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Local Column

Borowicz: Reflecting on Kishwaukee College's 50th anniversary and beyond

Laurie Borowicz
Laurie Borowicz

When I arrived at Kishwaukee College in January 2016, planning discussions quickly started for the 50th anniversary of Kish in 2018.

Time goes by quickly, and as I am beginning my fourth year as the college’s president, the 50th anniversary year is now behind us.

The past year saw many events and activities at the college celebrating our rich history of serving our communities.

While many people visited our Malta campus to celebrate, it was equally touching to hear the incredible stories shared by alumni, of how Kish has had an impact on their lives. It is Kish’s mission to improve lives, and from the testimonials provided last year, we are fulfilling our mission.

The Kishwaukee College Foundation created the “50 for 50” scholarship campaign in 2018, committing to raising $25,000 as part of the 50th anniversary.

The foundation exceeded its goal, raising $42,000 in our local communities for student scholarships. This money will provide 84 students a $500 scholarship.

The next edition of Pride magazine, which will be sent out to district residents in early 2019, will highlight some of the scholarships and recipients at Kish.

As we look forward to 2019, the college will continue to serve our local communities, as it has for the past 50 years. I recently was at a meeting with local business leaders discussing how we work together to prepare the current and future workforce.

One employer shared the need for workers with critical-thinking and decision-making skills.

Employers also expressed the need for workers who are able to work as part of a team, as well as other employment skills. These skills are required to be successful in most jobs, regardless of technical expertise.

A college education supports the learning of employment skills, as they are taught throughout the courses and extracurricular experiences in college, across all majors and degrees.

Predictions indicate that 65 percent of the jobs our children will hold are jobs that do not yet exist. This demonstrates the importance of continuing to learn new skills.

In 2019 and beyond, higher education will play a critical role in our communities. As the world is changing, Kish is changing, as well.

The college will continue to help students become successful citizens and employees, supporting them and the workforce needs of the local economy.

Kish will continue to improve lives by providing an affordable, quality education.

• Laurie Borowicz is president of Kishwaukee College. She can be reached at 815-825-9334 or lborowicz@kish.edu.

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