Eureka College has received a major gift from Glen and Polly Barton of Peoria to establish the Barton Fund. The fund is the first of its kind at Eureka College, as it supports three distinct areas of opportunities for students and faculty. It provides mentorships, scholarships and faculty fellowships to enhance and expand academic and service experiences.
“Polly and I continue to be very impressed by the faculty and students at Eureka College,” Barton said. “We believe this is an excellent way to help sustain the good works of this fine, historic institution.”
The gift addresses three important needs of Eureka College students and faculty members: support for student mentorships, support for student service scholarships and support for professional development for faculty members, according to Eureka College President J. David Arnold.
“Eureka College sincerely thanks Glen and Polly Barton for providing these additional opportunities for our students and faculty to learn and serve others,” Arnold said.
The Barton Mentorships support more than 20 mentorship opportunities annually for Ronald W. Reagan Fellows, Durward Sandifer Fellows and other students who mentor with experts in the students’ fields of study. The mentorships extend the college’s core belief in the importance of mentors in students’ leadership development, Arnold said.
The Barton Scholarships are service scholarships awarded to eight students annually who volunteer at Quest Charter Academy, Peoria, where Barton is president of the board of directors.
The Barton Faculty Fellowships support professional development opportunities and educational experiences for faculty members. The fellowships are for faculty focused on preparing students for careers in Pre-K through 12th grade education. The fellowships also support faculty projects that address quality of life issues for residents and communities in central Illinois.
The gift amount has not been disclosed.
Barton is a member of the Eureka College Board of Trustees and the Ronald W. Reagan Society. He spoke at the college commencement in 2003, when he was awarded the honorary degree doctor of public service. He is a former chairman and chief executive officer at Caterpillar Inc.