JJC Professor, College Donor Honored at Annual South West Suburban Philanthropic Network Event

A Joliet Junior College professor and a major college donor were honored Nov. 2 at the South West Suburban Philanthropic Network (SWSPN) 5th Annual Awards Breakfast for their longstanding philanthropic efforts and support of the college.
JJC Professor Bill Johnson was honored with the Philanthropist of the Year and W.W. Grainger, Inc. was honored with the Corporate Philanthropic Award.
Over the past 42 years, Johnson has dedicated his time to mentoring students in the classroom and has also been a long-time supporter of the JJC Foundation.  In 2010, Bill joined the foundation’s board of directors, and continues to sacrifice his time to support the foundation through recruiting activities, scholarship selections, and donation collections. 
“Bill has made it his life’s work to provide JJC students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed, and he has instituted a legacy of scholarship support to help guarantee success for deserving students,” Kristi Mulvey, JJC Foundation executive director, said.  
Over the years, Bill has donated nearly $180,000 to the college.  In 2003, Bill and his mother Lois initiated a scholarship in memory of his father.  The Carl Johnson Memorial Agriculture Scholarship is awarded annually to students entering production agriculture.  Selection is based on scholarship, leadership, and character. This endowed scholarship at JJC is valued at over $40,000. In 2009, Bill made a significant contribution of over $40,000 to the DeWitt and Parke Holland Scholarship, which supports freshman agriculture students. More recently, in May 2011, Bill provided another $30,000 for an  endowed scholarship in the name of Robert Jurgens, a former faculty member.
W.W. Grainger, Inc. was honored with the 2011 SWSPN Corporate Philanthropic Award.  Over the last three years, JJC has received over $50,000 from W.W. Grainger, Inc., a generous supporter of JJC’s Technical Department through equipment enhancement and student scholarships.
In July 2011, the college received a $15,000 donation for the college’s Automotive Technology program, which provided the program with funds to purchase a hybrid car, as well as tools and equipment to service the car. Since 2008, the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship program has supported JJC students with scholarships. 
Along with an initial $2,000 in scholarship funds, student recipients also receive a 396-piece master set of tools, valued at approximately $1,500, which is customized to the student’s area of expertise.  This program assists full-time, second-year students enrolled in a technical program pursuing an associate degree or licensed certification in heating/air conditioning, plumbing, welding, automotive, construction, or other industrial trade.

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