Klues Family Foundation makes gift to College

The College of Media is pleased to announce a $1 million gift from the Jack and Elizabeth Klues Family Foundation for scholarships in the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising in the College of Media at the University of Illinois.

The gift includes current use funds and a bequest. The proceeds will provide scholarship support to underrepresented students in advertising who have significant financial need. The scholarships will be for both internships and experiential learning opportunities. Funds will also be used to provide high school students with financial need scholarships to attend a College of Media summer camp on the Urbana-Champaign campus.

Mr. Klues, a 1977 advertising graduate of the College, began his career as an account executive in the media department at Leo Burnett. In 1996, he was part of the management team that created Starcom, a distinct, dedicated media services agency. Mr. Klues became the global CEO for Starcom MediaVest Group in 2000, making it the one of the largest of its type in the world. In 2003, following the acquisition by Publicis Groupe, he served as global CEO for Publicis Groupe Media (SMG and ZenithOptimedia). From 2007 until his retirement in 2012, he served as global CEO and Directoire member with oversight of media agencies, as well as Digitas and Razorfish under Publicis’ holding company’s digital and media agency, Vivaki.

He has served in many volunteer leadership roles for the College of Media since graduating through the recruitment of employees, teaching courses, advising the college and serving on the James Webb Young board.

Klues has also served on the Board of Directors for the Off the Street Club in Chicago for over 25 years. Off the Street Club is Chicago’s oldest boys and girls club and currently serves more than 3,000 kids in the West Garfield Park neighborhood. The gift to the College is a way for Klues to merge these two passions.

High school students who are involved in Off the Street Club will be one source of students considered for summer camp scholarships. “It’s important these kids know that not only is this world out there, but it’s accessible,” Klues said. “They can see it, feel it, touch it. We’ve got to give hope.”

“Providing access for underrepresented students and those with financial need is vital to the College and the University,” said Jan Slater, Dean of the College. “Access is a key element of our Land Grant mission. Improving diversity in the student population helps to improve diversity in the industries we serve – something those industries have been striving toward. Jack and Beth’s partnership and generosity is helping to make this vision a reality.”

“Jan Slater’s first and foremost concern is what is the best thing I can do to serve these students,” Klues said. “If I can play a small part, it snowballs from there.” 

Klues family