Lincoln Land Community College touches us all, and every day. Its graduates include a mayor, the senate parliamentarian, business leaders and countless health care providers including the nursing students who cared for my elderly parents.
New construction and innovative programs mark accomplishment, but genuine success is found in the thousands of men and women who use their LLCC education to make life better for themselves, their families and the communities we call home.
As I depart as the college’s longest-serving trustee, its future could not be more secure. For more than 50 years the one constant is that the college always looks forward, to anticipate change and respond to challenge.
For instance, LLCC was a forward thinker during my early board tenure in the late 1990s, when engineering students designed and constructed a solar car that gained national prominence. Around the same time, the college added a truck driver training program to meet high industry demand, and which continues to grow to this day. When the economic downtown began in 2008-2009, the college prepared for the resulting increase in enrollment and to keep finances in check. When the pandemic hit, college leaders ensured that LLCC was still providing the education and services students of all ages needed more than ever, while keeping the campus community safe.
Throughout the years, outstanding, long-serving faculty like Dr. John Roberts have touched the lives of thousands of students, inspiring them to learn and achieve. Many times I’ve been told by LLCC alumni that no matter where they transferred, their best college professors were at LLCC.
Another comment often heard is how the college has grown. From new buildings on the main Springfield campus, including the Workforce Careers Center; at the airport and in the Medical District; to expansion in Jacksonville, Beardstown, Taylorville and Litchfield, LLCC serves its communities with state-of-the-art facilities. For nearly a quarter century, LLCC has been a leader in online education, which continues its upward trend. LLCC also continues to grow its relationships with area businesses and employers to meet their ongoing needs for a trained workforce.
LLCC is blessed with superb faculty staff and dedicated trusteeship. All believe in the mission of the college – to provide affordable, accessible education to all – and are honored to carry it out.
My service under a number of board chairs, most recently Ken Elmore, and with fellow trustees, President Charlotte Warren, and the faculty and staff of LLCC in advancing the mission of our college, is a privilege I will treasure always.
LLCC is a gem in our community both for personal development and the economic vitality of the region. I will continue to support LLCC as a citizen of District 526 and recommend it to all who seek a better life through learning. I expect only great things from LLCC in the future.
Craig Findley recently retired from the Lincoln Land Community College Board of Trustees following 23 years of service. He is the longest-serving trustee of the college, with three terms as chair and two terms each as vice chair and secretary of the Board.