“I started this program during a time when the thought was that married women didn’t go to college.”
As an instructor at Moraine Valley in 1970, Horwitz observed an increasing number of nontraditional-aged women returning to college. As a result, she developed the Returning Women’s Program—a cohort where women could learn together in an intellectually challenging environment. More than 1,000 women were enrolled in the program. Horwitz shares comments from many of them who were impacted by the experience.
“I’ve so often been called the community college cheerleader.”
Stoettner attended Moraine Valley right after high school; then returned as an adult. She also spent several years as a Moraine Valley employee. As the executive director of Career Preparations Network, she fosters strong partnerships with community colleges. She recalls as a young teen her parents talking favorably about the referendum because they believed it would be valuable to have a community college in the area. She is a huge supporter of Moraine Valley and is very appreciative for everything the college has done for her.
“It’s the best feeling when you hear from students. I always want my students to do better than I’m doing.”
Two faculty members discuss their love of teaching and how they came to be at Moraine Valley. Teaching college students was not their first career choice, but they found themselves here, and the “rest is history.” Family was a strong influencer for both men to work at the college; Espinoza’s mom took computer classes to advance herself at work (his three kids also were students here) and DeVillez’s father was a long-time professor. They found a home at Moraine Valley and feel lucky to have it.
“When people hear I work at Moraine Valley, they all come talk to me because they all want to be here, too.”
Hannon recalls her many connections to Moraine Valley over the years, starting as a student studying psychology. She graduated on the same day as her future mother-in-law, and her son graduated from the first Fire Academy class. Moraine Valley has always felt like home to Hannon, who loves hearing stories of her students, particularly when they succeed. She feels very blessed to be here.
“I found another home.”…”This campus is beautiful.”
Ron Kurfist worked at Moraine Valley for 16 years, from 1986 to 2002. He wasn’t sure he wanted the job when he first arrived on campus and saw all the temporary buildings. He remembers his time here very fondly though. He talks about the environment that was created for the students and of how appreciative everyone always was of the work his department provided.
“Being the college president is just a position that allows me to give more support to many, many people.”
Dr. Sylvia Jenkins started at Moraine Valley as a part-time librarian in 1986. She went on to hold various positions at the college and is currently the President of Moraine Valley Community College. When she began in 1986, many of the founders of the college were still here and she was able to learn a lot from them. She enjoys being surrounded by people who understand that the purpose of a community college is to help people succeed.
When Dr. Vernon O. Crawley came to Moraine Valley at the start of his 21 years here, there were only three permanent buildings. He is very proud of all that transpired at the campus and the transformation the campus has gone through.
He started his career as a scientist, but because he wanted more contact with people, was drawn to leave private industry for education. He wanted to serve students and believes that focus on student success is what makes Moraine Valley a great college.
“It gave me the opportunity to be a part of something that was new and to build something from scratch.”
When Dr. Margaret Lehner first came to campus in 1969, the campus was hard to spot. She drove up and down the street seeing only houses. Luckily, someone flagged her down and directed her to her interview location. Since that initial introduction to Moraine Valley, she has served in many roles at the college. She began as a Professor of Communications and Literature, later becoming Dean of Liberal Arts and then Dean of Liberal Arts & Sciences. She went on to hold the position of Vice President of Academic Affairs and is now the Vice President of Institutional Advancement. Moraine Valley Community College provides something new everyday–new people to meet and new opportunities.
“Everything we do here and everything I do here is based on the fact that I want people to love Moraine like I love Moraine.”
Bill Finn came to Moraine Valley Community College when he was 22 years old as the head basketball coach. More sports were added the next year and he was asked to be the Athletics Director. His goal was to build a program where every kid in the area would want to go.
Glenn Carpenter became Moraine Valley’s photographer 27 years ago and has been living out his life’s passion everyday by taking pictures. He believes that pictures are the invitation to the story and Glenn has enjoyed capturing Moraine’s story for so long.