An impressive array of community leaders and Elgin Community College alumni will be honored for their achievements and contributions to educational excellence during ECC’s 21st Annual Founders’ Day Celebration at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin.
The Founders’ Day Celebration commemorates the 1949 founding of the college, as well as recognizes distinguished achievements made by ECC students, alumni, employees, retirees and other community partners and supporters in fulfilling the college’s mission to improve people’s lives through learning.
“A degree or certificate from ECC is our students’ ticket to a whole new world,” said David Davin, ECC’s executive director of advancement and foundation. “The ECC Foundation exists to support those that are striving to build a bright future for themselves, their family and their community. The community leaders’ and alumni’s accomplishments that we are celebrating on this day make us all proud. It also serves as a reminder that our mission to support our deserving students—who will one day be proud alumni and community leaders—is never over.”
The 2019 honorees include the ECC Distinguished Alumni Award winner Dean Follmann, PhD, (Class of ’77); Exceptional Friend of the ECC Foundation Award winners Grand Victoria Casino and the Grand Victoria Foundation; ECC Friend of Education Award winner The Bryant Crawford family; and ECC President’s Lasting Impact Award winners Carol Gieske (Class of ’77), Herb Porter, Pat Szpekowski and Jeff Turner who also attended ECC’s culinary program.
Organized by the Elgin Community College Foundation, proceeds from the event are directed to the Resources for Excellence Annual Fund, which provides critical support for the areas of greatest need impacting student success. Event co-chairs Linda Hefferin, EdD, ECC retiree and professor emeritus, and Caren Nickelsen, ECC Foundation director emeritus and former ECC Foundation board chair, have seen the impact of these investments firsthand.
“The ECC Foundation awarded over $260,000 in scholarships during the 2018-2019 academic year; enabling 229 students to achieve their educational goals,” said Hefferin. “Some dreams just need a little help, and events like the Founders’ Day Celebration help us grow these funds to serve even more students.”
Hefferin is committed to the Foundation’s purpose; she established an endowed scholarship in memoriam of her late husband Thom.
The event will be held in the college’s Jobe Lounge, Building B, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. Guests will be treated to an opening reception with champagne and hors d'oeuvres leading to the abbreviated program and inspirational showcase of this year’s award winners. Guests will have the opportunity to enter raffles for gifts and prizes.
Tickets for the event are $75 per person and can be purchased in advance by Friday, Feb. 8 at elgin.edu/foundersday.