Circle of Friends Newsletter


"Circle of Friends" is a quarterly publication of the LLCC Foundation.  To receive it via email or U.S. Mail, contact us at LLCCFoundation@llcc.edu or call 217-786-2785.

A Love of Basketball Sparks a Partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Illinois

  As with many young adults graduating from high school, Kevin Cory had no idea what the future would hold for him as far as a career. He just knew he loved to play basketball with his friends and teammates. Cory’s uncle, Bob Nika, a highly regarded and successful former basketball coach at  Lanphier High School, spurred his love for the game. Cory spent a great deal of time playing basketball at open gyms in the summer and later during Christmas visits home from California where he would scrimmage against the team along with his cousin Moose Nika.

As he made new friends on the court over the years, he became aware of the positive impact the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Illinois in Springfield had on many of the individuals.

  After graduating from Rochester High School in 1983, Cory decided to attend Lincoln Land Community College. “Attending LLCC was a terrific option for me because I really didn’t have the academic confidence nor the maturity to attend a four-year university. I was more focused on playing basketball and having fun,” says Cory.  “LLCC was instrumental in helping me find the right way to get serious about school and really helped in setting me up for future success.”

  Cory is now the senior director of operations finance at Cisco Systems.  Although he resides in San Jose, California, he says his heart is still in central Illinois. As such, he continues to be deeply rooted in two local organizations, donating annually to both the LLCC Foundation and to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Illinois. His donations are matched by Cisco Systems.

  Because he is passionate about youth in our community receiving the same opportunies that he had, Cory established the Kevin and Corinne Cory Scholarship to be awarded to current or former members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Illinois who are attending LLCC.  The scholarship will be awarded to two students and is good for tuition, fees, books and other related educational expenses.  To be eligible for the scholarship, the student needs to be enrolled in any program of study for a minimum of six credit hours and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA.  (Continued in winter 2021 newsletter under archives.)   

First LLCC Employee and Alum Diane Alvies Shares Memories

As the first employee of Lincoln Land Community College, Diane Alvies never intended on working at a college. She had always found medicine interesting so after graduating from Pleasant Plains High School in 1965, Alvies went to work at a Springfield hospital as a medical transcriptionist.

     Richard Stone, one of the founding LLCC board of trustees members, recruited Alvies to work at LLCC.  When Dr. Robert Poorman was hired as the first president at LLCC, she became his executive secretary attending all board meetings.

     But after five years of working at LLCC, she decided to follow her heart and take advantage of the school that she helped to start. She entered the LLCC nursing program taking night classes to complete some of her electives while working during the day. She graduated in the second nursing class at LLCC in 1974 and worked for two years as a staff nurse at Memorial Medical Center in the medical-surgical and intensive care units.

     Her next adventure led her to Kentucky where she received her advanced certification from Frontier Nursing Service’s Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)-Midwifery Program. She worked for eight years in the Appalachian Mountains and in many areas as a FNP including private practice, outpatient clinics, emergency medicine, home health and for the department of corrections. 

     Alvies says she is fortunate to have worked with some amazing support staff, professionals and board members at LLCC and her nursing education served her well. “To go from an office in Iles Park Place, to Plywood U, to the current campus was certainly no small endeavor. I was proud to be a part of it all.”

Drive-Thru Gratitude Scholarship Appreciation Event

On a chilly, rainy Tuesday afternoon, LLCC Foundation scholarship recipients lined the sidewalks of campus holding signs, waving and cheering as cars drove by with their scholarship donors inside. Unable to meet face-to-face with their scholarship recipients this year due to COVID-19, an alternate plan was prepared to show appreciation for our scholarship donors. The Drive-Thru Gratitude Scholarship Appreciation event was created. Scholarship donors received special gift boxes which included items from local small businesses.

     For the 2020-21 school year, the Foundation awarded more than 230 scholarships totaling more than $366,000. The application process for the 2021-22 school year opened Dec. 1. Only one application needs to be completed by March 1 to be considered for all eligible scholarships. For more information about the scholarship process, visit our scholarship page. www.llccfoundation.org/scholarships

To view the scholarship event video on You Tube, click HERE.

2nd Annual Giving Day Feb. 23

Lincoln Land Community College’s 2nd Annual Giving Day will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 23. This 24-hour online campaign is designed to engage our community to advance the mission of the college while raising critical funding for the needs of our students.

     “Little did we know last year how crucial the funds raised from the first LLCC Giving Day would be,” said Karen Sanders, vice-president, advancement/LLCC Foundation executive director. One month after the first LLCC Giving Day in February 2020, the impending pandemic forced us to re-engineer our classes and move to an online platform. Many students were unprepared and didn’t have the proper technology. “We purchased laptops and delivered them to students to keep them in the “virtual” classroom. Students were so grateful for the assistance. One student waved from her second story apartment window yelling “thank you” when we dropped off her laptop.”

    ? Since July 2020, more than $51,000 in emergency assistance has been provided to students. This year donors will have the following options on Giving Day to choose from when making a donation:

     •     The Pay it Forward Fund - for students facing immediate, essential expenses such as rent, food or transportation access

     •     The General Scholarship Fund - to help cover tuition for any students who have demonstrated financial need

     •     The LLCC Annual Fund – to assist with the greatest needs on campus including equipment, technology, computers and supplies

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