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The Nortons: CLC story told through one family’s experience

FALL 2009

40th Anniversary Edition

Inside: Going green for forty years Caring professors Learning then and now Vietnam to Iraq: CLC welcomes veterans College of Lake County


Contents FEATURES 3

One Family’s CLC Story For many residents of Lake County, CLC has become a family affair. Meet the Nortons of Waukegan, one such family with six children who all earned CLC degrees.


Going Green for 40 Years The sustainability, or “Go Green” movement, is today’s red-hot trend, but a look back into the College of Lake County’s past shows that CLC has been going green for almost its entire 40 years.


Caring Professors Made All the Difference Over four decades, caring instructors have made all the difference to students. Four successful alumni, each a graduate of a different decade, recall the caring instructors who inspired them.


To Our Readers: Welcome to the revamped AlumNews with its easier-to-read, four-color magazine format! This first edition of our new magazine is making its debut as the College of Lake County celebrates its 40th anniversary, and appropriately, with this issue we focus on what the college has meant to students, the community and you, our alumni, over the years. In future issues, we plan to continue telling compelling stories about alumni achievements and to expand our coverage of the ways CLC is making an impact on today’s students and the community. We hope you enjoy the stories in this issue and those that follow, and that they renew your sense of connection with your alma mater. Julie Shroka Director of Alumni Relations and Special Events

Learning, Then and Now A look at three CLC academic programs reveals how much has changed— and how much has remained the same—over the past 40 years.


Soldier to Student: Easing the Way From Vietnam to Iraq, the college has welcomed veterans, helping them make the sometimes-difficult transition from military to civilian life.


CLC Foundation


News Roundup


Upcoming Events

Cover: Norton family, left to right: Ken (’79), Linda (’81), Dave (’88), Richard (father), Steve (’80), Sheila (mother), Tom (’77) and Darlene (’85) Green and Accountable: The revamped AlumNews is printed on recycled paper at the same cost as the previous newsletter format.


AlumNews AlumNews is published three times a year by the College of Lake County's Office of Alumni Relations and Special Events. Director of Alumni Relations and Special Events JULIE SHROKA Administrative Secretary DORAE BLOCK To submit story ideas, e-mail Dave Fink, AlumNews editor, at or call him at (847) 543-2243. You can also share ideas and comments at the CLC alumni Web site, at


One Family’s CLC Story The Nortons of Waukegan have made CLC a family affair.

All six Norton children —Tom, Steve, Ken, Linda, Darlene and Dave— earned CLC degrees.


or a good portion of the College of Lake County’s 40 years, the Nortons of Waukegan have made CLC a family affair. All six Norton children—Tom, Steve, Ken, Linda, Darlene and Dave—earned CLC degrees and each went on to earn at least a bachelor's degree. Mother, Sheila, began taking courses at the college when she was 40 and has continued for 30 years. And if those connections weren’t enough, one Norton sibling—Tom— met his future spouse at the college, and Darlene began her professional career working for CLC. Though it may be unusual for six siblings to all have earned a degree at CLC, the other

elements of the Nortons’ story aren’t unique to them. Indeed, their story represents so much of what CLC has meant to thousands and thousands of others in Lake County—a college where you can get a good start on life or return later in adulthood for a second chance at learning; a place to form enduring relationships; perhaps even a place to work and build a career. Tom Norton (’77) was the educational trailblazer among the siblings, enrolling at the college when it was still surrounded by cornfields. “Growing up, I had never known anyone who went to college,” he recalled. “My parents encouraged it, but with six children and one working parent, going away to a four-year school wasn’t possible.” CLC provided the opportunity Tom needed, and while attending, he discovered a formula for earning a college degree that has worked for all his other siblings: start college close-to-home, work part time and transfer to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Tom worked at a blue-jeans retailer. (He even owned a sky-blue, brushed-velour Levi’s suit.) After CLC, he went on to Western Illinois University, graduating in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in personnel administration and industrial relations. He went on to build a career as a human resources manager at Allstate Insurance Co. Each Norton sibling followed a similar path to success, finding that CLC met their own individual needs. Ken (’79), now a customer service manager at a printing company, said at CLC he found a good school where he could discover his talents and build confidence in his ability to juggle work and school. Dave (’88), who went on to become a systems engineer, met his goal of ensuring that “every credit counted” toward transfer. Steve (’80), now a materials manager at a Chicago-area locomotive manufacturer, enjoyed the small classes. His sister, Linda(’81), now a physical education teacher, agrees. “You always knew your instructors, and they knew you,” she said. Darlene (‘85), who began her professional career at CLC as a coordinator of the math center, valued how her instructors challenged students’ thinking while respecting their points of view. “CLC provided us with more than just a solid foundation, it launched us,” she said. And though she hasn’t yet earned a degree, mother Sheila credits the college with greatly enriching her life. Over the years, she has taken courses in creative writing, watercolor and humanities. Her awardwinning poem, “Edward Hopper Paints a Woman,” was published in the college’s nationally distributed literary magazine, Willow Review. Tom Norton (inside left) met his wife, Lisa (far left), at CLC. Steve Norton (inside right) dated his wife, Sandra (far right) while attending CLC. ALUMNEWS | 3


For decades, Willow Lake, on the Grayslake Campus, has served as a living laboratory for students enrolled in environmental courses.

Going green for 40 years


he sustainability, or “Go Green” movement, is today’s red-hot trend, but a look back into the College of Lake County’s past shows that CLC has been going green for almost its entire 40 years. Beginning in 1970—only the college’s second year—instructor John Mathwig created an Environmental Biology course that remains popular to this day. Mathwig and colleague Cheena Wade, who taught the course for 30 years, estimate that more than 14,000 students have completed it. Using the Grayslake Campus’ Willow Lake as a living laboratory, the course has helped create environmental awareness among students who regularly monitor it for water clarity, nitrogen and algae-inducing phosphorus, as well as fish species. Another living laboratory—a prairie restoration project—was created in the 1970s. Located on the northeast side of Lancer Lane, the project was begun in 1974 at the suggestion of student members of CLC’s first student environmental club, known as the Society for the Protection of Endangered Wildlife (SPEW). 4 | COLLEGE OF LAKE COUNTY

Though the restoration project was part of the original campus plan, the students pushed to accelerate the work, according to Ron Riepe, a retired earth science instructor. The project, which began as a 20 by 20 foot plot, now encompasses 12 acres. Earth Day, a long-standing campus observance, also began in the 1970s, starting with a one-day event featuring one speaker. Today’s observance is celebrated over an entire week and includes a dozen workshops, covering everything from climate change to an everpopular “Snakes Alive” demonstration. Recycling also began on campus in the 1970s. By the mid-1990s, CLC had earned the distinction of being one of the first community colleges in the nation to be named as a Model Community by the Central States Educational Center, a Champaign-based non-profit advocacy group now known as the Prairie Rivers Network. “The Model Community award was given to organizations that demonstrated a progressive approach to waste management and recycling,” said Glynnis Collins, executive director of the Prairie Rivers Network.

“Many people thought there was no way for a large organization, such as a community college, to institute a recycling program. So it’s significant that the College of Lake County was really on the forefront of this issue and served as a model for others,” she said. To qualify for the award, CLC had to conduct an audit of its recycling and waste reduction efforts, including practices used by the Facilities Department and in chemistry labs and a photography darkroom, said Cheena Wade, now retired from teaching. “When we were awarded the Model Community designation, everyone on campus thought it was really cool,” she said. Currently, excitement is building on campus about the college’s involvement in sustainability initiatives. CLC is a lead institution in the Illinois Community College Sustainability Network, a consortium of community colleges involved in providing green collar jobs training and encouraging implementation of energy conservation and renewable energy technologies at the community level. The network is seeking a major grant to create sustainability centers at each of Illinois’ community colleges to serve as one-stop sources of information and training on energy saving and renewable energy technologies.

Since the early 1970s, the college has maintained a prairie restoration project on the Grayslake Campus.


Caring Professors Made All the Difference Throughout the College of Lake County’s 40 years, CLC has often heard from graduates who fondly recall the college’s caring, supportive environment, and especially, the knowledge and encouragement they received from their professors. Here are just four stories of graduates who have achieved career success and the professors who inspired them. 1970s: Kent Belasco, Nancy Cook For Kent Belasco (’73), CLC provided the welcoming environment that helped him find a new direction following a devastating motorcycle accident in the summer of 1969. A recent graduate of Mundelein High School, Belasco planned to enlist in the military and attend college later on the GI bill, hoping eventually to play college football. But when his motorcycle was hit head-on by a car, he lost not only his left leg but also the friend who was riding on the seat behind him. At age 18, Belasco faced a long period of physical and psychological recovery. “It was a turbulent time for me,” he said. “I needed to find a way back to life.” During his convalescence and still on crutches, he enrolled at the newly opened College of Lake County, a campus then consisting of four corrugated mobile classrooms. Despite the sparse facilities, the CLC of 1970 was abuzz with young students, veterans returning from the Vietnam War and faculty with the vision and enthusiasm of pioneers who were literally creating the young college from almost nothing.

“With the war in Vietnam, protests, lots of politics and opinions, it was a unique time,” Belasco said. Faculty like, Nancy Cook, made that time so memorable, he said. Belasco, who had been drawing since childhood, first met Cook as a student in her art history class.

“The two and a half years I spent at CLC were the most exhilarating time I had in my entire academic career.” —Kent Belasco

“She did what all teachers should do and this is to help and guide students to realize their gifts and potential and stimulate their desire to constantly learn,” he said. Over those years, Belasco earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Lake Forest College and a Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University. And he built a highly successful career in the banking industry, today serving as chief information officer for First Midwest Bank in Chicago. He’s also a freelance artist and a published author of several books on bank management.

1980s: Mike Caplan and Jerry Pinkham Mike Caplan (‘82), now weather anchor at Chicago’s ABC 7 News, came to CLC in the early 1980s after one semester at Northwestern University. Finding that NU wasn’t right for him at that point in his life, he turned to what he describes as his “best alternative”: CLC. “It was close to Gurnee, my home, and it had small class sizes and offered students individual attention,” he said. Caplan received an Associate in Applied Science degree from CLC in 1982. As a student, he worked at the WCLC radio station and played trombone in the jazz and wind ensembles. After attending CLC, he transferred to Illinois State University and received a bachelor’s degree in mass communications. He joined ABC 7 in the morning weather spot in 1994, served as the station’s weekend weather anchor from 1995 to 2003 and is presently the station’s weather anchor on weekdays at 4 p.m. At CLC, Caplan learned the basics of journalism from instructor Jerry Pinkham, who was a senior writer at Better Homes and Gardens magazine before turning to teaching. “Jerry, who was my instructor for news writing, taught me diction that I use to this day,” Caplan said. continued on page 8 ALUMNEWS | 5


Learning, Then and Now


n 1969, the College of Lake County consisted of four corrugated metal, “temporary” buildings serving 2,500 students amid the cornfields of Grayslake. In 2009, CLC consists of more than a dozen buildings on three campuses serving 18,000 students from all over the sprawling suburbs of Lake County. Comparing the college of the late 1960s to the CLC of today is to appreciate not only how much the college has grown, but also how steadfast it has been in offering students a high quality learning experience, despite seismic changes in technology, academic programs and student body. A look at the history of three academic programs illustrates how much has changed and how much has remained the same.

Nursing: Caring spirit endures technological changes When CLC’s nursing program first began, it was housed in a brown mobile classroom. “Classes were held in miniscule lab, and we had no running water and no sinks,” said Dee Swan, director of nursing education from 1975 until her retirement in 2003. “As a result, students practiced proper hygiene protocols by walking to pictures of sinks taped on the walls,” she said. But within a few years, these start-up limitations were overcome. The program moved into a larger facility (albeit still a “temporary” building), which had running water and more space for equipment. By the late 1970s, the program was graduating 100 to 120 students each year, Swan said. As the 1980s began, instructors were adapting the curriculum to a shifting mindset in the nursing profession, Swan said. “We moved from a model of nursing in which nurses worked closely under the doctor’s supervision and didn’t make high-level decisions into one in which the nurse exercised more judgment, critical thinking and decision-making in the care of patients,” she explained.

Upper left: Nursing graduates in 1970, and below, a modern surgical technology lab. Upper right: 1970s computer technology and, below, 21st century flat-screen computers. 6 | COLLEGE OF LAKE COUNTY

Changes in medical technology also required an enhanced instructional facility, and the program got it in 1997 when the D Wing was completed, incorporating the latest in technology, while also supporting hands-on, one-on-one learning. The new facility and new digital technology expanded instructional options. “The technology excites students,” said Dr. Lucille Coleman, a nursing instructor who has taught at the college since 1993. “Instead of showing a 35mm movie, I can show a PowerPoint slide, hyperlinked to an educational video showing, in real time, a surgery being performed at the Mayo Clinic.”


Computer Technology: From punch cards to Internet Few academic disciplines have experienced as many changes over the last 40 years as the Computer Information Technology program. Just ask Dan Petrosko, who began teaching computer science courses at CLC in 1976 and retired in 2008. “Computer instruction in the 1970s,” he said, “focused on preparing students for careers in programming and operating mainframes, which stood more than five feet high. The classroom would have rows of them, with tape reels and disc drives. Students would write a program and sit down at a machine to run keypunch cards. It was a really slow process.” Today’s students may worry about crashing the hard-drive in their laptops, but their counterparts of the 1970s had to worry about keeping their key punch cards sorted. “If a student dropped his or her deck of punch cards on the floor, they’d have to re-assemble the deck, a time-consuming process.” “A radical shift in technology occurred in the early 1980s when personal computers came on the market,” Petrosko said. “Technology shifted away from the mainframe to computer servers. That change, combined with the growth of the Internet, required major changes in the information technology curriculum,” he said.

Theatre: From cracker box to the Performing Arts Center In the early ‘70s, CLC’s stage plays were held in a 100-seat theatre in one of the “temporary” corrugated-metal buildings at the Grayslake campus. Despite occasional leaky roofs, invading chipmunks or blown fuses during performances, the era’s faculty and students built the foundation for the thriving performance programs now

CLC Theatre: From Archibald MacLeish’s “J.B.” (1969) to Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” (2009).

based in the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts. Spectators sat on hand-built, wooden risers, said Eibhlin Glennon, who taught theatre and English, and directed plays, from 1984-2004. “We tried to make it as flexible as it could be,” she said. “The building’s supporting posts had to be a part of the set. Sometimes actors had to exit through doors leading outside.”

When the C Wing was built, performances shifted to the C005 auditorium. Glennon recalled directing a performance there of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead,” in which the lights went out accidentally during the final sword fight. “The actors started the fight in the dark, and because they rehearsed so well, neither they nor audience members got stabbed,” she said. Glennon looks back fondly at those times of limited budgets and technical glitches and credits the late Frank Harnish, a theatre instructor who began teaching in the college’s first year in 1969, for being a driving force in building and growing CLC’s theatre program. “As hard as they were, they were happy times,” she said. “Faculty, staff and students were a real family. It tested your creativity, and when you pulled it off, it was magic.” “The 1997 opening of the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts, with its mainstage, studio and black-box theatres opened up many new possibilities for the theatre program, including Broadway musicals and big-cast shows,” Glennon said. “It was like dying and going to heaven,” she added. ALUMNEWS | 7


One Constant Over 40 Years continued from page 5

Pinkham remembers Caplan as a student who took journalism seriously. “He not only did well in the course and published articles in the CLC Chronicle, he saw journalism as something he was interested in doing as a career,” Pinkham said. “Mike’s story shows that if you’re serious about a field and are willing to work hard and be persistent, you can be successful,” he said.

1990s: Walter Leise and Tracey Hoy When Walter Leise (’94 & ’95) was growing up in his native Long Island, N.Y., he enjoyed science fiction movies and dreamed of being a scientist working in a laboratory. However, he suffered from dyslexia, the reading disorder that makes letters appear scrambled, and learning was difficult. As a result, he graduated from high school near the bottom of his class, and his self-esteem plummeted. Neither he nor others thought he was college material. Today, Leise, 38, is a research scientist at Abbott Laboratories, a major health care company, and he holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Chicago. His path to a doctorate from a prestigious university and a distinguished scientific career began at CLC, where he earned two Associate in Applied Science degrees—one in chemical technology in 1994 and the other in biochemical technology in 1995. “The first week of classes was the turning point of my academic life,” Leise said. “One of the courses I took was Basic Algebra. Tracey Hoy 8 | COLLEGE OF LAKE COUNTY

“Math instructor Tracey Hoy was there for us, telling us we could do anything if we set our minds to it.” —Walter Leise was the instructor, and she inspired me by explaining that she was there for us, and that we could do anything if we set our minds to it.” After years of difficulties with math, Leise experienced a breakthrough that first week of classes. Thanks to his own hard work, and Hoy’s calm, patient approach to teaching math, he gained confidence in his ability to succeed. “It took only a couple of weeks for Walter to shake his anxiety,” Hoy said, adding that from then on, “there was no stopping the guy.”

2000s: Soledad Escamilla and Lucille Coleman When Soledad Escamilla (’00) moved from Mexico to Round Lake in 1990, she was 12 years old, the youngest of 13 children and couldn’t speak a word of English. Six years later, she graduated with honors from Round Lake High School. She then continued her studies at CLC in the nursing program, graduating with a 3.9 GPA. Since 2000, she has been a registered nurse at several Lake County hospitals, including a stint in the emergency room at Lake Forest Hospital. She’s just two courses away from earn-

ing a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Olivet Nazarene University. The only one of her siblings to complete college, Escamilla credits CLC, and nursing instructor Lucille Coleman in particular, for helping her achieve success. Coleman started a support group called “Caring & Learning,” which was designed to encourage minority and other students who might, for various reasons, feel isolated at the college. “A minority student sometimes feels selfconscious or nervous in class,” said Coleman, a Mississippi native who was one of the few African American nursing students at Jones County Community College in the 1970s. “Either your accent is different or, if English is your second language, you may not be as fluent in the language as your classmates.”

Nursing instructor Lucille Coleman started a support group to help minority and other students feel more connected to the college. Each week, Coleman mentored the students in their course work and helped build their self-confidence. “She helped us believe in ourselves, and she showed us how to study and take tests,” Escamilla said. When the Caring & Learning group graduated in 2004, Escamilla and other group members went to Coleman’s church one Sunday morning to give her a thank-you plaque during the service. “It was a big surprise,” Coleman recalled. “I had a big smile.”


Soldier to Student: Easing the Way Despite their proven valor, coming home to civilian life and making the transition to being a college student can be a daunting experience for veterans.

The College of Lake County has been welcoming veterans ever since it opened its doors in 1969.

They have slogged through mosquito-infested rice paddies in Vietnam or faced scorching heat and deadly gunfire today in Iraq or Afghanistan.


oming home to civilian life and becoming a college student can be a daunting experience for veterans, despite their often proven valor. That’s why the College of Lake County has long worked to make the transition to college easier for veterans, welcoming them, valuing their wisdom and experience and offering them educational, physical and emotional support. Right from the beginning—during the college’s first year in 1969, CLC established a Veterans Club to help soldiers returning from Vietnam find a support network. “For many returning veterans, studies seemed unrelated to life as they had known it,” said Walt Petersen, a retired CLC counselor and 30-year Army reservist who worked with veterans in those early years. “The college represented a way for veterans to ease back into civilian life," he said. The Veterans Club provided a way for “vets” to connect with each other. “We all got together

and talked about our service experiences. We helped each other,” said John Mills, a former Army medic who was the first president of the club. Faculty members, particularly those who were themselves veterans, helped the vets feel more at home. “The teaching staff was an inspiration, and their doors were always open,” Mills recalled. That support was important because other students weren’t always sure about how to react to the veterans, noted Dave Ross, who has been a counselor in the Counseling Center since 1975. The war, he said, was unpopular and many students were nervous when encountering a Vietnam veteran. Nevertheless, Ross said, the presence of the veterans on campus contributed much to the campus climate, bringing a level of experience and maturity to discussions that helped students understand the complexity of issues involved with the war. Though counseling was a component of the college’s services for veterans from the beginning, today’s veterans receive even more counseling support, Ross said. There’s a significant difference between the way colleges served veterans in the 1970s compared to today, Ross said. “Today, we do more from an emotional point of view. It’s part of changing societal attitudes about seeking help. In the past, many male veterans viewed it as a sign of weakness to seek mental health counseling. Today, more are willing to acknowledge their need for counseling and realize that it’s not a sign of weakness.” More than 300 veterans are currently attending CLC, and more are expected with the planned 2010 troop withdrawal. ALUMNEWS | 9


CLC Foundation: 35 years of making a difference The Foundation is formed as an Illinois not-for-profit corporation to provide financial support for student scholarships and college programs that fall outside the college’s budgetary constraints.


Provided funding for the opening of Community Gallery of Art.


Keith Ryan Scholarship Fund and Sports Banquet launched. Held each fall, the banquet has provided $1,000 scholarships to 27 CLC students over the last 21 years.


Joan Legat Memorial Golf Outing launched. Held each spring, the outing has raised over $500,000 since its inception.


CLC community and Foundation members mourn the passing of Robert T. Wright, longtime Foundation board member and former trustee of the college. Name Community Gallery of Art in his memory.


The Foundation board pledges financial support to a group of North Chicago kindergartners in the national I Have a Dream® program. The year-round program is part of a nationwide effort that encourages at-risk students to stay in school and complete college.


The Foundation donates $5,000 for the creation of a new Veterans Memorial on the Grayslake campus.


The Foundation provides $25,000 for students studying abroad in China.


The Foundation celebrates 35 years of providing scholarships to an average of 500 students per year totaling anywhere from $400,000 – $500,000 per year.



Dreamers Charles Jones (left) and Kashmir McElrath, during a visit to CLC’s Southlake Campus.

“I want to go to college!” Dreamers’ program continues Foundation’s decades of support


ith those words as their rallying cry, a group of 28 North Chicago eighth graders enthusiastically completed a CLC Foundation-sponsored program this summer designed to sharpen their reading, writing and math skills. The three-week program on the College of Lake County’s Grayslake campus was part of a commitment undertaken by the CLC Foundation a decade ago, when it agreed to sponsor a class of then-kindergartners in North Chicago in I Have A Dream® (IHAD). The national program is designed to encourage children from low-income communities to stay in school and go on to college, according to William Devore, executive director of the CLC Foundation. IHAD helps participating students gain the skills, knowledge and habits needed to succeed in college and it gives them an incentive to persist in their education by guaranteeing college tuition assistance, according to Janae Denton, IHAD project coordinator, one of 25 “Dream” programs nationwide.

The IHAD program involves a wide range of activities, including after-school tutoring, skill building-sessions, community service projects, educational field trips and summer programs. In July, the Dreamers spent three weeks at CLC preparing for high-school work and getting a sneak peek at college life. “Just being on campus spoke volumes,” said Sonjia Allen, a North Chicago elementary school teacher who taught the students this summer. “They loved the stadium-style seating in the classroom, because they had not experienced a classroom like that before. They saw older and younger students around campus, and realized that you can go to college from 18 to 88.” “I especially enjoyed the writing classes,” said Charles Jones, age 14. “We learned that good writing isn’t just sharing information. It’s about explaining an experience in a descriptive way.” Likewise, Kashmir McElrath, age 14 and an aspiring pediatrician, thanks the Foundation for its support. “Most of the kids in the program would not be where they are today without it,” she said.


Magazine names CLC grad one of top nurses in America Jay Maningo-Salinas, (’92), RN, clinical nurse manager of the Outpatient Infusion Department, Apheresis and Dialysis at Mayo Clinic Arizona, was recently named as one of the top nurses in America by NurseWeek Magazine. According to her nominator, Maningo-Salinas’ accomplishments include helping to develop an accredited program of outpatient infusion services for the clinic’s blood and marrow transplant patients. Maningo-Salinas earned her B.S. in nursing in 1994 from Alverno College and an M.S. in human service administration from Spertus College. She has completed graduate coursework toward a Ph.D. in health and human service administration from Capella University.

Alumni, student discounts available at more than 50 retailers CLC alumni and students now can enjoy discounts at more than 50 area restaurants, bookstores, movie theatres and other retailers, thanks to a new discount program approved by the Alumni Association board of directors. To qualify for these discounts, simply show your CLC Alumni Association membership card. (Some of the businesses also require printed coupons, which can be downloaded and printed from their Web sites.) For details on participating businesses, visit To find out about joining the CLC Alumni Association and obtaining a membership card, go to

New career mentoring program looking for volunteers The CLC Alumni Association is launching a mentoring program and is looking for volunteers to help coach students through their educational and career decisions. This program is designed to pair a current CLC student with an experienced CLC grad. “Not only is it satisfying to help a young person find a career direction, you may end up gaining a new appreciation of your own career choice, and build your own network in difficult economic times," said Ed Oilschlager, director of mentoring on the Alumni Association board of directors. After applying, alumni will meet with the program director and determine how his or her skills and experience can apply. As students request mentors, a meeting (face-to-face, or by phone) will be set up with the student. If you are interested in volunteering as a mentor or would like to receive more information about the program, contact the CLC Alumni Association at (847) 543-2400 or

More than 200 alumni attend Sept. 12 picnic at Grayslake campus Brilliant sunshine and 80-degree temperatures greeted more than 200 alumni, their families and guests at a CLC alumni picnic, held Sept. 12 at the Grayslake campus. The picnickers enjoyed catered picnic food, Bingo and childrens’ games. Laura Cooper (’88) served as the emcee and on-site disc jockey for the event.

Rita Gabrielsen (Beshel) ('77) was the winner of the Hula Hoop contest at the recent Alumni picnic.



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Shop ‘til you drop on Dec. 5 Join your fellow CLC grads for holiday shopping and cheer, with the CLC Alumni Association’s fourth annual “Shop ‘til you Drop” holiday shopping excursion on Saturday, Dec. 5. This year’s destination is Old Orchard Shopping Center in Skokie. Reconnect with old friends, and meet new ones, in this fun and relaxing shopping trip. Santa’s sleigh (a coach bus) will safely transport you to Old Orchard, so there’s no worry about driving in inclement weather. In addition, Santa’s helpers will provide shopping guides and coupons. A little caroling, cookies and holiday surprises will help put you in the spirit of the season. At 9:30 a.m., the coach bus will leave the C-Wing entrance of the Grayslake campus, returning in late afternoon. Reserve your seat for $20. For more information, visit

James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts The following is a partial list. Learn about more events, and buy tickets online, at Prairie Spirits Dance Troupe: Winter Dance Concert

CLC Concert Band Concert

Civic Ballet of Chicago: The Nutcracker

Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at 2 p.m.

Mainstage Theatre

Dec. 19 at 1 p.m. Dec. 19 at 5 p.m. Dec. 20 at 3 p.m.

Mainstage Theatre Celebrate the season with an evening of dance as CLC’s Prairie Spirits Dance Troupe presents beautiful, intriguing and powerful works from international choreographers and CLC faculty.

The CLC Concert Band, directed by John Mose, will perform music from both the classical and modern wind band repertoire plus holiday favorites.

Mainstage Theatre Ruth Page’s beloved original full-length staging promises holiday delight for children of all ages with superb dancing, amazing costumes and magical settings. Co-sponsored with the Office of Student Activities.

Return and learn! Spring semester begins Jan. 19 Improve your professional skills and expand your career prospects by coming back to CLC! Many classes are offered online, and at our convenient locations in Grayslake, Waukegan and Vernon Hills. Returning adults and professionals can learn more about coming back to CLC by attending an Advisement Information Meeting (AIM). The AIM is designed for students who are planning to attend part-time, are returning adults, or want to take a few college courses and need to develop educational goals. Attendance at the AIM is recommended before seeing an Academic Advisor. Learn how to get started and sign up for the AIM online at To learn more, visit or call the Grayslake Campus Counseling, Advising and Transfer Center at (847) 543-2060.

AlumNews Fall 2009  

A magazine published for the graduates of the College of Lake County