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Mother finalizes endowed Illinois State scholarship in memory of son | Education

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NORMAL — Pre-veterinary students at Illinois State University can soon receive a new scholarship thanks to a fundraising campaign led by the mother of a former student.

Marla Rice named the Dr. Kristian “KP” Philpotts Memorial Scholarship after her son. Though Philpotts had not finished his education at the time of his death, Rice is including the “Dr.” to recognize the veterinarian she knows he would have become. Philpotts was shot and killed in January during an apparent robbery while driving for Lyft in Champaign-Urbana. He was 29. 

“He was just trying to become that doctor, because I know if his life hadn’t been cut short he would have been that doctor,” Rice said.

Rice raised more than $25,000 through a GoFundMe to honor her son. She thanks everyone who donated and spread the news of the fundraiser.

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Three teenagers have since been arrested in Philpotts’ death and have been charged as adults in Champaign County, with four charges of murder each, online court records show.

Philpotts had a bachelor’s degree from ISU and a master’s degree from Eastern Illinois University. He had planned to go on to earn a doctorate from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

At EIU he helped restart the chapter of Iota Phi Theta. He introduced EIU undergraduate and friend Dewayne Jones to the fraternity, and was a mentor for Jones throughout his time at EIU.

“He actually got me into the music side of things, he got me DJing at events,” Jones said.


Kristian Philpotts poses in his cap and gown when graduating from Illinois State University in 2016. 


He described Philpotts as a leader on campus, who was always making sure his friends were studying and focusing on their academics.

Philpotts’ professor and the Iota Phi Theta adviser Gary Bulla agreed. He shared a letter of support he wrote for Philpotts’ application to veterinary school. He highlighted a program called “Kids for Science” that Philpotts started to bring elementary students to campus to learn about science, including animal science. 

“KP brings a high level of enthusiasm, engagement, and community-mindedness rarely seen in individuals,” he wrote. 

Jones is going into his last year at EIU, as a digital media and graphic design major. He also is now the president of EIU’s Iota Phi Theta chapter. While Jones feels he has big shoes to fill, he also appreciates that Philpotts encouraged people to be themselves. It was that broad mix of people with different interests and personalities that drew Jones to Iota Phi Theta in the first place, he said.

Rice started the GoFundMe page in April. Endowed scholarships at ISU need at least $25,000 to ensure there will be enough investment money to keep the scholarship going permanently. The fundraiser reached that goal earlier this month and Rice signed the papers July 17, which would have been Philpotts’ 30th birthday.

“It was very emotional, because it’s been a long road,” Rice said.

One anonymous donor gave $10,000, which Rice said meant a lot because it showed that people cared about her son’s story. 

Throughout the process, she worked with Toni Burningham, director of development for the College of Applied Science and Technology.

050222-blm-loc-1kp (copy)

This photo from 2015 shows Kristian Philpotts, left, with other students involved in the Student Pre-Veterinarian Association at Illinois State University. They were able to observe two tigers receiving minor surgery. In a Facebook post from ISU, Philpotts called it one of the best experiences of his life. 


“We’re very grateful to have such a lovely scholarship in honor of her son,” Burningham said.

Along with the scholarship, Rice is working with EIU and ISU to place memorial benches on their campuses. The money for the memorials is coming from her, she said, not from the GoFundMe. Right now, she is waiting on the plaque for the bench at ISU, and for new benches to arrive at EIU.

Rice is also asking for signatures on a petition for UIUC to give her son an honorary doctorate. While the school normally gives those awards to people who have reached the end of a significant career, that is impossible for her son, Rice said. The university has offered a Certificate of Achievement for Philpotts. 

“He didn’t have a chance to reach the end of his career; he didn’t have a chance to start his career,” she said.

The Dr. Kristian “KP” Philpotts Memorial Scholarship requires a college GPA of 2.8 and an essay on why it is important to create a more diverse workforce in the veterinary and animal science field. It is open to pre-vet students who will be juniors or seniors and who demonstrate a financial need. Burningham expects it will open for applications next year. 

Those who want can still contribute to the scholarship fund, as it will remain permanently open.

“It’s a legacy, it never goes away,” Burningham said.

The scholarship preserves Philpotts’ legacy at ISU for the future, Rice said.

“His name is going to live on forever,” she said.

Expensive homes on the market in Central Illinois

3 Bedroom Home in Hudson – $559,900

3 Bedroom Home in Hudson - $559,900

Don’t miss out on these beautiful sunsets, so many windows to enjoy the views of Lake Bloomington. !!! This 3 bedroom, 2 bath Ranch home has an updated kitchen with granite counters, cherry cabinets, tile backsplash, and breakfast bar, touchless stainless steel appliances. Open and airy floor plan, four seasons room, wood burning stove, gas fireplace, and plenty of storage in the lower level. 123 feet of lake frontage seawall with 2 docks and 2 boat ramps diving board and slide. Newer Roof . Who wouldn’t want to call this place home ?

4 Bedroom Home in Hudson – $950,000

4 Bedroom Home in Hudson - $950,000

This one-of-a-kind, 5 level triple A-frame impresses with no detail overlooked! Sits on Lake Bloomington with some of the best views of the lake. This gem offers the feel of living in a cabin resort with all the modern luxuries. Some of the exterior features include a large low maintenance salt water pool, multi-tiered deck, spa, 2 docks, several balconies & abundant patio space. This is truly a home designed for entertaining. The custom kitchen features granite counters, ample high-end cabinetry & stainless appliances (including a Sub-Zero Fridge & 6 burner Viking Stove). Amazing views from everywhere. The 3 season’s room features a built-in California kitchen. Sprawling master with gas fireplace & spa-like en suite bath that includes a steamer shower, sunken jetted tub, double vanity & plenty of natural light! The walkout lower level has a bar, wine cellar, media room & more! Pontoon & runabout fishing boats are negotiable. Complete list of house amenities available.

4 Bedroom Home in Bloomington – $569,900

4 Bedroom Home in Bloomington - $569,900

Visit this beautiful Steve Baugh custom built home and immediately appreciate it’s style, beauty and craftsmanship. Walking into the foyer, you will notice the dramatic coffered 2-story ceiling and fireplace. The inviting floorplan guides you to a spacious kitchen with loads of light, cabinets, and granite countertops. Located off the kitchen is a large sunroom lined with windows highlighting the professionally landscaped back yard. The 1st floor master has two closets and with a large tiled master bathroom. French doors from the master provide access to a backyard deck. Upstairs, a loft on the 2nd floor affords the space for a TV room or a cozy reading area. Bedroom 4 is a second master bedroom with private bath and walk-in closet. Bedroom 2 has a pass thru bathroom. A walk-in cedar lined closet located at the end of the hallway on the 2nd floor gives extra storage. The fully finished basement offers plenty of flexibility. The spacious family room down has a wet bar and plenty of recessed lighting and daylight windows. An adjacent wine cellar/bonus room was built to remain at the same temperature year round. The possibilities are endless with the “Other” room, currently set up as an arts and crafts room with cabinets, countertop and a sink. Two spacious bedrooms and a full bath compliment the basement living area. This home is wired for Cat-6, the outlets just need Cat-6 jacks. Also note the handy PVC “spine tubing” in the unfinished storage area that gives convenient access to the attic for any additional wiring. Doorways throughout are ADA wide. The home is dual zoned. Sprinkler system is currently winterized. This is a one-owner home. Refrigerator being sold “as is”. Requesting all offers on the MIRA One-Step Contract, please.

6 Bedroom Home in Downs – $580,000

6 Bedroom Home in Downs - $580,000

You must see this beautiful 6 bedroom, 6.5 bath home in Sherwood subdivision with an amazing backyard oasis to appreciate all of the special features and upgrades. And, it is handicapped accessible with an elevator to all 3 levels. The huge kitchen/hearth room provides an abundance of countertop and storage areas, as well as plenty of seating areas for entertaining. Granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, walk-in pantry, island with seating, and gas fireplace. The main level also features a family room with brick accent wall & fireplace, a bedroom, full bath, an office, half bath and laundry. All of the bedrooms upstairs feature their own private full bath including bedroom 2 with hardwood flooring and handicapped roll-in shower. Huge owner’s suite with whirlpool tub, walk-in closet, and a deck overlooking the incredible backyard with in-ground pool. There is a back staircase which accesses each level including the walk-up attic which is partially finished and a great storage area. The walkout basement with a recreation room (plumbed for a wet bar), bedroom, full bath, and exercise/flex room accesses the patio area. The outdoor upgrades include in-ground pool, outdoor kitchen, firepit area, amazing landscaping, brick pavered patio & walkway, and much privacy with a tree lined lot. Three car heated garage, award winning Tri Valley school district, and minutes from Bloomington/Normal.

4 Bedroom Home in Bloomington – $650,000

4 Bedroom Home in Bloomington - $650,000

Fabulous in every detail! You will love the sun filled rooms throughout the home. Reimagined and furnished to reflect today’s lifestyle. Each room boasts all of the bells and whistles you would expect with quality high end finishes updated since 2018. Some of the finishes include sueded stone countertops in the kitchen, top of the line appliances, and a large walk in pantry. The main floor primary suite with sitting area boasts his/hers walk-in closets, his/hers separate vanities, jetted tub, oversized shower and private water closet. Hardwood floors on entire main level. Two fireplaces. The second level has 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths. The lower level has tons of natural light, real hardwood floors, a wet bar with a feature backlit agate stone wine bar, an enormous cedar lined storage/craft room, huge family room with custom wall with concealed storage, another game room, 5th bedroom and full bath plus so much more! The open plan has views from almost every vantage point in the back of hundreds of beautiful trees of all kinds providing ultimate privacy! Don’t forget the central vac, 2 AC and 2 furnaces, irrigation and many other updates noted on list in associated docs. Living room is the hearth room off kitchen. Other room #2 is a giant cedar closet/hobby room with built-in shelving and hanging.

4 Bedroom Home in Lexington – $524,900

4 Bedroom Home in Lexington - $524,900

A Unique 1.5 story architechturally designed house with an amazing floor plan and with incredible features throughout built on a 5 Acres lot close to Lake Bloomington is a Wildlife and Nature lovers dream home! Located near The Parklands, a local restaurant, down a very quiet road for hiking, biking, or relaxing. Main floor features gorgeous hardwood floors, Stunning gourmet eat-in kitchen, spectacular dual sided fireplace in family room with spectacular cathedral ceiling, large formal living room, first floor master suite with a loft in the room to enjoy extra space and a 2nd bedroom with its own bathroom on the main floor. 2 more large bedrooms each with on-suite bathrooms on 2nd floor and walk-in closets. Zoned heating and cooling with 2 furnaces and 2 A/Cs. Drinking water system. Central Vac system. Tennis court to be refurbished. Enjoy the outdoors, the amazing view of sunset and sunrise on the wrap around porch or on the back patio; the parklike setting orchard with Apple, Mulberry and Cherry trees. Do not miss out!

5 Bedroom Home in Bloomington – $1,050,000

5 Bedroom Home in Bloomington - $1,050,000

MAJESTIC LUX FORTRESS! Set in the highly sought-after Tri-Valley School District, this palatial solid brick and limestone wrapped 5 bedroom is an indulgence of PRIVACY and RESPITE. A dense timbered lot envelops the yard and sets the scene of this Charlie Knapp custom built SMART residence. Control4 & Ecobee controls your lighting, music, tv/video, security cameras, heating and air conditioning effortlessly via your cell phone or separate control pads in the house. Even while you are away on vacation or just in town you can manage all aspects of the house without concern. It highlights a high end, culinary experience in your own kitchen that includes Viking and Sub-Zero appliances. It has a 48″ range, 48″ glass front refrigerator, 2.5 ovens, warming drawer, double sinks (each with disposal), all beneath a stunning tin ceiling and encased in custom cabinetry. The luxurious FIRST FLOOR MASTER WING, includes its own French door foyer, two French door walk in closets, a gilded double tray ceiling, private exit to aggregate balcony and a French door en-suite. The en suite has sweeping granite countertops, a soaring two story turret, an Aquatic jetted tub, a Grohe spa-like shower equipped with rain head, in wall jets, an additional shower spray and vertical windows that spill light into the room keeping it lit all day long. The 2 story granite floored living room has unobstructed tree lined views from the expansive windows that require no additional lighting during the day. The south facing extra wide balcony coaxes coffee drinkers out to relax and rest awhile before starting their day. The second story includes:2 generous sized bedrooms with granite topped en-suites, a massive extra bedroom (possible other office/rec/bonus area), a rich well laid out office with a second story birds eye view of the north facing formal landscaping (includes a wireless built in phone charger). The walkout includes a private theater, family room (has enough space for pool tables or any other gaming furniture), well-appointed bar covered in the luxurious semi-precious stone – Blue and Gold Flash Labradorite, a mirrored clad exercise room with a view that inspires activity, a unique wine cellar and yet another master bedroom ensuite with granite counters (could serve as an in-law suite) and a separate exit to the outdoor patio completes the inside of the home. The dual entrance aggregate drive showcases the yard filled of mature flowering trees and shrubs splashing color across the seasons (Maple, Crabapple, Red Bud, Burning Bush, Hydrangea, Rhododendron, Roses etc.). It has a professional formal landscape adorned with perennials that extend a riot of color all year long (Stella De Oro Daylilies, Brown-Eyed Susans, Astilbe, Lavendar & Sedum, etc). Lastly, it utilizes a whole house and yard filtration system with reverse osmosis drinking water and an 8 zone irrigation system, plus 2 year old home generator. Be sure to view the amazing virtual tour- link provided.

4 Bedroom Home in Bloomington – $619,000

4 Bedroom Home in Bloomington - $619,000

Spacious – Architect Designed – one-of-a-kind luxury home in Fleetwood Subdivision. Great location – solid character – comfortable living. Pleasing front courtyard welcomes to 3 stories (including walkout), rear staircase, 7 Pella slider doors and 2 story windows off living room overlooking private breathtaking backyard featuring multi patios, pergola, waterfall pond, beautiful trees and plantings. No backyard neighbors. Backs to Ewing Castle Park. Custom walnut walls featured throughout home, kitchen, eat-in, family room, dining, foyer and receiving hall flooring is grouted Congoleum DuraCeramic tile. Huge sink-in granite island and custom cabinets built-in, double oven hilite kitchen. Pantry is in dining room convenient off kitchen. Open design to large eat-in, and family room featuring gas fireplace, custom desk-book shelving and access to 15X11 three season porch. Formal living room with partial 2 story piano area. Master en-suite with sitting area, updated heated floor bath, professionally designed organizer closet and deck access. A second floor library with fireplace and wall of built-ins. Walk out lower level features a family room with fireplace, wet bar and rear yard access, updated full bath, bedroom, game room with murphy bed, large utility room with sink and 1st and 2nd floor laundry chute, ample storage. 4 car garage (tandem). Back yard irrigation system. A must see home.

5 Bedroom Home in Downs – $899,000

5 Bedroom Home in Downs - $899,000

One-of-a-kind property in Downs and Tri-Valley School District. Wake up every morning feeling like you are on vacation! Home sits high on a hill on 5.15 acres with a gorgeous view of the valley and an 8-acre private lake below. Timber-lined property with walking paths that are well kept and great for adventures with friends & family. The front of the house is inviting with great curb appeal. The home has been completely updated since 2014. The gourmet kitchen is an entertainer’s dream that opens up to a vaulted living room with a beamed ceiling. The three seasons room off the kitchen gives picturesque views of the valley to enjoy Spring through Fall. The master bedroom is a getaway itself with its own fireplace and double slider doors that open up to the deck. The deck is a great place to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of wine at night. A downstairs family room is equipped with a movie theater and a walk-out basement with its own patio. This owner thought of it all when they remodeled it, they took it down to the framing to create a truly magnificent home. Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind listing!

5 Bedroom Home in Bloomington – $535,000

5 Bedroom Home in Bloomington - $535,000

A beautifully designed masterpiece that brings indoor/outdoor living to a new level. The architectural details in this home will have you appreciate the luxurious charm adorned throughout. The well-crafted arched front door brings an Old-World flair to this home’s entryway. Once you enter you will be in awe. The grand foyer features custom travertine tiled floors. The main floor has solid hardwood floors and feels grandiose with 10-foot ceilings and crafted wood beams accenting the height. The living room’s focal point is the stonework behind the wall mounted TV. It is modern and brings dimension and texture to the space. This home creates a seamless flow between the inside rooms and carries it to the outdoors. The dining room has a door that opens to the front patio where you can have additional bistro table and chairs. So many great entertaining spaces. The dining room also has the wood beams detailing the ceiling…it is beautiful. The kitchen…oh the kitchen!! I want this kitchen. It has newer high-quality cabinetry, stainless steel appliance, beautiful granite counters, large basin sink and modern light fixtures. There is a large pantry with built-in cabinetry and shelves. The kitchen has a beautiful passage between the indoor and outdoor areas. It is like a French chateau garden; landscaped with artfully balanced plants that bloom throughout the season. The landscape is designed for privacy throughout all the seasons. Step under the pergola wrapped in natural greenery with glistening white lights…it is a magical feeling. This home is so special…it truly is. The upstairs features 5 bedrooms and 3 full bathrooms. The primary bedroom/ “resort oasis” has 2 balconettes that overlook the lush backyard. The attached bathroom has a HUGE tiled shower with a built-in seat, a jetted tub, double vanity sinks and a walk-in closet with an organized closet system. Each additional bedroom has their own special feature. One bedroom has a round window that makes you feel like you are on a ship! All bedrooms have walk in closets. The upstairs layout is open and spacious. Not your cookie cutter floor plan. It is designed very well. There is zoned heating and cooling. The second floor has a designated system to service that floor. The OVERSIZED 3 car garage has 3 Chamberlain MyQ smart garage openers. It is wired for 2 electrical vehicles. There is a drop zone on the main level off the garage with cubbies/ hooks for shoes, coats, backpacks. The finished basement has the 6th bedroom and full bathroom. There are daylight windows letting in natural light…making it a bright basement. If you like movies it has a theater projector and a painted screen. The mechanical room in the basement has the 2nd furnace and 2 water heaters. There are 2 air-conditioners on the exterior of the home. Please stop by and see this beauty…..you will fall in love.

4 Bedroom Home in Bloomington – $549,900

4 Bedroom Home in Bloomington - $549,900

THE BEST BACKYARD AND VIEWS IN ALL OF BLOOMINGTON NORMAL. Mark my words! One of a kind, 5 bedroom, 5.5 bath all brick home. Located on the end of a cul-de-sac, and backing up to the most beautiful golf course and lake (no backyard neighbors!!). Resort like, oversized, fully fenced yard, with an in-groud pool, expansive pool patio over looking the lake, two tiered deck, and an irrigation system. Interior boasts 4 fireplaces, Large eat in kitchen (recently updated), oversized family room, main level dining room and office. Stunning lake views can be seen from almost all rooms in the house. Enormous primary suite with oversized windows capturing the most exquisite views, his and her closets, and a large primary bathroom. Three additional bedrooms on the second level, all with access to full bathrooms. Full partially finished basement with a family room, 4th fireplace, kitchenette/wet bar, 5th bedroom, and an additional room/bonus room. 4 car heated garage, almost all brick exterior with freshly installed hardie plank and stucco accents (7/22). Recent updates include: new water heater 18, freshly painted throughout 19, Kitchen renovation (sink, faucets, custom made hood, Cambria counters, subway title backsplash, refrigerator and stove), new pool filter 19, paver pool patio expansion 19, washer and dryer 20, dishwasher 20, automatic Hunter Douglas window treatments in living room 20, three new toilets 20, two new garage door openers and key pads, new automatic pool cover 21, new pool heater 21, custom living room built ins 21, custom landscaping 21, sprinkler system updates 22, newer dryvit and hardi plank siding accents installed 22. *Information and measurements deemed reliable but not guaranteed.*

4 Bedroom Home in Bloomington – $525,000

4 Bedroom Home in Bloomington - $525,000

Here it is! A must see! Tipton Trails 5 bedroom, 3.5 bath beauty! Over 4,500 finished sq. ft. and an spacious open and bright floor plan. You’ll love the 2 story great room with stone above the fireplace. The kitchen features Kraft Maid Cabinets and granite counters. Custom trim, lots of ceramic, hardwood and stone throughout, specialty lighting, so many upgrades! Granite counter added to the 1st floor primary suite bathroom. Solid wood doors throughout. Finished lower level includes gorgeous wet bar with granite counter top and walk out to the lake. New water heater and New sump pump with water back up in 2022. Anderson windows, aggregate/stamped concrete driveway. Lake views from most rooms are not to be missed!

3 Bedroom Home in Bloomington – $529,900

3 Bedroom Home in Bloomington - $529,900

Beautiful home custom designed and built by Hoffman Ochs in 2019 in Kings Mill Subdivision on 1.34 acres. Interior features 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 3 car garage (3rd stall is a tandem bay which gives you tons of extra storage). The kitchen features custom built cabinets to the ceiling, quartz countertops, subway tile backsplash, 6 burner cooktop, double wall oven, built-in microwave, walk-in pantry, and under cabinet lighting. Large master suite features two large walk-in closets, vaulted ceilings, sitting area, and large windows. Master bath gives you quartz countertops with double sinks, 7ft soaker tub, separate shower, water closet, custom built-in shelving, and extra large linen closet. Full finished daylight basement with large family room, full bath, 4th bedroom, and 2 large storage rooms. Custom blind package throughout home was approx. $12k. Landscaping completed last spring was $20k addition. Backyard features covered back porch as well. Kings Mill Subdivision is exactly 2 miles from RIVIAN, 5 minutes from I-74, and 5 minutes from 55 South. Kings Mill features large lots, 2 lakes, and does allow for detached garages or out buildings. This home is located on lot 16 which is the whole side of the street so you never have to worry about who’s building next to you. Home shows like new.

3 Bedroom Home in Normal – $789,900

3 Bedroom Home in Normal - $789,900

Unique custom ranch home is sure to wow even the most discerning owner. From the grand, clean lined windows, large open concept kitchen/dining/great room with 10′ ceilings to the 55″ custom designed linear fireplace, this home is one of a kind. The walnut kitchen island with waterfall quartz countertop will be a great place to entertain and designed to be extra stunning with custom walnut floating shelves, black SS appliances and a butlers pantry with sink to keep a clean and uncluttered look to your living space. When you’re ready to relax head to the primary suite that includes a walk-in closet spacious enough for the best of shoppers, one of a kind 6’x8′ zero entry shower with a rain head, hand held shower head and a beautiful hand made teak bench plus a large double vanity for all your storage needs. Fantastic finished basement with all of the details including 9′ ceiling, wet bar and defined entertainment space plus a comfortable office space. Enjoy time outside with family and friends on one of the largest new construction lots available in town. You will find a comfortable 12’x8′ covered porch and for now, and open view with no homes behind you. All of these details are not just for show. From top to bottom this home was built with quality and energy efficiency in mind. Including 2×6 construction, zip board OSB exterior and a combination of 2″ closed cell and fiberglass batt insulation for great efficiency and lower electric bills. Quality and peace of mind are of the utmost priority for Candor construction which can be seen in the attention to detail and thoughtful construction throughout this extraordinary custom home. There are so many other details than we are able to list here. More details in broker remarks. Second slightly smaller similar plan coming on market soon at $759,900 (next door). Ask for me details.

Contact Connor Wood at (309)820-3240. Follow Connor on Twitter:@connorkwood

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