Herbert Zuegel '52 & Barbara Burgis Zuegel '53 of Park Ridge, Ill., are co-recipients of the 2012 Alumnus of the Year award, the highest alumni award presented by the university.
The couple has demonstrated a strong commitment and dedication to Millikin for many years through generous financial support and service.
The Zuegels established the Zuegel Business Information Technology (ZBIT) endowment fund for the Tabor School of Business, and made another very generous gift to the ZBIT fund during the extension of the “Advancing the Vision” capital campaign. During the current capital campaign, “Transform MU,” the Zuegels continued to support the ZBIT fund, as well as making a commitment to the proposed new university center. They also faithfully support the Millikin Fund every year.
The Zuegels also support their alma mater with their time and talents. They have assisted in planning alumni activities in Springfield and Chicago for more than 30 years. They have co-hosted a dinner for the Millikin Women choir, and have also hosted choir members as houseguests. They have served as members of the Parent Board, as inaugural representatives of Millikin to other colleges, and as voluntary admission counselors. Herb has served on his class reunion committee and is currently his class agent for fundraising.
They are members of Millikin’s Medallion Society, honoring the 200 most influential people in the university’s first 100 years. In addition, Herb received the Young Alumnus Award in 1965 and he and Barb received the Alumni Loyalty Award in 1990.
After graduating from Millikin, Herb served with the U.S. Army in Korea for two years, receiving a commendation for troop information and education. On his return to the Chicago area, he joined Illinois Bell, where he was chosen to start Ameritech at the Bell Systems’ divestiture in 1984. After more than 30 years with the company, he retired as director of budgets and systems in 1985, then became the global information officer for the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. In 1992, he was named one of the top 100 chief information officers in the country. He left Wrigley to serve as associate research director and adjunct professor at the University of Illinois’ College of Business Administration in Chicago from 1992 through 2000.
Barb was a kindergarten and primary school teacher in Chicago, and a first grade teacher in Joliet, Ill. She has also served as a volunteer reading coach for the school district there.
Herb and Barb live in Park Ridge, Ill., where Herb has held multiple civic and church leadership roles, including serving on the K-8 board of education for Park Ridge, as stewardship campaign chair for their church and on the economic development task force for the city of Park Ridge. He is also an active member of the board of directors for the The Kalo Foundation of Park Ridge, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the rich artistic legacy of the city through education, advocacy and preservation.
They met at the railway station in Chicago while waiting for the train to take them to Millikin, and have been married 58 years. They have two grown daughters: Nancy Zuegel and Carol Zuegel Longman ’87. They also have two grandchildren.
Herb says he is grateful to Millikin, and feels “like I’m ancient living proof of the present mission” to deliver on the promise of education by preparing students for professional success, democratic citizenship in a global environment and a personal life of meaning and value. He adds, “Before coming to Millikin, I had hardly considered some of these concepts. And further, I found there a wife for life!”