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Phil DeRuntz

Phil DeRuntz

Board chairman | iPrime Fund | Class of 1988

As an Army veteran and finance major, Phil DeRuntz remembers “looking for an experience that would expand my world view” when he enrolled at Illinois in the fall of 1984.

He got it — and then some.

“We were in the middle of the conservative Reagan era in 1986 when I found out to my surprise that my political science professor, Joe T. Miller, was a proclaimed Marxist,” says DeRuntz, who graduated summa cum laude from the Gies College of Business in 1988, then added a master’s in educational administration four years later.

“Our course was International Relations and he was incredible. He taught us in a way that demanded insightfulness and respect for all manner of thought.”

As for a favorite spot, he'll go with the same vibe.

“Just like Dr. Miller, Nature’s Table was perfectly juxtaposed to the times — great live jazz and blues performers in a dark and earthy setting. Every moment had to be savored because you just knew that it couldn’t last,” says DeRuntz, CEO of Student Advocacy Specialists, chairman of the board of iPrime Fund and an adjunct instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.