Naming Campus Facilities and Programs


To ensure that the naming of University facilities and/or programs involves careful deliberation and attention to the appropriateness of the name, and that funding requirements are clearly communicated and met.


This policy and associated procedures supersede any and all other campus policies, procedures, and guidelines related to the naming of facilities and programs. This policy is not intended to alter existing naming commitments throughout the campus.


This policy is implemented under the authority of the Executive Director of Facilities & Services.


Due to the high public visibility, permanence and significance of University facilities and programs, the naming of any facility or program must be approved by the Chancellor, the Board of Trustees, and/or other offices and entities detailed below.


  • “Facilities” refer to any building, part of a building structure, street, drive, landscaped area, open space, farms, physical improvement, or other property under the administrative control of the University.
  • “Programs” refer to any academic or non-academic program, school, college, institute, center, etc., but does not include endowed faculty positions (e.g., chairs, professorships, etc.) or named funds to support students (e.g., scholarships, fellowships, awards, etc.).


The Chancellor shall bring naming requests to the Academic Senate for advice before submitting the naming requests to the President for his/her review, and to the Board of Trustees for consideration. Each proposal shall be made in writing in accordance with University and campus policies and procedures. Prospective donors shall be informed that a naming gift involves several offices of the University and the approval of the Board of Trustees.

  • In the case of facilities, the Campus Capital Review Committee will determine appropriate names for facility projects which will be reviewed by respective campus and university offices, and approved by the Board of Trustees.
  • In the case of naming a program, the Vice Chancellor to which the program reports, in collaboration with the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement, shall recommend to the Chancellor the appropriate gift amount given the nature and impact of the program.
  • In the case of renaming facilities, legal counsel shall be consulted on all proposals.

Given the utilitarian nature of administrative namings, these will be approved as part of the construction project approval process through the Campus Capital Review Committee for facility projects.

Gifts should be received by the University of Illinois Foundation. Prior to any discussion with a prospective donor regarding specific naming opportunities, units should consult with the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement to assure the appropriateness of the gift levels required for the project. The President and the Chancellor will periodically review the minimum gift levels detailed in this policy in consultation with the University of Illinois Foundation. A formal gift agreement among the University, University of Illinois Foundation and donor must be executed before a facility or program is named.


Those for whom facilities and programs are named should exemplify the values of the University and the integrity of the honoree shall be beyond reproach.

Facilities and programs may be named:

  1. For a person who has served as an employee of the University and who has emeritus status or has been retired for five (5) years.
  2. For an elected official ten (10) years after he/she has left office.
  3. In honor or memory of faculty, staff, officers, alumni or friends of the University community who have made extraordinary contributions to the University or society. Honorees shall have achieved distinction in one or more of the following ways:
    1. Served the University in an academic capacity, achieved the highest scholarly distinction and earned a national or international reputation.
    2. Served the University in an important administrative capacity, rendered distinguished service, and provided exceptional contributions to the University.
    3. Contributed in truly exceptional ways to the welfare of the institution, state, or nation or achieved such unique distinction as to warrant recognition.
  4. For or by individual donors who provide significant gifts in support of facilities and programs at the University.
  5. For corporations and foundations.
    1. The length of time that a corporate or foundation name will remain on a facility will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
    2. Gifts from corporations or foundations to support programs will be recognized in the same manner as gifts from individuals.

Facilities should be named in such a way as to denote their general objective or use. A building name may include a designation such as auditorium, center, gymnasium, hall, institute, school, laboratory, etc.

Unless otherwise authorized by the Board of Trustees, when a facility or program is named in recognition of a significant gift, the name of the donor or his/her designee generally will be effective for the useful life of the facility.

Funding Criteria for Naming Facilities and Programs as a Result of Gifts

  1. Facilities
    1. New facilities: 50% of the private fundraising goal for the project.
    2. Existing facilities: 50% of the private fundraising goal for the project.
    3. Addition to existing facilities: 50% of private fundraising goal for the project.
    4. Renovations: 100% of renovation if project is less than $5M; if project is greater than $5M, 50% of the private fundraising goal for the project.
    5. Interior spaces (e.g., laboratories, classrooms, etc.): 100% of the private fundraising goal for the project regardless of whether it is new construction or renovation.
    6. Outdoor areas (e.g., courtyards, gardens, streets, fountains, benches, etc.): 100% of the total cost.
    7. In the case of facilities, gifts must be current use gifts and may include a maximum five-year pledge.
  2. Colleges, Schools, Institutes, Departments, Academic or Administrative Units. The specific level for each unit will be determined by the Provost and Chancellor.
  3. Programmatic Centers (Academic and Administrative)
    1. A minimum of a $5M endowment gift is needed to name a programmatic center.
    2. An alternate funding plan may be implemented with the approval of the Provost and Chancellor. The Chancellor retains the flexibility to negotiate alternative financial arrangements where the best interests of the University are served.

Guidelines Regarding Recognition

When an entire facility is named for an individual, the actual name may appear on the façade of the structure, University signage, and Campus maps as appropriate.

Space within buildings (e.g., rooms, lounges, laboratories, performance spaces, lecture halls, etc.) may be identified by plaques or tablets installed in buildings as a commemorative recognition of an individual or as the result of a gift. All such identifications must be approved by the Chancellor or his/her designee.

When a named facility has reached the end of its useful life and will be razed or the unit moves into a different facility, the donors will be appropriately recognized in a related facility.

Renaming of Facilities

When a facility or area is proposed for renaming, campus officials will make all reasonable efforts to inform in advance the original donors, honorees, or members of their immediate family.

A second name may be added to a building when significant funding is needed to renovate an existing named facility in order to meet the programmatic needs of the unit. Any proposal to add a second name in recognition of a gift shall be reviewed by the Chancellor. The review will include any gift documents pertaining to the original gift and related naming, as well as the documents pertaining to the subsequent gift and proposed renaming.

Removal of a Name

In extreme circumstances it may be necessary to remove a name from a facility or program if it is in the best interest of the University. This should be done judiciously, and should involve the Chancellor, Legal Counsel, the President, and the Board of Trustees.

Restrictions – Campus Landmarks

There are facilities, land and features on campus that should never be named due to their historic nature as a campus landmark. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Alma Mater
  • Illini Union
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Quad


There may be instances where exceptions will be granted to the procedures above. These will be reviewed/endorsed by the Chancellor and, when warrented, submitted to the Board of Trustees for consideration.


Questions regarding this policy may be addressed to the F&S Planning Division, (217) 244-8817.