The University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved a proposal in March 2010, to name a newly-constructed residence hall in honor of the 99th’s Tim Nugent. The hall, named Timothy J. Nugent Hall, houses students with disabilities and provides full accessibility beyond Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.
Founded in 1948, by Dr. Tim Nugent, the Division of Disability Resources and Educational services (DRES) was the first post-secondary disability support program in the world. DRES began as a result of Dr. Nugent’s belief that veterans injured in World War II should nevertheless be able to take advantage of the GI Bill and attend college. But their success was contingent upon removal of physical barriers that prevented entrances into buildings. To that end, Dr. Nugent built ramps in his garage and proved that these students, if given an opportunity to have access to classrooms, could succeed academically.
Some of the many firsts the disability support service program is credited with includes the first post-secondary institution to introduce curb cuts; the first fixed-route buses designed with wheelchair lifts; the founding of wheelchair sports; and the development of architectural accessibility standards that were later adopted nationally.
Because of Nugent’s contributions, the University of Illinois continues to be recognized as a national leader in disability.