Chicago State Foundation Announces Addition of two newly-elected members to its Board of Directors

CHICAGO, IL (Sept. 11, 2023): To further support the Chicago State Foundation’s (CSF) on-going work to improve educational and economic outcomes for Chicago State University (CSU) students, CSF is pleased to announce two newly-elected members to its Board of Directors:

  • Eric Dushime, Senior Information Technology Consultant with McKinsey & Company
  • Lafayette Kyle Ford, Senior Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Each new board member brings a wide range of knowledge to help support the initiatives aimed at changing the lives of CSU students and the surrounding community. The University continues its Cougar Commitment program designed to support students holistically through their college experience, including its Rise Academy which offers full tuition, fees, textbooks, laptop and internet access to all incoming freshmen for the 2023-2024 academic year. This program has been supported in part by the work done by the Chicago State Foundation, which works to identify strategic private support opportunities and create suitable fundraising strategies to advance the interests and welfare of the University.

“I am thrilled to have Eric and Lafayette join the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Both of these seasoned leaders bring a wealth of expertise and a diverse skill set that will serve the organization well. I look forward to the tremendous contributions that they will make to our Board "said John C. Robak, Chair of the Chicago State Foundation Board of Directors.

Eric Dushime is a Management Consultant whose work is focused on building Enterprise Software to efficiently run global enterprises through automation. At McKinsey and Company, Eric is the Principal Solution Architect leading firm-wide Human Capital Management digital transformation initiatives, working with customers of various sizes and
industries. Eric is also a champion for inclusive growth and social impact, dedicated to creating a more connected and equitable world for all. He serves as an advisor to tech start-ups in Rwanda to tackle issues affecting the most underserved communities. Eric holds a bachelor’s degree in computer/Information Technology Administration and Management from the University of Buffalo.

New CSF Board Members Press Release

Lafayette Kyle Ford, a Wealth Manager with Merrill Lynch, has a strong background in management, investment strategy, credit and lending. He has also built out financial literacy courses for teens and taught at multiple nonprofits. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Lafayette is the son of two educators who inspired his love of learning and teaching and the value of building a legacy of community impact. Beyond his career on wall street, Lafayette co-founded Prīvit, a membership based virtual culture club focused on minority professionals and creatives. Lafayette has a bachelor’s degree in Agri-Finance from the University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign.

“We are grateful that Eric and Lafayette have agreed to join the Chicago State Foundation Board of Directors. Their commitment to education equity and serving others is what we need to firmly support the efforts of Chicago State University,” said Melanie Sillas, Chicago State Foundation Executive Director.

About the Chicago State Foundation

The mission of Chicago State Foundation is to advance the interest and welfare of Chicago State University (CSU) by building relationships, securing philanthropic support, stewarding assets and otherwise procuring private support on behalf of the University.

Working in concert with the President of CSU, Chicago State Foundation helps to identify strategic priorities, raise public awareness for the University and secure private support to create new opportunities for students.

About Chicago State University

Chicago State University, founded in 1867, is the oldest public university in the Chicago Metropolitan area. The University’s five colleges offer over 70 undergraduate and graduate degree-granting and non-degree programs. CSU is committed to equity in education, serving as the only U.S. Department of Education-designated four-year Predominantly Black Institution in Illinois and ranked by a Harvard economist in the top 4% of public and private universities nationwide in supporting our graduates’ economic mobility. The University serves as a prominent civic space on the greater South Side of Chicago by hosting a multitude of athletic, educational, cultural, and recreational activities. The University is located near public transit that provides convenient access to the campus. For more information, visit here.