Ives wants COD building named for Medal of Honor recipient
With College of DuPage trustees trying to fire President Robert Breuder, one state lawmaker is imploring them to prevent the school's Homeland Security Education Center from bearing Breuder's name.
State Rep. Jeanne Ives says in an open letter that the building should be named in honor of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller, a Medal of Honor recipient from Wheaton.
"The College of DuPage could make no better choice than to take action now by passing a resolution to place Robbie Miller's name on the Homeland Security Education Center," Ives wrote. "His actions exemplify the very best of DuPage County and of those who are truly engaged in protecting their homeland."
But in order for that to happen, COD trustees would need to overturn a nearly $763,000 buyout package for Breuder, who is scheduled to retire in March.
As part of that agreement, the board also agreed to name the Homeland Security building after Breuder as long as he maintains "conduct that is not materially detrimental to the reputation of the board and/or the college."
When hundreds of people attended a January board meeting to protest the buyout deal, some of them took aim at the plan to put Breuder's name on the Homeland Security center -- a decision the COD board made in 2013.
Area veterans and others have said they would prefer the building be named after Miller, a Wheaton North High School graduate who was killed in 2008 during combat in Afghanistan.
Miller died protecting his fellow soldiers while they were under attack by insurgents. He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously in 2010.
In addition to being named for Miller, Ives said the Homeland Security center should have a memorial "to remind COD students of how SSG Miller lived -- and died."
"Real heroes earn their place in history," Ives wrote. "That place in history inspires others to name public buildings and monuments for them. No hero has ever negotiated a naming as part of a bloated severance package."
On Friday, COD officials issued a brief statement saying they "appreciate" Ives' concern but declined to comment.