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Mar 27, 2019 2019-03 Faculty Finance

Gies Business wins Illini Hillel's King Cyrus Award

Illini Hillel has awarded the 2019 King Cyrus Award to Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The award recognizes non-Jewish organizations and individuals who have done extraordinary work to benefit the university’s Jewish community or the Champaign-Urbana Jewish community. Gies College of Business, under the direction of Dean Jeffrey R. Brown, actively engages with Israel through educational collaboration. The College works with Israel’s top universities and exposes faculty and students to top Israeli faculty, business leaders, and companies. Illinois also hosts many faculty from Israeli institutions on campus.

Jeff Brown“Dean Brown has made developing the university’s relationship with Israel a top priority,” said Erez Cohen, Executive Director of Illini Hillel. “The College also sponsors events that promote discourse, and it actively works to create an environment where all students feel safe and their views heard.”

“I am honored to receive this award on behalf of Gies College of Business,” said Dean Brown. “We see creating strong bonds with the ‘Start-Up Nation’ as a natural extension of delivering a world-class business education. It also recognizes our core value that diversity, inclusion and respect for individuals make us stronger.”

This honor is especially significant because the winner must be nominated by a student. This year the student nominated Dean Brown and Gies Business for being “outspoken against anti-Semitism and rising hatred in our country and on our campus” and for leading Gies College of Business toward developing further connections with Israeli universities and businesses. It is a sentiment shared by several other students within the University of Illinois community.

“Supporting Israel is not just about promoting a country or standing for values like democracy and equality. Supporting Israel is about believing in the idea that Jewish people deserve freedom, independence, and security, just like any other people,” said senior Elan Karoll. “The Jewish community at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Champaign-Urbana Jewish community at large owe Gies College of Business and Dean Brown great thanks for their friendship.”