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Illini Club of San Diego County Member Benefits

Your San Diego Illini Club was selected by the University of Illinois Alumni Association as the Outstanding Alumni Club three times: 2001, 2004, and 2007. This is the highest award that can be awarded to a Club by the Alumni Association.

What is the major value of the Club for its members?
Your primary benefit is that you will be directly plugged in to all Illini events and Illini news taking place in or related to San Diego County. Meet old friends and make new ones as you participate in social, cultural and sporting events with other Illini alums. There are sponsored Club activities year round. In addition, the Club maintains a “Store” where you can purchase special Illini merchandise.   And there are currently no fees to join nor any annual dues.

Is the Club only interested in social activities?
As you will read below we do organize many activities that are fun, and provide opportunities for local San Diego Illini to network with one another. However, our Illini Club also maintains a Scholarship Fund to assist current Illini students who are residents of San Diego County. For example, we provided individual $1,000 awards to three students this past year.

Another example took place in August 2007. San Diego was chosen to be the conclusion of the “Illini 4000,” a two-month cycling trip by 16 Illini cyclists from the east coast, through Urbana to the Pacific Ocean.  Their objective was to raise money to fight cancer. We organized a picnic to celebrate the arrival of the cyclists in San Diego plus our Club contributed to their cancer fight with a check for $2,500.

Can the Club help with the purchase of tickets to Illini sporting events?
Normally we can help get tickets depending on the event. We were able to secure a limited amount of tickets for the NCAA regional basketball tournament played at SDSU in March 2007. Also, we obtained tickets for the January 1, 2008 Rose Bowl game featuring our Illini and we organized three private buses to attend the Rose Bowl game, as well as attend the Parade for those interested in doing both.

Some other recent Illini sporting events where we organized purchase of group tickets and in some cases, pre-game “pep rallies, tail gates” include:

  • at UC Berkeley (football)
  • at Portland (basketball vs. U. of Oregon)
  • Maui Tournament (basketball)
  • at SDSU (football)
  • at Phoenix (basketball vs. U. of Arizona)
  • Las Vegas Invitational Tournament (basketball)

What about other activities that the Club sponsors?
We typically sponsor a variety of events throughout the year. Here is a sample of the sorts of events our Club has organized over the past few years:

  • "Game Watches”—with these informal events you can join fellow Illini to watch basketball and football games on large screen TVs and enjoy a bite to eat at Players Sports Bar (7061 Clairemont Mesa Drive in San Diego).  An added incentive is to help our Scholarship Fund: 10% of every purchase by Club members is donated by Players to the our Club Scholarship Fund.
  • Annual Banquet—each spring we have a dinner banquet capped off with a speaker or performers. Also at the banquet we make an award to a local Alum of the University of Illinois who has demonstrated commitment and service in their chosen profession and their respective communities.
  • Special social events
  • “Poker Night” at a member’s home
  • Picnics
  • Sporting events such as: Cubs vs. Padres baseball games—along with a pre- or post-game social, and San Diego Gulls minor league hockey games
  • Theater: San Diego Symphony, Summer Pops, plays at Lawrence Welk Village and at the Old Globe theater
  • Tours: the Aircraft Carrier Midway, Pacific Southwest Museum train in Campo, the Stone Brewery in Escondido

Is there anything more?
Sure! Through our Club web site you will be able to purchase Illini merchandise with our Club logo (e.g., baseball hats, golf shirts in blue and orange, tee-shirts in orange).