The GROWMARK Foundation is providing $50,000 to establish the James Spradlin Endowed Scholarship Fund. This permanent endowed fund at Illinois College will provide financial assistance annually to a student or students majoring in agribusiness or a similar field.
In addition, the GROWMARK Foundation will provide a $25,000 gift to Illinois College to be used for internships, global study, student-faculty research, community engagement, and other experiential learning opportunities for students studying agribusiness and other business-related fields.
Spradlin will retire as CEO of GROWMARK at the end of this month. He began his career with the GROWMARK System in 1982 as an accounting trainee at Schuyler-Brown FS, shortly after graduating from Illinois College. Since then, Spradlin has held ten roles within the GROWMARK System, serving as CEO since 2014.
“The GROWMARK System has seen remarkable growth and transformation under Jim’s leadership and vision as CEO, and Illinois College provided the backbone of his successful career,” said GROWMARK Foundation Executive Amy Bradford. “Jim is very appreciative of these gifts to his alma mater to help further educational opportunities for future leaders in agribusiness.”
Illinois College President Barbara A. Farley praised Spradlin’s leadership and vision as a member of the Illinois College Board of Trustees, and congratulated him on his retirement. Through the generosity of the foundation’s gifts, GROWMARK is extending Spradlin’s legacy in the ag community, she added.
“This gift will be used to provide dynamic and meaningful hands-on learning experiences for future students who one day may follow in Jim Spradlin’s footsteps,” Farley said. “We are honored to be able to provide these opportunities for Illinois College students, and are thrilled to convey something of who Jim is through these awards: his integrity, innovative spirit, and enduring dedication to the ag community.”
Illinois College was founded in 1829, Illinois College as a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Illinois. With an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs.
About the GROWMARK Foundation:
The GROWMARK Foundation was formally incorporated in 2005 and supports 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organizations. The Foundation is focused on programs and activities which support: the vitality of the industry of agriculture; agriculture education and consumer understanding of agriculture's contributions to society and the economy; agricultural leadership development; and education about the benefits of the cooperative way of doing business. The GROWMARK System has been involved in a variety of philanthropic efforts, including youth and young leader education and development and scholarships, for decades.