The University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign — one of Wilmington College President Trevor Bates’ collegiate alma maters — is presenting him with its Distinguished Alumni Award during homecoming ceremonies on Friday, Oct. 14 in Champaign, Ill.

UIUC’s College of Applied Health Sciences selected Bates to receive one of its most prestigious honors. He earned a Master of Science in kinesiology with a sports medicine concentration there as a pre-doctoral fellow.

Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell, Ph.D., dean of the College of Applied Health Sciences, said Bates has “brought tremendous pride” to his alma mater.

“This award is given annually to an alumnus of the College who has achieved prominence in their field and positively impacted their community,” she said. “It is a prestigious honor that serves to recognize the best of our alumni.”

Bates said he is “sincerely honored and blessed” to be recognized by UIUC and he and his family are looking forward to connecting with colleagues and friends while participating in the Illini homecoming.

“As I reflect on the people and places that I have been blessed to be a part of, I recognize the significant role the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign played in my education and development as a professional,” he said. “As a graduate student at Illinois, I received an outstanding education from the graduate faculty, research opportunities, clinical service opportunities as a board-certified athletic trainer and teaching opportunities as a graduate teaching assistant.”

Bates noted his significant Illinois roots. He grew up in Chicago and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in athletic training from Millikin University in Decatur, as well as having earned his master’s degree from the University of Illinois.

He went on to receive his Doctor of Health Sciences degree in leadership and organizational behavior from A.T. Still University of Health Sciences in Kirksville, Mo., and has completed professional development from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education — Institute for Educational Management.

During his professional career in higher education, Bates has served in leadership roles as a faculty member, clinical education coordinator, program director, department chair, dean, vice president and, now, president.

He left the vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty position at Mercy College of Ohio to become Wilmington College’s 19th president in January 2021. Prior to coming to Mercy College of Ohio in 2017, Bates served for 10 years at Heidelberg University, where he served as the founding associate dean of the Division of Health Sciences.

Outside of higher education, Bates holds professional leadership positions with the State of Ohio’s Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Athletic Trainers Board (AT Section chair and Joint Board member), the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (DEIA Task Force co-chair), TRUE Empowering (vice president of strategy and innovation) consulting, and United Church Homes Inc (vice chair, Board of Directors).


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