OGLESBY — Illinois Valley Community College announced the largest gift in its 93-year history, a bequest of more than $1 million from the estate of Dr. Mary Margaret Weeg, a long-time English instructor and humanities division chair who died April 19, 2015, at age 84.
Weeg’s gift of $1.1 million surpasses the $1 million gift of Miller Group Charitable Trust in November 2011 to name the Community Technology Center for Peter Miller Jr. and his son Peter Miller III.
IVCC President Jerry Corcoran made the announcement at the Aug. 17 board meeting.
The board will meet in special session at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, to officially name the college’s Cultural Centre for Dr. Weeg. A ceremony honoring Weeg will follow the meeting at about 3:40 p.m. in the CTC pre-function area.
The bequest will be endowed to support a Dr. Mary Margaret Weeg Arts Scholarship, the Scholarship Campaign fund, the Adult Education Department, Student Emergency Fund and IVCC Foundation-related needs.
“This monumental and unprecedented gift from a beloved professor and academic leader will have a profound effect on generations of Illinois Valley Community College students,” said Corcoran.
“Throughout her life, Dr. Weeg generously shared her financial resources, time and counsel with students in need and those seeking a better life through adult education,” he said. “As a lifelong champion for classic literature, music and theatre, naming the Cultural Centre for her is a most fitting honor.”
Weeg retired in 1989 — 35 years after beginning her teaching career at LaSalle-Peru High School and part-time teaching at IVCC predecessor LaSalle-Peru-Oglesby Junior College. In 1964 she was appointed chairman of LP’s English Department; when the IVCC district was created in 1967, she was named chair of the college’s humanities division. She resigned the chair in 1980 to return to teaching full time.
“My friend and mentor Mary Margaret might be a bit overwhelmed by this recognition of her many contributions to IVCC,” said Dr. Rose Marie Lynch, executor of the Weeg estate. Lynch was hired by Weeg in 1970 to teach English and journalism.
“This bequest provides a tangible legacy, but her true legacy is in the thousands of students, teachers and friends she inspired with her love of language, literature, music, art and travel,” said Lynch.
In other business, the president reported renovation work in the Cultural Centre financed by the estate of Walter Durley and Hazel Marie Boyle has been completed with potentially more enhancements to come.
Vertical wood grille treatments have been installed on the auditorium’s side walls and projection booth to enhance acoustics and aesthetics and 78 LED lights have been installed to increase energy efficiency and lighting levels. With remaining Boyle funds, IVCC is reviewing additional Cultural Centre enhancements including new seating.
The Boyles will be honored this fall with the ceremonial unveiling of a plaque placed near the Cultural Centre entrance.
“With the lighting upgrades, paint and wall coverings, the Centre is again a first-class venue for musical and theatrical performances and other special events,” Corcoran said.
The board also approved:
• A 2018 budget totaling more than $31 million following a public hearing. Revenue for all funds is $31,208,559, a 5.1 percent decrease from 2017, and expenditures are $31,850,619, a 5.1 percent decrease. Operating revenue is $21,354,944, a 3.1 percent decrease, and expenditures are $21,431,944, a 3.8 percent decrease. To balance operating funds, there will be a transfer of $87,000 from auxiliary funds for IT infrastructure.
• Allowed a change in the resignation date of economics instructor Abhijeet Bhattacharya from Dec. 31, 2017, to Aug. 10, 2018. The change, requested by Bhattacharya, will allow him to teach the entire year.
• Renewal of insurance coverages, including property, general liability, commercial auto and workers’ compensation, among others, for a total of $263,998. The renewals were recommended by insurance consultant Bushue HR.
Trustees also learned:
• Special Saturday Express Registration at Ottawa Center July 22 attracted 24 enrollees and generated 226 credit hours.
• The July 24 LPN pinning ceremony featured 17 graduates.
• Summer camps for kids offered through the Continuing Education Center served 240 students in 21 camps and 120 students in the Ed’ Venture program alone.
• The Illinois Community College Board has approved a grant application for $10,000 prepared by Tina Hardy to better serve special population students who may be pursuing manufacturing careers.
• The recent new student convocation attracted an estimated 350 students.
• In personnel news, Sarah Morgensen was appointed shipping and receiving coordinator; Abbi Bosnich resigned as assistant volleyball coach; and Ralph Wedekind resigned as custodian.