Richard Sanders

Richard Sanders

A Community Champion

Eureka resident Dr. Richard Sanders invests in local health care.


A scholar of 20th-century European history and an active member of both the World Affairs Council and Rotary International, Dr. Richard Sanders is very much a citizen of the world. He is also a committed champion of his hometown—Eureka, Illinois—and the institutions that ensure a high quality of life for himself and his neighbors. His recent charitable gifts to both Eureka College and Advocate Eureka Hospital are the buzz around town these days, and Dr. Sanders is glad to share the story of these philanthropic choices that are so deeply rooted in his life experience.

Dr. Sanders—or Dick as his friends call him—was born and raised in Philadelphia. He earned his doctoral degree in history from Duke University, and in 1984 accepted a teaching post at Eureka College. Now retired, he calls his 25-year tenure as a professor there “some of the best years of my life.” Dick’s affection for the college and belief in its mission culminated in his significant pledge to Eureka’s newly constructed classroom building, named Sanders Hall in recognition of his generosity.

Great care close to home

While Dick’s life has been fulfilling, it has not been without challenges, and he’s had some firsthand experiences with another local organization: Eureka Hospital. Following coronary bypass surgery in 1999, he received his follow-up care at Eureka, and he’s still a regular at the hospital’s cardiac rehab gym—meeting up with fellow heart patients three times a week to stay in shape.

Dick has also had emergency department visits and successful gallbladder and hernia surgeries at Eureka Hospital and believes his caregivers have been as expert and compassionate as the hospital’s location has been handy. He is especially pleased that, through its 2010 affiliation with Advocate Health Care, Eureka Hospital has expanded access to primary care. In 2011, a new Advocate Medical Group building went up and now houses a team of much-needed primary care physicians, along with weekly specialty clinics that ensure convenient, exceptional care at every level.

Giving comes naturally

When he was asked to contribute to the hospital’s Securing a Second Century campaign to add state-of-the-art surgical suites and private rooms, Dick did not hesitate to say yes. “The new wing will empower Eureka Hospital to offer more advanced procedures and a more healing environment, which will enhance care and attract the best physicians,” he says. “I want our community to have excellent medical services close to home—now, and for generations to come.”

Hospital administrator Anna Laible was not surprised by Dick’s decision to make a charitable gift. She knows him through their mutual membership in the local Rotary Club, where he has long led philanthropic initiatives ranging from the global eradication of disease to college scholarships for local students. “Dick has a dedication and passion for using philanthropy to better the world and to better our community,” Anna says. “At Eureka Hospital, we are truly grateful for his heartfelt gift and for his choice to share the news publicly. He sets a good example of a leader with a willingness to invest in a healthier life for all of us.”

First published: Fall 2014