Hagge_Steve and Sharon

Steve and Sharon Hagge, both members of the Illinois State University class of 1973, have given a $1 million gift during Redbirds Rising: The Campaign for Illinois State.

For one couple, Illinois State University is more than just an institution. As a way of expressing their appreciation for the university’s role in their success, they have decided to give back.

While all of the gifts donated to the Redbirds Rising Campaign have been appreciated by the school, this particular gift encompasses one of the campaign’s three main objectives – innovation.

Steve and Sharon Hagge ’73 have given a $1 million gift to establish an Innovation Institute in their name that will be based out of the College of Business. The couple met at ISU their freshman year on the first day of class and married four years later on their graduation day.

The Stephen and Sharon Hagge Innovation Institute’s main purpose is to “encourage the delivery of transformational learning opportunities for students and to recognize and encourage leadership," the couple told the university.

“Innovation is in the forefront of Illinois State University’s planning and curriculum,” President Larry Dietz said in a news release. “Steve and Sharon Hagge recognize the important role innovation plays in the University’s mission of preparing today’s students to be tomorrow’s leaders. We are honored to be the recipient of their generosity and support.”

The gift will go towards creating and supporting operations within the Institute, such as experiential learning opportunities, innovation awards, space renovation and staff support, the university stated.

This story will be updated.

GRACE BARBIC is the News Editor for The Vidette. She can be contacted at mgbarbi@ilstu.edu. Follow her on Twitter at @gracebarbic

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