The Elgin Community College Foundation invites the community to celebrate the achievements of students, faculty, and staff at the ECC Foundation Gala: Dare to Dream event, presented by OTTO, at 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 18, 2021. The gala returns to an in-person celebration, with an option for viewing the program portion of the evening remotely.

The evening features a virtual keynote from 2019 Distinguished Alumni of Year Dean Follmann, Ph.D., Chief of the Biostatistics Research Branch at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Health. ECC President David Sam, Ph.D., J.D., LL.M., will also share remarks about the state of the college. The event will also include updates on student learning and perseverance during challenging times, special performances from students, and the opportunity to make a direct donation to the Foundation to support student success at ECC.


“The ECC Foundation is thrilled to be back in-person this year for our signature event of the year,” said David Davin, ECC’s executive director of institutional advancement and ECC foundation. “The annual gala is a night when we celebrate all that ECC and our students have accomplished, recognize important and distinguished community members who have helped us along the way, and of course, raise funds to support our hardworking students as they continue to recover from the pandemic. We look forward to seeing you there!”

The 2021 honorees include the ECC Friend of Education Award winner, Motorola Solutions and the Motorola Solutions Foundation; the Exceptional Friend of the ECC Foundation Award winner, The Hoffer Foundation; ECC Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award winner, Darryl Tyndorf, Ph.D., (’99); and the ECC Esteemed Recent Alumni Award winner, Adrian Bautista (’17).

Seven individuals will be receiving the ECC President’s Lasting Impact Award. Individual recipients are Karen Fox, Cherie Murphy, Carolyn F. O’Neal, Ed.D., Ray Rogina, John Steffen, and Pastor and Mrs. Willie Tate. Additionally, a special Lasting Impact Award will be given to the healthcare workers in Community College District 509, recognizing their exemplary response to the COVID-19 pandemic in risking their own lives to serve the public health and welfare of our area’s residents. The awardees will be represented by leaders of the following healthcare institutions: Amita Health St. Joseph Hospital, Advocate Sherman Hospital, Amita Health St. Alexius Medical Center, Elgin Mental Health Center, and Greater Family Health – formally known as Greater Elgin Family Care Center.

Organized by the Elgin Community College Foundation, proceeds from the event directly funds the Resources for Excellence Fund, which supports the areas of greatest need, including emergency assistance for students and mini-grants for innovative projects.  Event co-chairs for the 2021 Gala are Robin Seigle, secretary of the ECC Foundation Board, and Linda Hefferin, Ed.D., ECC retiree and professor emerita.

Tickets for the in-person event, which includes dinner and the programs, are $100 early-bird through Tuesday, August 31. For those wishing to view the program online, tickets are $10 per household. Tickets can be purchased online at elgin.edu/gala.

For more information, contact the ECC Foundation at 847-214-7377 or foundation@elgin.edu, or visit elgin.edu/gala.

Media Contact:   Rita Elliott
Senior Director of Communications
Office: 847-214-7682
Email: news@elgin.edu

Elgin Community College
(ECC) is a comprehensive public community college, one of 48 statewide. ECC serves approximately 15,000 students each year. Programs of study include 25 major fields for university transfer, more than 130 career-oriented, occupational degrees and certificates, corporate and continuing education, and a full complement of pre-collegiate courses. The three-year graduation rate exceeds the national average and the average of peer colleges.


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