June 25, 2018

Kishwaukee College is celebrating its 50th anniversary and will hold the “Fragments of Kish” Wine Walk on Thursday, July 19, from 4:30-7:00 pm on campus. Participants will enjoy wine and spirits from local vendors including The Forge, Hy-Vee, Jonamac Orchard, Taxco, Waterman Winery, and Whiskey Acres.

The event will kick off in the Kishwaukee College Art Gallery, featuring the Kishwaukee College Alumni Art Exhibition for viewing, musical entertainment, and a tasting of commemorative 50th Anniversary Wine from Jonamac Orchard. The evening will continue outdoors near the greenhouse gardens where participants will enjoy wine tastings from Waterman Winery and Jonamac Orchard, distilled spirits from Whiskey Acres and Taxco, beer tasting from The Forge Brewhouse, and a variety from Hy-Vee. Hors d’ouevres and refreshments will be provided by Kish Café and Chef Rudy Galindo from Quest catering.

Tickets for the Wine Walk are on sale now for $35 a person or $60 a couple. Proceeds from the event will benefit Kishwaukee College Foundation Scholarships. Tickets may be purchased online through Eventbrite, on campus in the Marketing Office in A1227 (located in the Conference Center), or by calling 815-825-9509.

Participants are asked to park in the B Parking Lot and enter door #58.

For more information on the “Fragments of Kish” Wine Walk and to purchase tickets online, visit:

Categories: Foundation
June 13, 2018

Jamie Craven has been named the new Kishwaukee College Foundation Board President. He was selected by the Foundation Board and will serve in the role of President for two years. The Kishwaukee College Foundation helps shape the future and enhance the development of students, programs, faculty, and facilities at Kishwaukee College through donations.

Jamie’s background in education is robust; he currently serves as the superintendent of DeKalb Community Unit School District 428 and previously served as superintendent at Rochelle Township High School, a position he held since July 2007. Jamie is also current President of the Kishwaukee Education Consortium (KEC) Governing Board.

Reflecting on his past experiences, Jamie noted, “everything I’ve been part of has been student or community focused. I see the Foundation as a way to help those in the Kish footprint.” Jamie has also served as the Vice President of the Ogle County Educational Cooperative, Vice President of the Ogle County Juvenile Justice Council Executive Board, and Steering Committee member of the Ogle/DeKalb Workforce Development Consortium, among many other community focused positions.

As an active member of the community over the past 24 years, Jamie has seen the impact of the College’s relationship with the students he’s worked with. He recalled Kish’s longstanding relationships with DeKalb, Rochelle, and area other area schools, and reflected on his time at KEC, noting how the program helps meet unique student ambitions as early as high school. These types of experiences have made him an advocate for education with a passion for developing people. 

“I always say, our job is to prepare students for their tomorrow; every students’ tomorrow looks different,” Jamie affirmed, “we have to have educational programming that can meet those different tomorrows.”

Through his role as President of the Foundation, he hopes to expand the opportunities that the Foundation provides, bridging the gap for students who may not be able to get to college without financial assistance. “Our vision for the future of the Foundation is to continue being in a position where we can help students in need make college a reality,” he commented.

“As the chair of the KEC board, superintendent of DeKalb School District, and longtime resident of the region, Jamie is in a unique positon to bring valuable leadership to the Foundation Board,” commented Bill Nicklas, Executive Director of the Kishwaukee College Foundation. He continued, “We’re delighted to have Jamie serve as Foundation President.”

Jamie received his Educational Specialist Degree from Western Illinois University, Master Degree in Education from Northern Illinois University, Master Degree in Exercise Science from Eastern Illinois University, and Bachelor Degree from Millikin University. He and his wife Jodee live in DeKalb with their four daughters.

For more information on the Kishwaukee College Foundation and giving opportunities, contact Christie Kyler at 815-825-9507 or at


Categories: Foundation
May 29, 2018

Kishwaukee College named Robert Pritchard, Illinois State Representative for the 70th District, as the recipient of the 2018 John C. Roberts Community Service Award. The Award was given to Pritchard during the College’s 50th Annual Spring Commencement Exercise on Saturday, May 19. The John C. Roberts Community Service Award was established in 2009 to recognize the importance of community members in the success of Kishwaukee College. After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Communication from the University of Illinois, Pritchard had a successful career in communications, marketing and public relations. In 2003, Pritchard was elected Illinois State Representative for the 70th District and since then, has worked to support and advance higher education. Pritchard’s career embodies the same selfless dedication to the residents of the Kishwaukee College district and the support of education that inspired John Roberts when he worked to establish Kishwaukee College in 1968.

Pictured are, L to R:

Dr. Laurie Borowicz, President, Kishwaukee College; Robert Pritchard, Illinois State Representative for the 70th District; Bob Johnson, Board of Trustees Chair, Kishwaukee College.

Categories: Foundation
March 2, 2018

Sometimes high school doesn’t go as planned. In those cases when it doesn’t, there are other opportunities and support available at Kishwaukee College to set life back in motion and on a different track. The Adult Education department and the Kishwaukee College Foundation offered Gabriele Munch the preparation and financial support she needed to find a path to success.

Gabriele found high school to be a challenge, socially and emotionally, from the beginning. “I tried home schooling during my freshman year,” she explained. “When I went to high school sophomore year, I struggled and failed some classes and then fell behind.”
Gabriele had the academic skills necessary to succeed but found herself lost in large classrooms. She struggled to find her place in the social hierarchy of high school. When a personal tragedy involving a friend occurred, she missed enough school that she found herself nearly 16 credits behind in her senior year. “I just dropped out at that point,” she stated.

A voracious reader with a curious mind, Gabriele knew she wanted to complete her education. Her family suggested she enroll in a GED/High School Equivalency preparation class offered through Kish’s Adult Education department and then take the exams.

Her prep class instructors, Patti Wragg and Suzanne Meerman, found an eager student who had the motivation to learn everything she could. Determined, Gabriele passed all the GED/HSE exams in a single semester, something that is very difficult to complete. “I discovered I really had learned more in high school than I thought. And the class was small so I received a lot of personal attention from Patti and Suzanne and that helped me focus,” Gabriele said.

Wanting to continue her education by enrolling in a Dental Assisting Program at Kish, Gabriele found assistance from the Kishwaukee College Foundation, specifically the George E. and Betty B. Dutton Memorial Fund. George Dutton Jr. and his wife Betty Dutton played an important role in the city of Sycamore and DeKalb County in the second half of the 20th century. Their son, Jim, was chairman of the board of NB&T until the sale to First Midwest Bank in 2015. Although he now lives out of state, Jim remains actively interested in the local area.

The Dutton Memorial Fund has supported Kish College GED/HSE students since 1999. The Fund assists with paying for the GED/HSE exams and also supports students who complete the exams and then continue their education at Kish. Gabriele received $500 from the Dutton Fund and an additional $625 from First National Bank Scholarship for Non-Credit/Short-Term Training Programs. The generosity of the two programs, both administered by the Kishwaukee College Foundation, meant she only paid $75 for the program.

“I had a lot of dental work done in my life and knew a friend in a Dental Assisting Program so I felt like this was a good career path for me,” she said. “And I really enjoy the class. I am looking forward to completing it and working in the field.”

To show gratitude for the Dutton Family’s history of financial support, the Kishwaukee College Foundation named the College’s Financial Aid Office suite “The George and Betty Dutton Financial Aid Office” in 2012. Jim Dutton visited campus that winter to see the offices that now bear his family name. He stated, “My parents saw the GED program as an opportunity to assist students who may otherwise not be able to take advantage of the offerings being made available through the College. It struck a nerve for them, I think. It feels good to know the funds go to a good cause and helps people better their education.”

As a recipient of the Dutton’s far-sighted generosity, Gabriele Munch wholeheartedly agrees.

For more information on the Adult Education department, contact Jaime Schrader at;  for more information on the Kishwaukee College Foundation, contact Christine Kyler at

December 8, 2017

Kishwaukee College and Opportunity House, Inc. have forged a successful partnership in the creation and implementation of the Learning for Life program. Now, the Kishwaukee College Foundation is asking interested persons to join the partnership on behalf of this worthy program.

Each year, clients of Opportunity House and other adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities have the opportunity to enroll in academic-based coursework as part of the Learning for Life Program. The program began in 2009 to fill the need for educational opportunities for adult individuals who have left the public education system. Learning for Life fulfills this need by providing challenging activities in an array of traditional academic subjects (e.g., history, science, and art). The program also introduces additional special topics of interest to participating clients (e.g., transportation, geography, and gardening). All units integrate readings, activities, field trips, and homework.

Through the Learning for Life program, clients experience intellectually challenging materials that motivate and engage their interest and curiosity while improving communication and social skills.

Additional funding is needed to support the program as it grows. The Douglas C. and Lynn M. Roberts Family Foundation has generously created an endowment fund to open this giving opportunity.

Prospective donors are welcome. For more information, please contact Bill Nicklas, Executive Director of the Kishwaukee College Foundation, at

Opportunity House, Inc., located in Sycamore and serving DeKalb County, assists people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to work, live in homes of their choice, and enjoy community life. For more information on Opportunity House, visit

Pictured are Learning for Life II students at a graduation ceremony held at Kishwaukee College in November, L to R, Kerry Bonney, Alice Craig and Learning for Life instructor, Carla Raynor.


Categories: Foundation