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2023 - Building Futures

Tags: Administrator Profile | Foundation
Published 06/26/2023
Susan Taylor-Demming, executive director of Institutional Advancement

Susan Taylor-Demming, executive director of Institutional Advancement

Susan Taylor-Demming, the new executive director of institutional advancement and the Elgin Community College Foundation, hangs up the phone after thanking an ECC alumni donor for a recent gift that will help several current students pay for college.

"I get to build relationships between the community and our students, helping the students achieve their dreams and helping the donors determine how their philanthropic efforts can better the community," said Taylor-Demming.

She works with donors who want to make a difference in students' lives. Some donors prefer to support students with housing or food insecurities through contributions to the Spartan Pantry. Other donors focus on student success in a particular program or area of study. "We have donors who are successful in their chosen careers and want to pay it forward to the next generation, and some who took different paths but want to enable students to pursue their true passions," she added. For example, the foundation has scholarships for programs in health professions, performing arts, and HVAC, as well as scholarships for different types of students, such as veterans returning to school and first-generation students.

As she begins to position the foundation for the future, Taylor-Demming has three main priorities: Complete to Compete, a targeted scholarship for students close to graduation who need extra support to cross the finish line; Student Success, a new initiative to give students a solid academic career start; and Workforce Development, a set of scholarships designed to forge connections between students and employers for fostering job-ready skills.

"My goal is for the ECC Foundation to live up to its name — to provide a solid base for students to build their futures. Our donors are the core of that base, and their gifts are changing lives today. They are changing families' trajectories, and they are changing the lives of students 10 years down the road. The cycle of generosity is a lasting legacy."