or would like to volunteer. We look forward to working in partnership with you as we continue our momentum to transform lives and march towards our 50th Anniversary and beyond!

Honoring GSU

William (Will) A. Davis
Vice President of Institutional Advancement 
CEO, Governors State University Foundation 



Board & Advisors

The Governors State University Foundation Board was created in 1969 to oversee the financial operations of the foundation as it maintains its legal and ethical standing. It provides leadership and strategic direction, setting goals which align with the University’s strategic plan. Through this oversight, it serves as a guardian of the public trust and remains accountable to its donors, GSU alumni and the general public.


The Foundation Board

Carney Barr

Rich Township (Retired)

Vice President
Paul Labonne

PNC Bank

Vice President, Development Committee 
Martina Beverly

Beverly & Associates, Accounting & Financial Consulting Services
Treasurer (Interim)
Michelle Redd-Newell

Building Blocks Learning Academy

Chairman, Recruitment & Membership Committee
Hank Johnson

Proven Business Systems

David Barr



Kevin Brookins
ComEd (Retired)
GSU Board of Trustees Liaison

William A. Davis
Vice President of Development
CEO GSU Foundation  

Eileen Durkin
Durkin Strategies 

Dr. Cheryl Green
Governors State University

Dr. David Golland
Governors State University
Faculty Senate President 

Octavia Matthews
Aramark Facilities Services

Jermaine Paul
Governors State University

Lorine S. Samuels
Strategic Business Services, Inc.
Alumni Association President Representative 

Dr. Sriram Sonty
Glaucoma Service, Dept. of Ophthalmology
University of Illinois at Chicago 


Allan Spooner
Franciscan St. James 


Villalyn Baluga
Governors State University
Associate Vice President, Finance 

Ron Bean
Governors State University
Adjunct Professor

Beverly Goldberg
Community Representative 

Barbara Peterson
Will County Planning Commission 

William Sanders
Honeywell (Retired) 



Executive Advisory Council

Governors State University recognizes that developing strong ties with corporate partners who are committed to excellence in education is critical to building the university of the future. The visionary leaders which make up the Executive Advisory Council have joined us to help build our ties to business. By actively endorsing our programs, advocating on our behalf and advancing the GSU brand in their relationships with other leaders throughout Northeastern Illinois and Northwestern Indiana, they are helping to change the face of higher education.



Michael Rivas
Senior VP Risk Management, Assurance Agency


Isaac Akridge
Vice President Operations, ComEd 

Bert Allen
Independent Senior Executive H/R Consultant

Liz Brohan
Co-CEO, CBD Marketing

Ana Dutra

Lori Hayes-Shaw
Agent, State Farm

Nadine Johnson
VP, Treasury Management, First Midwest Bank

Paul Labonne
VP, Community Development Banking, PNC Bank

Angela O'Banion

Jeff Orman
Agency Manager, Country Financial Insurance
David Turner
Chief Financial Officer, East Lake Management

Our Partners

Invest In the Future Through Philanthropy

Private support from corporations and foundations play a critical role in ensuring that GSU can continue to educate the generations of leaders. Gifts from corporations or foundations can support scholarships, research, academic programs and other initiatives essential to educating today's students.

 AAA Rental System Logo Advocate HealthCare Aetna Logo
 Aged 2 Perfection Beverly and Associates Bimba
 BMO Harris Cigna logo Comcast
 comed Country Financial Exelon
 FMW stjames Green Pro           
 Illinois Arts Council linear logo  Mesirow
 Olympia Fields Logo(1) PNC Bank proven
 Pure Wine Co. Solvay Vector