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2020 - Elgin Community College announces 2020 Distinguished Alumni and Community Award winners

Tags: Accomplishment | Alumni Profile | Foundation
Published 10/29/2020

Elgin Community College proudly announces its 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award winner, Linda Deering Dean. Deering Dean was recognized during the Elgin Community College Foundation's first-ever virtual gala, the Mas'k'erade: Dare to Dream event on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020.

" Linda is an example of where an education from Elgin Community College can take you—anywhere you want," said David Davin, executive director of institutional advancement and the ECC Foundation. "With ECC credential in hand, Linda started as a nurse and ultimately became the CEO of a major regional hospital. We are proud to hold Linda up as an example to our community and students – current, former, and future – of all that can be accomplished at ECC and beyond."

Deering Dean has achieved outstanding success in the field of healthcare leadership. With over 35 years of experience in the healthcare industry, she most recently served as president and CEO of Advocate Sherman Hospital. Through her exemplary leadership and passion for change, Linda increased patient, physician, and employee satisfaction while decreasing employee turnover during a time of financial challenges, downsizing, building a new replacement hospital, and joining a major health system.

Deering Dean aspired to be a nurse at a young age. She earned an Associate in Arts and Science degree at ECC and then went on to earn her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in nursing at Northern Illinois University. While working as a full-time nurse, wife, and mother, she quickly learned the value of community college support to advance her education and achieve her professional dreams.

Other awardees honored at the 2020 gala were:

Exceptional Friend of the Foundation Award – Adrienne Butler, MD, JD. Butler donated a sizable gift to endow a scholarship in her late husband's name, Dr. William Pelz, a long-time professor of European history and political science. The Bill Pelz Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to first-generation students in history and political science.

Elgin Community College Friend of Education Award – Robert Malm. Malm, a noted Elgin public servant, most recently serving as the Director of Economic Development with the Elgin Area Chamber, credits ECC for developing the area's workforce by creating programs that build a diverse and qualified workforce that, in turn,, improve the quality of life for all citizens.

Lasting Impact Award – Mike Shales. Carrying on his parents' legacy, Jack and Marlene, Shales has dedicated his time and treasure in support of ECC for decades, recently ending a distinguished term on the ECC Foundation Board of Directors.

Lasting Impact Award – Ed Hunter. Through his work with healthcare for decades, Hunter realizes the importance of ECC in training future healthcare leaders to address the community's diverse and growing needs. Hunter continues his dedication to his community in numerous volunteer capacities.

For more information about the college's alumni relations, go to To contribute to the Student Success Fund or any of the Foundation's scholarship funds, visit