Gift gives Honors College students in finance financial help

Some University of Illinois at Chicago Honors College students will receive much-needed financial support to help them complete their degrees, through a new $1 million donation from the CME Group Foundation.

Bette Bottoms and CME Group


The CME Group Foundation has donated $1 million to the UIC Honors College to provide financial support to help students complete their degrees. Pictured from left: Kassie Davis, executive director, CME Group Foundation; Bette Bottoms, former Honors College dean; Jim Oliff, chairman of CME Group Foundation; and Sara Hall, associate dean, Honors College.

Funds will support current UIC students enrolled in a field of study that will lead to a career in finance and who have graduated from Chicago Public Schools or public charter schools, who are first-generation college students, or whose families cannot afford to pay their tuition, said Bette Bottoms, professor of psychology and former dean of the Honors College. Ten percent of the funds are set aside for the Dean’s Emergency Fund, to offset students’ unforeseen financial burdens.

“The foundation is pleased to partner with the UIC Honors College to support students who are earning their degrees in such majors as finance, computer science and applied mathematics,” said Jim Oliff, chairman of CME Group Foundation.

“We applaud the Honors College on the support it provides to its students and will follow these scholars on their journey through college and into their careers in the financial services industry.”

The Honors College will begin interviewing students for the scholarships this fall.

The CME Group Foundation works to advance the economy by supporting education from cradle to career, primarily in the Chicago region. The foundation partners with universities, school districts, charter networks and nonprofit organizations that work to ensure at-risk young children are prepared for kindergarten; provide effective K-12 education that prepares disadvantaged students for success in college and career; prepare university students for careers in financial services and risk management; and conduct academic research in areas that advance derivatives knowledge and best practices.

Established in 1982, the UIC Honors College grew out of a longtime university program that sought to enhance the experience of academically superior students. Admission is based upon factors such as high school class rank, grades earned in high school, extracurricular interests and activities, strength of application essays, and performance in an in-person interview that explores their desire to participate in the Honors College.