2015 Outstanding College Council Award
Council 2782, University of Illinois
Outstanding College Council
The mission to exemplify the ideals of the Knights of Columbus is not an easy one for college councils. As students, your time is limited and valuable, filled with classes, jobs, internships and extracurricular activities. Nevertheless, despite these obligations, you never fail to make the time to financially and spiritually support those in need, to celebrate the faith and fraternity among you, and to serve as an excellent Catholic witness on your campuses.
Each year, the Supreme Council is proud to give recognition to a single college council that has exceeded all of the above expectations. Their example demonstrates a dedication to our Order’s principles that epitomizes the good works and fraternal spirit for which every Knight should strive.
For the 2015 fraternal year, we recognize Illini Council 2782 at the University of Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, recipient of the Outstanding College Conference Award.
Council 2782’s success can be credited to a wide array of initiatives that serve both the council and the community.
The council has repeatedly earned the Star Council Award for reaching membership and insurance quotas. Despite this positive trend, its officers continue to work toward improvement, heightening their social media presence through both Facebook and Twitter over the past year. The council’s degree team is also exceptionally maintained, hosting a monthly First Degree ceremonial for their own council, as well as providing for other area councils at the request of their general agent. In addition, the council now has an approved and functioning Second Degree Team which has already has hosted the degree at a Major Degree.
The Knights continued an annual service to the Church by filling the need for ushers for all
Sunday Masses and other special events hosted by the campus St. John’s Catholic Newman Center. Support was also lent through seminarian appreciation dinners and fundraisers, the presentation of a traditional Latin high Mass, a chalice drive, a Men’s March, and the council’s St. Paul Street Evangelization initiative, during which Knights went out to the greater campus area to provide free rosaries and to answer questions about the faith.
In support of Special Olympics, the council organized and hosted a fundraising volleyball tournament, which involved members of the local community in a day of sports and recreation. Additionally, they have participated in polar plunges, hosted date auctions and performed candy drives to raise money for organizations in support of those who are physically or mentally disabled. For the homeless and the less fortunate, the Knights supported a Backpack Ministry as well as the local food bank.
Helping to raise awareness of the Knights in their campus community, the Knights organized and participated in various social events, including trivia nights, retreats, dances, and a chili cook-off. They have also volunteered as ushers at the university’s football and basketball games.
As a council, the Knights worked with Red Cross to host blood drives, which are known to be the largest held on their campus. In addition, they’ve celebrated corporate communions, organized guy’s night outs following their monthly First Degree ceremonials, and held end of the year banquets.
Services were extended to classmates and their families through the council’s Finals Basket program, for which Knights assemble and deliver goody baskets whose sales support the council’s other initiatives. Further, during Lent, the Knights were the primary workers at the campus Lenten fish fries, and at the end of the year, their Fourth Degree honor guards served at graduation Mass.
The Knights stood united with the youth of the state by hosting the Illinois State Squires Convention, for which Knights reserved rooms, set speakers and overall organized the event. This year, for the first time, they also participated in the Order’s Coats for Kids drive.
Finally, the council members were vigilant in their defense of the unborn. Partnering with Illini Collegians for Life, they participated in a 40 Days for Life prayer vigil outside the Champaign Planned Parenthood facility. Additionally, twenty council members attended the March for Life in Washington, D.C., and money was raised for their pro-life fund by selling “Keep Christ in Christmas” magnets and car decals after Masses during Advent.
Grand Knight Samuel Giglio and Deputy Grand Knight Lijo Luka accepted this award on behalf of Council 2782.