Gov. J.B. Pritzker has appointed prominent civil and structural engineer and business leader Wilbur Milhouse III to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.
With more than 30 years of experience in his field, Milhouse is chairman and CEO of Milhouse Engineering and Construction, Inc. Along with his experience as an Illinois entrepreneur, Milhouse brings a global business perspective as the founder of energy companies in Nigeria and is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).
Pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate, Milhouse will fill the seat vacated by Naomi Jakobsson. His term runs through Jan. 15, 2029.
“Wilbur Milhouse’s deep experience with engineering, business development and economic growth will make him an asset to the board of trustees and the University of Illinois System. I am pleased to welcome him and look forward to our collaboration as we work to enhance the value of the education tens of thousands of students at our universities receive,” Board of Trustees Chairman Don Edwards said. “I also thank Gov. Pritzker for this appointment and the thoughtful evaluation behind it.”
U of I System President Tim Killeen said he looks forward to working with Milhouse.
“Wilbur Milhouse’s career exemplifies the kind of achievement and excellence an education from a U of I System university makes possible. I look forward to working with him as we open our doors wider to dedicated learners from all walks of life,” Killeen said. “We also hope to draw on his experience operating nationally and internationally as we work to strengthen ties to our growing list of partners. I thank him for his willingness to serve as a trustee and thank Gov. Pritzker for his appointment.”
A Democrat who lives in Chicago, Milhouse is an alumnus of The Grainger College of Engineering at UIUC. He has served on The Grainger College of Engineering Board of Visitors and University of Illinois Research Park board.
Milhouse’s firm worked on high-profile projects across Chicago including O’Hare International Airport’s newest runway, the Public Building Commission of Chicago Program Management, and program management for the Chicago Department of Water Management’s engineering and program management services.
In addition to his engineering firm, Milhouse founded Milhouse Charities. The nonprofit helps advance achievements and opportunities in STEM for young people in underrepresented communities.
Milhouse previously served as a director of operations at Infrastructure Engineering, Inc. and as a project manager and deputy office manager for Patrick Engineering. He has received a number of awards, including Crain’s Chicago Business “Notable Executives of Color in Construction and Commercial Real Estate” and “Notable Black Leaders & Executives,” The Grainger College of Engineering Alumni Award for Distinguished Service, and the National Society of Black Engineers’ Dynamic Engineers Innovating Change Award.
The board of trustees oversees the U of I System and its universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The board has 13 members, 11 of whom vote. The governor appoints nine trustees, and no more than five may belong to a single political party. Currently, two seats remain open.