More than 95 governmental, educational and corporate leaders from West Chicago and Winfield joined representatives from College of DuPage at a West Chicago/Winfield Community Night hosted by the College on Dec. 4.
Featured guests at the event, held at COD's Waterleaf restaurant, included West Chicago Mayor Ruben Pineda, Winfield Village President Erik Spande, COD President Dr. Robert L. Breuder, COD Board Vice Chairman Kathy Hamilton, and Trustees Dianne McGuire, Allison O'Donnell, Kim Savage, Nancy Svoboda and Joe Wozniak.
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During his comments, Mayor Pineda complimented the College on its outstanding campus and facilities.
"I love the idea of getting together to brainstorm on what West Chicago, Winfield and College of DuPage can do together as we move into the future," he said.
Village President Spande noted that both of his parents were teachers, with his mother teaching at a community college in Oregon. From an early age, he understood the value of an education.
"If we improve ourselves, we improve our communities, and the best way to do this is to improve our education base," he said. "College of DuPage's growth demonstrates what it can provide for all of us."
Dr. Breuder noted that more than 19 percent of high school graduates from West Chicago Community High School and 23 percent from Wheaton North in 2013 attended College of DuPage this fall. This includes three students from West Chicago and Winfield who were named Presidential Scholars for the 2013-14 academic year, an impressive award that includes a full-tuition scholarship and enrollment in COD's Honors program and the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society.
"The ideas shared tonight will not fall on deaf ears," he said. "We have worked closely with West Chicago and Winfield in the past, and by continuing to do so, we can strengthen our communities and the lives of our residents."