Archive for the ‘Illinois’ Category

Randall West (’85)

Randall “Randy” Lee West, 59, of Illiopolis, passed away at 4:17 a.m., Sunday, January 3, 2021 at Decatur Memorial Hospital in Decatur, Illinois. Randy was born on January 12, 1961, in Decatur, the son of William (Bill) and Jeanine (Vance) West. He married Shari Eggers on June 4, 1988 in Mt. Pulaski Illinois. She preceded him in death in 2016. They have a surviving son, Austin Lee West, of Chicago, Illinois.
Randy graduated from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and earned a degree in architecture from the University of Houston. Randy was a master in his craft and retired as a partner at BLDD Architects after practicing over 30 years. He designed Hope Academy and the remodeled Eisenhower High School, as well as worked on projects for the University of Illinois and Millikin. After retiring, Randy opened R Bar & Grille in December 2017, a place that combined his love of architecture, music, and food in his favorite town– Decatur.
Randy served as a board member for the Boys and Girls Club of Decatur for almost a decade, as well as served as President for three years. Randy believed that all youth regardless of their social economic status should have opportunities to grow and be successful adults. He led with a genuine heart.
Among his many talents, Randy was a musician, a founding member of Ted Crispy and the All-Vegetable Band (The Veggies), where he played saxophone and performed locally. He also enjoyed fishing, boating and camping, especially at Lake Shelbyville. He will be remembered for his generosity, his optimism, and his uplifting friendly smile.
Randy is preceded in death by his wife, both parents, and his brother, Bill West. His son, Austin, survives him.

Karen M. Whitney (’82, M.A. ’90)

Karen M. Whitney, a nationally recognized higher education leader, has been selected to serve as interim chancellor of the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS), University of Illinois System President Tim Killeen announced today.

Whitney is the president emerita of Clarion University in Pennsylvania and recently served as interim chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. She takes over from Chancellor Susan J. Koch, who has announced plans to retire from UIS effective June 30. Whitney’s appointment as interim-designate, pending approval by the Board of Trustees, is effective June 8, allowing her to work alongside Koch for a period before assuming the role of interim chancellor on July 1.

Killeen said Whitney will bring a wealth of relevant experience to UIS and its more than 4,200 students and more than 1,100 faculty and staff.

“Karen has deep experience working with higher education boards, administrative leaders and faculty, building consensus around common goals,” Killeen said. “At Clarion, she led an institution that is very similar to UIS in size, scope and mission. She is an ideal choice to build upon Susan’s work, which strengthened UIS and put it on the road toward becoming a regional force for progress.”

Whitney said she was excited to be selected to guide UIS as it searches for a permanent chancellor, particularly leading the university during the COVID-19 pandemic, a period she said only heightens the need for the kind of education UIS provides.

“I’m thrilled and honored to come to Springfield to lead a university at this incredible moment in time,” Whitney said. “I am drawn to the mission and vision of the institution, the way UIS has positioned itself to be the capital city’s university with an emphasis on leadership development – that is, I think, an extremely important role in American society today.”

A nationwide search for a permanent chancellor is expected to begin later this year. Whitney’s appointment is for one year or until a permanent chancellor is named.

As interim chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education in 2017-18, Whitney led 14 universities serving more than 100,000 students and employing more than 12,000 faculty and staff. The system has a $2.3 billion annual operating budget.

Whitney used her expertise in higher education finance and administration to work closely with Pennsylvania lawmakers regarding budgetary issues. In addition, she collaborated with civic and business leaders to ensure continued investment in the Pennsylvania State System’s campuses and appreciation of the value they bring to the state.

She also worked with the system’s 14 presidents to increase enrollment and foster stronger partnerships and leadership development across the system.

During her seven years as president of Clarion, Whitney led the university’s 5,200 students and more than 700 faculty and staff through both reorganization and the transformation of academic priorities. Based on the needs of regional industry and its workforce, Clarion became a leader in offering innovative professional programs in business, education, health and human services.

Before leading Clarion, Whitney was vice chancellor for student life at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis from 1999 through 2010. Previously, she served in leadership positions at the University of Houston and the University of Texas at San Antonio.

She holds a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in higher education administration, a master’s degree from the University of Houston in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Houston.

Whitney was chosen from a field of candidates referred by The Registry, a firm that specializes in identifying leaders to fill interim roles in higher education. The candidates met with both Killeen and Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs Barbara Wilson. Killeen and Wilson also consulted key stakeholders at UIS.

Koch has led UIS since 2011, a period during which the university added programs designed to meet the needs of local and regional employers, including degrees in information systems security, data analytics, theatre, exercise science and nursing. Under her leadership, UIS achieved record fundraising that helped build the new $21.7 million Student Union and increase scholarship support.

Koch has been appointed UIS chancellor emerita, effective July 1.

“Susan has been the ideal leader for UIS, a capstone to a tremendous career,” Killeen said. “We wish her and her husband, Dennis, a rewarding and well-earned retirement.”


Bonnie B. Hinkle (’58)

Bonnie R. Hinkle, 84, passed away on August 1, 2020 at Serenity Home, Oregon. She was born September 9, 1935 in Elmhurst, the daughter of Frank and Ruth (Obrecht) Bolwahnn. After living most of her childhood in Glen Ellyn, IL, Bonnie’s family moved to Oregon, IL, where she graduated high school. She then attended Northern Illinois University for 2 years and, after moving to Houston, TX, graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in elementary education. While in Houston, Bonnie met Andrew (Andy) Hinkle and they were married in Oregon, IL on June 14, 1959. After living in Houston for 4 years, they moved to Illinois, living at times in Oregon, Mt. Morris, Polo, and Forreston. After receiving her teaching certificate, Bonnie taught elementary and special education in Oregon, Byron, Mt. Morris, and Polo. She then worked for the State of Illinois at Highland Community College and for the Department of Human Services. Bonnie and Andy were long-time members of Disciples United Methodist Church in Mt. Morris. Bonnie enjoyed sewing and knitting, skills that she passed down to her children and grandchildren. She and Andy traveled throughout much of the country, visiting 46 states. Toward the end of their travel days, they planned their trips around visiting lighthouses. Around home, they enjoyed watching the geese and pelicans on the Rock River. One of Bonnie’s favorite annual events was singing Handel’s Messiah with the Rockford Lutheran Choral Union. She also performed The Messiah with other choirs in Houston, Polo, Freeport, Mt. Morris, and Chicago. Bonnie is survived by her husband, Andy; daughters Cindy (Tim) Webster, Forreston; Denise (Allan) DeGuzman, Hoffman Estates; grandchildren Laura Webster, Leaf River; Carla (Chris) Pope, Forreston; Adam DeGuzman, Evan DeGuzman, Nick Lucas, all of Hoffman Estates; Steve Webster and family, Milledgeville; loving niece, Julie Tracy, Murfreesboro, TN; and other nieces and nephews. Due to covid restrictions, a private invitation-only funeral will be held. A walk through visitation will be held 1:00 1:45 pm Sunday August 16, 2020 at Farrell-Holland-Gale Funeral Home, Oregon. Social distancing and face coverings will be required. Memorials may be directed to Serenity Hospice and Home in memory of Bonnie.

Sylvia A. Meyer (’74)

Sylvia A. Meyer nee Cisneros, 67, born August 16, 1952 passed away peacefully June 30, 2020. Sylvia was the beloved wife of Michael Meyer and loving mother to Austin. Proud daughter of Gilbert and the late Angela Cisneros. Loving sister to Cynthia (Stuart) Brown and cherished aunt to Molly and Henley. Caring sister-in-law to Bruce Meyer. Sylvia was a native Texan and graduated from the University of Houston. Her career brought her to Chicago in 1977. Sylvia and Michael met in 1979 and were married in 1981. Services will be held on July 10th at 10:00 am at St. Nicholas Church 806 Ridge Rd., Evanston, IL. For information 847-864-1185. Covid 19 protocols will be in effect. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in memory of Sylvia A. Meyer to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children Hospital of Chicago, 225 East Chicago Ave. Box 4. Chicago, IL 60611 or at

Gregory Schwarz (’93, M.B.A. ’00)

AlEn USA announces new leadership with Greg Schwarz (’93,M.B.A.’00) as Executive Vice President of U.S. operations. In his new role, he will oversee the growth of AlEn USA’s portfolio of house cleaning products. More…

Frances Guerrero (’14)

Frances graduated from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in May of 2018. She now holds a Juris Doctor degree and will be practicing law in Chicago, IL. ”

-Native Houstonian

-Received my Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management with a minor in Sales in 2014-Summa Cum Laude

-Served as Sasha (mascot) for 3.5 years

-Attended law school from August 2015-May 2018 and received a Juris Doctor degree from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

-Taking the bar exam in July

-Begin employment with a Chicago law firm doing finance work in the fall”

Niraj Rath (J.D.’12)

UHLC alumna, Niraj Rath ’12, has joined Roetzel & Andress’ Chicago office as an associate.

Kayhan Parsi (J.D. ’93)

Kayhan Parsi has been named the 2018 Graduate Faculty Member of the Year in the Stritch School of Medicine. More…