Terry Townsend is a native of Champaign. He is a University of Illinois Honors Graduate and a member of the Kappa Delta Phi Honor Society. Terry has been a tireless advocate for equal rights and opportunity for nearly 40 years. As a public official, Mr. Townsend was personally influential in procuring the first grant dollars for the improvement of the Housing Authority of Champaign County properties.
In 1968, shortly after Dr. Martin Luther King's death, Champaign Unit 4 schools created a scholarship in his name awarded it to Terry for his work in improving race relations. He brought the Community Reinvestment Act to the attention of community leaders, which resulted in banks increasing their efforts to make loans to African Americans. He was a contributor to the book, Black Power on Campus - The University of Illinois 1965-1975. He also served as a Housing Commissioner for 10 years.
In 2002, Mr. Townsend created the African American High School Reunion - the largest event of this type in America. Recently, he took advantage of the State of Illinois early retirement initiative.